A new questionnaire designed to help law firms better assess the cybersecurity arrangements of the chambers whose barristers they instruct has been launched today (Friday, 25 March).
The standardised form has been devised by a joint Law Society of England and Wales and Bar Council working group, representing barristers, leading law firms and IT professionals working in chambers.
“Law firms and chambers, like all other businesses, are potential targets for the ever-growing threat from cyber criminals,” said Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce.
“Because the Law Society has developed this questionnaire in partnership with the Bar Council, solicitors can be confident that the chambers they instruct should feel comfortable completing it.
“We know that no one tool can offer complete protection against cyber threats so firms will need to continue to take other precautions, but the development of the questionnaire is an important step in the right direction.”
Mark Fenhalls QC, Chair of the Bar Council, said: “This valuable new tool will help reassure clients that data is kept as secure as possible.
“The joint work of the Law Society and the Bar Council will make it easier for solicitors and barristers to defend themselves against cyber attacks.”
The idea behind the new questionnaire is to streamline and standardise the process for law firms to check the cybersecurity arrangements of the chambers whose barristers they instruct.
With just 26 questions compared to other non-standardised forms which are often much longer and ill-suited for the purpose of checking chambers’ cybersecurity, it is hoped the questionnaire will reduce the administrative burden for both the chambers responding and the law firms assessing those responses.
The Law Society and Bar Council recommend that chambers work with their IT suppliers and maintain an up-to-date copy of their responses to make available to instructing solicitors and that they should aim to revise these every six months.
The cyber questionnaire was launched at the Law Society’s Risk and Compliance Conference.