Queensland Law Society

President's update - 4 July 2018

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Last week, we were reminded through the media about some of the shortcomings of our modern society – specifically around our reliance on technology. There are many benefits to transacting electronically, but where large sums of money are concerned, there are also significant risks.

While e-conveyancing isn’t mandatory in Queensland and only a tiny proportion of transactions are currently processed electronically, the issues reported in the media from other states have highlighted the need for a greater focus on cybersecurity for law firms.

Our clients trust us with their secrets, their money and their future. Many law firms hold and transfer client money on a daily basis, or direct others to do so. We have access to critical business data and our client’s most confidential information.

The Society and our Council has been mobilising to provide greater support to practitioners and firms so that they can improve their cyber defences. There are already resources available from Lexon, including the free online Lexon training pack, and the Society via our cybersecurity website page.

But we know more needs to be done. On Thursday 21 June, the Council approved the formation of the QLS Cybersecurity and Scam Prevention Working Group. This working group is charged with producing resources and response packages for practitioners including:

  • Guidance on how to conduct a cybersecurity self-audit
  • Advice on systems improvement to ensure a minimum level of cybersecurity protection for sole-practitioners, firms and clients
  • A first-response action plan for firms impacted by a cyber hack event

Our team is currently approaching members who have indicated an interest or background in cybersecurity to be part of this group, with an initial tranche of actions to be completed by 31 August 2018. So, watch this space. There’s certainly more resources and support to come from the Society to ensure firms and our clients are protected. 

Ken Taylor, QLS president