Cyber security 'key issue for lawyers'

Nearly half of Scottish solicitors see cyber security as their biggest technological challenge, according to a survey of practitioners.


15 Feb 2017

The survey, carried out by Ipsos Mori for the Law Society of Scotland, found 81% of lawyers had a "very" or "fairly" positive view about the impact of technology on their business.

But 42% believed that maintaining cyber security was a key issue.

Just over a third said they would benefit from training.

The survey of more than 670 solicitors showed that 92% used the internet on a daily basis for business, with 59% also using their smartphones to access the internet for business purposes.

A total of 34% agreed that the use of artificial intelligence systems was reducing costs within the sector.

But 32% of respondents said that keeping up with developments could be difficult.

The vast majority took steps to protect themselves online, such as not clicking on suspect links and using passport protection on their devices.

But 35% of those who had experienced a cyber-security issue said they did not report it to anyone.

'Positive view'

The findings are being unveiled at the Law Society's Technology and Cybercrime Conference in Glasgow.

HBJ Gateley partner Helena Brown, who is chairing the event, said: "This is the first survey the Law Society has carried out about solicitors' views on and use of technology.

"The findings highlight the positive view most have of increased use of technology and how it can benefit their businesses and the wider justice system, but also draw attention to some of the issues the profession faces in terms of keeping up to date with developments and how to ensure that their data is safe."

A number of high profile speakers are set to address delegates at the conference on issues ranging from cloud technology and cyber attacks to data protection and whistleblowing.

Ms Brown added: "Today's event is all about raising awareness of cybercrime risks and providing the best possible guidance to help solicitors safeguard their businesses, allowing them to reassure their clients that their data and funds are secure."

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