The battle within: Risk management and professional indemnity survey 2016

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With cyber risk exploding and storm clouds over the economy, it’s harder than ever to balance risk with commercial realities. Legal Business’ annual risk survey asks how law firms are coping.

While no major law firm has yet fallen prey to the sort of high-profile data breach that the mobile operator Talk Talk suffered in 2015, the threat is front and centre of every risk manager’s mind. For those polled in Legal Business’ ninth annual risk management survey with broker Marsh, ‘IT security breach/data management accident or breach’ was again regarded as the most significant risk to law firms in terms of the damage it could cause and the likelihood of it occurring (see table).

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‘The most stringent data laws in the world’: European Union agrees on penalties to protect personal data

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Lawyers are warning of substantial change following the European Union’s agreement last night to regulate data collection and punish companies that violate EU data protection laws with penalties of up to €1m or up to 4% of the global annual turnover of a company.

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The cyber security roundtable: Victims and visions

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As cyber security issues continue to dominate the headlines amid a fractious European backdrop, we assembled a group of senior GCs to ask how to handle the inevitable attacks.

Even the cynics that see cyber security as the latest in a long line of corporate fads generating its own compliance circus and attending cottage industry have to concede that such threats – and the increasingly entwined issue of privacy – are becoming a more pressing matter.

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Austrian law student’s case against Facebook results in landmark ECJ decision to scrap safe harbour regime

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An Austrian law student has won a legal challenge over the US safe harbour scheme, in a decision which will impact some 4,000 US companies which transferred personal information across the Atlantic.

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Hacked off with cyber risk? You may be…

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Carter Perry Bailey’s Mark Aizlewood and Simon Thomas highlight the threat to law firms.

At the time of writing, news arrived that car owners in the US have filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler and a dashboard computer manufacturer after hackers used a laptop computer to take control of a Jeep being driven on a St Louis highway, thus also precipitating a product recall and illustrating why cyber risk is widely considered to be the fastest-growing threat to businesses.

A leading global insurer reports that it presents the ‘biggest, most systemic risk’ faced by the market in over 40 years. Law firms are not immune. Continue reading “Hacked off with cyber risk? You may be…”

Beating ‘Friday afternoon’ fraud

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Sophisticated criminals are increasingly targeting firms of solicitors with so-called ‘Friday afternoon’ frauds.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) reported in March that it is receiving four reports a month of solicitors falling victim to these scams, which tend to involve a combination of identity fraud and cyber techniques, such as hacking and spear phishing.

The term Friday afternoon fraud has helped raise the profile of these types of scam – but it is important to note that they are certainly not confined to Friday afternoons, so firms and their employees must be vigilant at all times. Continue reading “Beating ‘Friday afternoon’ fraud”

We need to talk… about technology: Shepherds’ CEO Gibb on keeping pace with technology

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Innovation lies at the core of technology. Evolution and improvement in the ways we design and use basic utilities and infrastructure such as telecoms, water and energy are key to ensuring perennial and adaptable services for an ever-growing global population.

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We need to talk… about technology

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Shepherd and Wedderburn’s Stephen Gibb argues that the law must keep pace with change when it comes to connected networks

Innovation lies at the core of technology. Evolution and improvement in the ways we design and use basic utilities and infrastructure such as telecoms, water and energy are key to ensuring perennial and adaptable services for an ever-growing global population.

Continue reading “We need to talk… about technology”

No more weak links – elite law firms unite to fight cyber security threat

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It has long been a gripe among major clients – in particular banks – that law firms are the chink in the armour against the growing barrage of cyber attacks. In response, some of the world’s top law firms are banding together to form a cyber security alliance to share intelligence on threats, specific attacks and best practice.

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