find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Rise in cyber risk leads to jobs boost

Rise in cyber risk leads to jobs boost


The growing influence of the internet in law has opened up a wealth of opportunities for cyber law specialists, according to cyber law expert Bradley Deacon.

Mr Deacon previously worked as a federal agent in the Australian Federal Police Computer Crime Unit Sydney.

He has experienced the rise of cyber crime first-hand and was a member of the team that imposed the first jail sentence on a computer hacker in 1995.

“The internet touches almost every area of the law,” Mr Deacon told Lawyers Weekly. “A host of opportunities for lawyers are opening up in the area of cyber law.”

While some view cyber law as a sub-specialty of intellectual property, it is becoming a much broader field, Mr Deacon explained.

Cyber law encompasses e-commerce, criminal cases such as child pornography and cyber bullying, hacking and doxing (publishing private information online).

It also deals with illegal online activity conducted through anonymous channels known collectively as the ‘darknet’.

“The internet as most users conceive it is only a fraction of the entire web,” said Mr Deacon.

The darknet, which can be accessed using encryption mechanisms like ToR, comprises around 200,000 to 400,000 sites, according to Mr Deacon.

“The darknet provides a marketplace for a wide variety of illegal substances, services, and communications,” said Mr Deacon.

Cyber spies and hackers targeting firms

Law firms, like all large businesses, are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks, said Mr Deacon.

Cyber criminals are finding ways to circumvent corporate system protections by gathering intelligence through social media before launching an attack, he continued.

Some perpetrators use a technique called 'phishing', whereby staff are lured into clicking innocent-looking links.

To make the link more convincing, cyber criminals include personal information about social media ‘friends’ or mention a work colleague by name, said Mr Deacon.

“And then the unsuspecting staff member opens the link which may be Ransomware or Malware,” he said.

“Law firms of all sizes are vulnerable,” continued Mr Deacon.

At least 80 of the 100 biggest firms in the US by revenue were hacked between 2011 and 2012, according to cyber security firm Mandiant.

“Since at least 2009, the FBI, the US Secret Service, and other law enforcement agencies have warned the managing partners of big US firms that their computer files are targets for cyberspies and thieves in China, Russia, and other countries, including the US,” said Mr Deacon.

These hackers are looking for valuable information about potential corporate mergers, patent and trade secrets and litigation plans, he added.

Mr Deacon said law firms are not yet responding to the threat of cyber crime through such measures as in IT security education, hardware encryption modules, next-generation firewalls and cyber incident response plans.

“I do not believe law firms have enough processes in place in general,” he said. “Hackers target corporations [and] go to great lengths to compromise large and small companies.”

Law firms also need to manage the risks associated with third-party outsourcing, he continued.

“They need stringent IT audit systems and the finest IT security team in place to keep a check on third-party service providers,” he said.

“[Law firms also need] watertight MOUs and service agreements in place to ensure the third-party provider allows access by the firms IT security team.”

Mr Deacon will be delivering a webinar for CPD for Me next Monday on the topics of Cyber Threat In The Digital Age and Demystifying Cyber Security The Darknet (Deep Web).

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Rise in cyber risk leads to jobs boost
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
Oct 24 2017
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Oct 24 2017
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...