CISO for Law Firms

Law Firms Seek Cybersecurity Peace of Mind with CISO

In an era where digital threats loom large over the legal industry, Jade Peace's webinar, presented as part of PracticeEvolve's INTEL Series, serves as a crucial guide for law firms navigating the complexities of cybersecurity and compliance.

As an Australian Legal Practitioner, a Legal Compliance Manager at LEXTECH and an ISO/IEC 27001 Internal Auditor, Peace brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. She asserts the necessity for law firms to understand their cybersecurity risks and actively implement strategies that protect their operations against digital threats, stating, "Your compliance regime is a competitive advantage."

Peace presents compliance not as a one-size-fits-all solution but as a customisable toolkit. Like ingredients in a recipe, each firm must select the appropriate measures to address its unique challenges. She advocates for alignment with the ISO 27,001 and SOC2 standards as a fundamental step for firms of all sizes, emphasising that while certification is the gold standard, alignment alone can significantly bolster a firm's cybersecurity position.

One of the session's key messages is the directors' heightened responsibility in cybersecurity. Peace cites the significant ASIC v RI Advice Group case to underscore the necessity for boards to be knowledgeable about cyber risks, framing the court's decision as a turning point: "The ASIC v RI Advice Group case has set a precedent: Directors must consider cybersecurity in their governance role—ignorance isn't an option," Peace explains. She insists on proactive engagement from leadership to prepare firms for potential cyber incidents.

Peace also proposes integrating a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) role within firms, reinforcing the idea that cybersecurity goes beyond the responsibilities of the IT department and warrants its own strategic focus. Her perspective is that firms are exposed to more significant risks without such leadership, as she warns, "Don't lump cyber responsibilities with IT; they need support, and it's part of your governance to provide it."

Addressing international legal implications, Peace speaks to the significant strides in holding individuals accountable for cyber war crimes, reinforcing the global seriousness of cyber threats: "Acknowledgment at the international level underscores the gravity and breadth of cyber threats we face."

Emphasising proactive vigilance, Peace recommends staying informed through top industry resources: "Make sure you are on the email chain for Australian Signals Directorate. It’s one of the best resources," she advises, enabling firms to act swiftly against emerging cyber threats.

The importance of continuous education is also a recurring theme in Peace’s webinar. She encourages implementing dynamic training programs: "Educate your teams, engage with real scenarios, and always stay inquisitive." This emphasis on education promotes an ongoing culture of cybersecurity awareness and responsiveness.

In her closing remarks, Peace reinforces the vital role of legal professionals as guardians of sensitive data and client trust. She calls for a commitment to action and integrity: "You are not just lawyers or managers; you are custodians of data, trust, and your client's security. Be solution-focused, but do what you say and say what you do."

The INTEL Series webinar is accessible on demand and provides a rich source of expertise for law firms. It allows you to explore these points in detail and apply Peace's advice to your practice.

The INTEL Series continues with an upcoming webinar featuring John Chisholm on April 11th. The webinar promises to dive deep into the core questions that define the success of any business: understanding your firm's purpose, identifying your true customer, recognising what your customer values most, measuring your results, and crafting a solid plan for sustainable growth. 

To equip your firm with the necessary tools for a competitive edge, secure your place at the next session: “The Art of Modern Law Firm Strategy: Mastering Purpose, Positioning & Pricing.”

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Disclaimer:  The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Novum Learning or Legal Practice Intelligence (LPI). While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information in this article has been obtained from reliable sources, neither Novum Learning or LPI nor the author is responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information, as the content published here is for information purposes only. The article does not constitute a comprehensive or complete statement of the matters discussed or the law relating thereto and does not constitute professional and/or financial advice.

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