Law Council of Australia
expects to launch by the end of the year a national cyber security information campaign for the legal profession to combat the exponential growth of cybercrimes and cyber espionage.
The Law Council said that it has partnered with the legal profession, cyber security experts and the government to formulate the effort.
The launch of the initiative comes after the council nominated cyber security as a key priority earlier this year.
“With concerns about cyber security rising across all sectors of the economy, we should be particularly concerned about the very sensitive information held by lawyers that we know is seen as real prize by cybercriminals,” Law Council of Australia President, Stuart Clark
AM, said in a statement.
He noted that like other business, law firms are the target of cybercriminals who may either hold the information they steal for ransom or for fraudulent use.
“Law firms and lawyers hold sensitive client business information and intellectual property,” Clark said. “Corporate clients, in particular, will often share market sensitive information, for example, information about mergers and acquisitions, that could be stolen and used for insider trading.”
He noted that litigation and negotiation strategies, settlement parameters and analysis of evidence can be used by rival firms.
These threats fundamentally strike at the core of what it is that we do as legal professionals, because client confidentiality lies at the very foundation of client-lawyer relationship,” Clark said.
He explained that lawyers must be able to demonstrate to clients and regulators their understanding of cyber risk and what they are doing to combat this threat.
Since cybercrime and cyber espionage are global trends, Clark said that it is key that the private sector work with governments on the issue.
“The Federal Government’s announcement this year of a $230 million Cyber Security Strategy was significant and timely,” he said.
“The Law Council is developing both an education package and a hub for the exchange of information and security initiatives to strengthen the protection of the entire Australian legal profession.”