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HCR Law Events

19 March 2021

Cyber risk – the next pandemic, warn lawyers

Culture as well as kit will be at the heart of businesses’ armoury to combat the growing risk of cyber-attacks which could create a pandemic of a different kind, lawyers from Harrison Clark Rickerbys have warned, in research looking ahead to a new world of work.

As we move towards a hybrid model of working, with many continuing to work from home or from co-working spaces for part of the week, the weak spots in a company’s network caused by laptops, phones and tablets will need to be tackled, HCR’s Future Workspaces report confirms.

The first lockdown saw a steep rise in cyber-attacks – from 137 to 9,116 incidents from January to March last year. This has escalated over the past year, with Barracuda Networks reporting a 600% increase in phishing emails at one point.

Professor Dan Hyde, technology and cyber regulation partner, said: “Keeping your IT system up to date, with all the latest patches and updates, is vital, of course, but your people and culture are also key to your cybersecurity. The right culture needs to be embedded. Train them, remind them, test them, and above all make sure that they are aware of how they’re using their devices in line with a strong cybersecurity policy, wherever they are working.

“If you aren’t already using a VPN to create an encrypted network connection, put that in place now and make sure that everyone understands that they need to keep their work within that structure. Check your insurance policy; does it cover staff working remotely? Above all, keep working with your staff so that they know how to spot anything suspicious and how to react.

“A major rise in cybercrime cannot compare to the terrible losses of the Covid-19 pandemic, but there are common factors – its massive scale, crossing geographical borders, its social and financial impacts from business disruption and the need to change behaviours to combat it.

“If you have the right culture, as well as the right kit, you will be much better defended.”

The Future Workspaces report, looking at the future of the office and how we will work, is based on HCR’s research both before and after lockdown into what we want from where we work and how that will affect our planning, construction, infrastructure and economic needs from now on.

For a copy of the report, please go to www.hcrlaw.com or find it here.

Dan speaks regularly on cybersecurity and will be doing so at the Three Counties Defence and Security Group (3CDSG) spring seminar from 2.30-3pm on 25 March and at HCR’s week-long Cybersecurity Conference from 20 Sept.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has more than 600 staff and partners based at offices in Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Hereford, London, Thames Valley, Worcester, and the Wye Valley, who provide a complete spectrum of legal services to both business and private clients, regionally and nationwide. The firm also has a number of highly specialist sector-specific teams, including technology, finance and financial services, defence, security and the forces, health and social care, education, agricultural and rural affairs, and construction.

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Dan Hyde, Partner

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