Pandemic management—information and cybersecurity—challenges and practical responses
Pandemic management—information and cybersecurity—challenges and practical responses

The following Risk & Compliance practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pandemic management—information and cybersecurity—challenges and practical responses
  • Legal and regulatory requirements
  • Confidentiality
  • Safeguarding client money and assets
  • Data protection
  • Cybercrime
  • Security of systems and devices
  • Reliance on ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD)
  • Video-conferencing
  • Responding to incidents
  • More...

Pandemic management—information and cybersecurity—challenges and practical responses

Pandemics are exceptional events which present organisations with difficult business conditions, uncertainty and particularly challenging information and cybersecurity issues. Office closures and social distancing required during a pandemic create unusual circumstances for businesses, including potentially managing an unprecedented number of staff who are working from home, some of whom having never done so before.

Key information and cybersecurity risks to consider and seek to mitigate during a pandemic center around:

  1. continued compliance with legal and regulatory requirements

  2. cybercrime

  3. keeping systems and devices secure, and

  4. staff awareness

This Practice Note considers each risk area and suggests practical steps you can take to mitigate them.

Legal and regulatory requirements

Sound risk management practices require you to identify, monitor and manage all material risks to your business. See Practice Note: Identifying and evaluating risk across the business. Information and cybersecurity are important risks for any business.

Identifying, monitoring and managing material risks is a regulatory requirement for solicitors and law firms.

Confidentiality

Solicitors and law firms must keep the affairs of clients confidential, unless disclosure is required or permitted by law or the client consents—see subtopic: Confidentiality and disclosure.

The SRA produced guidance on the potential impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), in which it was made clear that all firms must have measures in place to keep client’s information confidential.

Most firms will already have arrangements to protect client information for

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