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How to address cyber risk

How to address cyber risk

By Gordon Owili

The world’s increasing connectivity and use of technology is delivering great benefit. Yet the dependence on technology and the need to be connected also leads to greater risks. No profession is immune to the impact of changing technology, so lawyers need to be prepared for the evolving legal demands resulting from this. The competitive climate has led legal employers to reassess the skills they seek in new hires. Clients are not willing to absorb the cost of training new lawyers, which has led to law firms looking for “practice ready” graduates with not only technical legal capability but also competency to work with new and emerging technologies, clients and their colleagues in finding solutions to problems. And because nearly every company is exposed to a cyber risk the demand for privacy and cybersecurity specialists may present an opportunity for those law graduates who are better equipped to work with clients to prepare them for data breaches and minimise their potential legal exposure. According to the 2016 Australian Government Cybersecurity Strategy, it is estimated that by 2019 the average Australian household will have 24 devices connected online. This underlines the ubiquitous nature of connected technology and as a result there are likely to be legal implications for consumers and businesses alike. An example of how this can manifest itself is a breach of a company’s networks during which hackers access the personal and financial information of a large number of customers exposing directors to a lawsuit, especially if a court were to find that disregard of the boards’ obligations of risk oversight can be considered bad faith on the part of the directors.

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