In today’s economy, staying updated is the true key to getting ahead. After all, your soft and hard skills are only useful if you can apply them in a constantly changing business environment. Updated knowledge is especially crucial for lawyers, who have to juggle legal know-how alongside new developments in whatever industry they’re in. Even then, the amount of industries adopting new technological innovations — from cloud computing solutions to bespoke mobile apps — means that technological education is now a requirement for lawyers, especially freelance practitioners who are looking to build a solid client base.
The realm of cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is a growing risk for businesses, but most managers don’t understand the legal implications of having cybersecurity protocol, nor what to do in the event of a data breach. Data protection CEO Ermis Sfakiyanudis emphasises that legal counsel is vital in the aftermath of a data breach, as companies need to know who to contact and what to say. For example, legal counsel should be able to advise whether a business should contact its partners and suppliers, as well as help determine who can be held liable for the breach. This can be much easier to arrange when not in the heat of a ‘live’ incident response. From a lawyer’s perspective, cybersecurity is also required to secure your own operations. Above the Law states that lawyers are particularly susceptible to cybersecurity hacks, particularly because of the number of files that get sent back and forth between lawyers and clients. Opening just one wrong attachment can make your entire system susceptible to malware, which then puts your practice under jeopardy. As a freelance lawyer, arming yourself with a good cybersecurity system gives your clients the necessary peace of mind and thus boosts your credibility.
Christian Toon, Pinsent Masons CISO states that “Working in the supply chain with and for, some of the world’s largest organizations also puts you in the firing line of the criminal groups, hacktivists or even rogue nation states. As a freelance lawyer, it’s important that you follow the Acceptable Use Policies of your client as they will be certainly different than the last. Ensuring you protect your client’s data, systems and reputation are becoming an integral part of the relationship.” Christian continues “Email is still the biggest delivery mechanism for malicious software and more often the route in which the attackers gain access, you can never be too cautious. Report any suspicions immediately, if you’re not expecting it, don’t open it, ask for help in securing your email – every organisation will have teams to assist with this. Nothing is that urgent, that a phone call can’t be made to validate any instructions received on email”
Advising tech usage within industries
Tech innovations are innovating industries in a big way, and the logistics and transport industries are a perfect example of where such innovations are taking place. Verizon Connect points to telematics as a recent addition to logistics operations, as it combines the IoT and communication devices to be able to track GPS location, fuel consumption, and even vehicle conditions. A telematics solution requires a company to invest in communication tech and computing systems that can help record and track the data. For businesses that want to invest in new tech solutions, legal counsel is required to help them partner with reputable service providers. The same can be said for the infrastructure and construction industry. As mentioned in our Multinational Infrastructure and Construction Case Study post, companies within these industries often work under strict time constraints and thus rely on tech to help them reach targets. Large-scale equipment can help labourers complete manual tasks; good legal counsel helps companies ensure worker safety when it comes to implementing such equipment. Legal counsel can also help companies come up with a comprehensive benefits package for construction workers. As the tech industry shows no signs of slowing down, lawyers will be continue to be tasked with the mission of helping clients navigate how to make the tech work for them. Tech education also ensures that lawyers themselves are kept abreast of any new cybersecurity trends, which can then help secure their practice against attacks.
This article was contributed by external guest author Jane Bronson.
The leading global provider of flexible law firm-led solutions. Complementing the world-class services of Pinsent Masons, Vario builds flexible legal solutions tailored to specific business requirements and fulfilling the needs of a modern freelance community.