Cybersecurity: Recent Intrusions, Risks and Ethical Obligations for Lawyers (2020)


Data breaches are an everyday event, and new technologies –and cyber threats –emerge constantly. Law firms and legal professionals are not immune to these threats, and, legal professionals have specific obligations to protect themselves and their clients from exposure to these threats.

Generally, lawyers know that they have a duty to preserve client confidences, but many may not realize how broad and far this duty extends in a digital world. Every attorney knows that attorney-client confidentiality is vital to the attorney-client relationship –however, do they all know how to protect that privilege in the digital world? Being aware of their ethical obligations to protect the confidentiality of their client information is one thing, but more and more of this information is being retained beyond the legal pad and within the digital realm. Lawyers should be aware of the types of data that hackers want, how those hackers may try to gain unauthorized access to that data, and what their ethical obligations are to maintain confidentiality of the data they possess.

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