Cyber Risk – the Next Pandemic, Warns Harrison Clark Rickerbys
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.
Dan speaks regularly on cybersecurity and will be doing so at the Three Counties Defence and Security Group (3CDSG) spring seminar from 2.30-3 pm 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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Pic: Dan Hyde
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About Harrison Clark Rickerbys
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Award-winning firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys provides a complete spectrum of City-quality legal services to business and private clients across the South and West Midlands, Thames Valley and Wye Valley corridors, the southwest of England and in Wales.
The firm has grown through several mergers, both locally and with specialists, all answering client demand. It has more than 500 staff and partners operating out of offices in Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Hereford, London, Thames Valley, Worcester and the Wye Valley, and a turnover of c£35m.
The firm has specialist expertise in health and social care; defence, security and the forces; finance and financial services; construction and engineering; education; technology, and agriculture and rural affairs.
Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ work in all aspects of law is nationally and internationally recognised. Clients’ comments about the quality of its work has led to the firm being listed in Tier 1 of the prestigious Legal 500 and Chamber and Partners directories of the major law firms in England and Wales.
For more details, visit www.hcrlaw.com