Scots Issue Cyber Security Warning

Scots Issue Cyber Security Warning

The Law Society of Scotland has issued a warning that, according to new research commissioned by it, cyber security is one of the biggest issues facing solicitors and almost half of those surveyed believed that maintaining cyber security was a challenge.

Despite this, the Society say, the overwhelming majority had a very or fairly positive view of technology and recognised the importance of using technology to improve processes and increase efficiency. In addition, 78% agreed that technology is creating ideas for innovation and new business models for law firms and 73% said technology supports the way clients commission work. Around a third (34%) agreed that use of artificial intelligence systems was reducing costs within the sector.

The survey, carried out by Ipsos Mori, showed that 92% of solicitors used the internet on a daily basis for business, with 59% also using their smartphones to access the internet for business purposes. Around a third of respondents (32%) said that keeping up with developments could be difficult and significant numbers believed they would benefit from training in areas including data protection (35%) and cyber security (34%).

The Law Society’s technology audit report was launched at the Law Society’s Technology and Cybercrime Conference in Glasgow on Wednesday, 26 October.

Helena Brown, partner and head of intellectual property, commercial and data at HBJ Gateley and a member of the Law Society’s technology law and practice committee is chairing the event. She 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.

“The findings also highlight areas that we will want to explore further. The vast majority of respondents took steps to protect themselves online, such as not clicking on suspect links and using passport protection on their devices, however 35% of those who had experienced a cyber-security issue did not report it to anyone. It may be that some of this relates to scam emails from fraudsters which most of us would simply delete, but it perhaps indicates there is an issue in what and how cyber security issues should be dealt with.”

The technology audit report is available to read on the Law Society of Scotland website.

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