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Cyber Security

Government launches free online training course to help members of the legal and accountancy professions develop the skills they need to protect themselves and their clients from cyber-attacks.

The new course, developed by government and industry, will also enable lawyers and accountants to advise their clients. This will help UK businesses protect themselves from information breaches and other threats that could potentially cost them millions of pounds.

The Information Security Breaches Survey 2014, commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and carried out by PwC, found that 81% of large organisations and 60% of small businesses had suffered a security breach during the previous year. The average cost of an organisations’ worst breach was between £65,000 and £115,000 for small businesses and between £600,000 and £1.15 million for large organisations.

The course will 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.

Legal and accountancy professionals who take the course will be able to:
• understand the basics of the cyber threat including techniques such as phishing and social engineering
• be more confident when discussing cyber issues with clients
• help their clients understand cyber risks and possible impacts
• offer advice on best practice and signpost to advice/solutions
• better understand how to protect client data
• be more aware of how to handle information loss or theft, and be able to help clients recover and respond
• understand the commercial advantages of having good cyber security

The e-learning comprises 4 modules:

  1.  an introduction which describes the risks and impacts on business and individuals;
  2. responsibilities for lawyers and accountants (e.g. data protection);
  3. how to manage the cyber risk, including where businesses can get help from government and the private sector; and
  4. scenarios, including best practice responses to cyber incidents and risks associated with new technologies.

Minister for the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey 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, which was launched in October 2014, makes cyber security part of the day job for lawyers and accountants. It provides members of both professions with tailored and relevant guidance on how they can better protect themselves and their clients from cyber threats. It is essential that government and industry work together to protect UK companies from online attacks that can cause millions of pounds worth of damage.”

The free training programme has been developed by government in partnership with the Law Society; the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority and can be accessed online via the Law Society website.

You can also learn about how working in the ‘Cloud’ can help your company meet its data security obligations by visiting our website to see how we ensure the security of your data and also check out our data centre specifications.

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