Solicitors urgently need to develop skills to protect their clients and themselves from cyber attacks, the government and Law Society will warn today.
They are to make available a bespoke free training course to help professionals protect themselves from information breaches and other threats that could potentially cost them millions of pounds.
Law Society deputy vice-president Robert Bourns (pictured) described the new online course, to be launched at the Law Society this afternoon, as 'essential'. He said: 'Cyber crime has the potential to compromise both clients' and solicitors' sensitive data. Training to raise awareness and understanding for all involved in practice is an important part of protection.
'That is why we are supporting our members by providing this bespoke training package, developed in partnership with the government and other professional bodies.'
The course is designed to increase awareness of common cyber risks and threats they may experience in the workplace and how to prevent and deal with them. It provides advice on how to safeguard digital information, raise awareness of cyber issues amongst clients and gives examples of how to deal with issues such as information breaches in the workplace.
Ed Vaizey, minister for the digital economy, said: 'Members of the legal and accountancy professions deal with sensitive client information on a daily basis and can be a target for cyber attacks. The new course we are launching today makes cybersecurity part of the day job for lawyers and accountants.
'It's essential government and industry work together to protect UK companies from online attacks that can cause millions of pounds worth of damage.'
The new online course is funded by the government's five-year, £860m National Cyber Security Programme. It will be available through the Law Society's website.