A free online training course is to be launched to help members of the legal and accountancy professions develop cyber attack protection skills.
Due to be announced by the Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey, the training is part of the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme and will educate legal and accountancy professionals to: understand the basics of the cyber threat including techniques such as phishing and social engineering; help clients understand cyber risks and possible impacts; offer advice on best practice and signpost to advice/solutions; and better understand how to protect client data.
The e-learning comprises four modules: an introduction which describes the risks and impacts on business and individuals; responsibilities for lawyers & accountants (e.g. data protection); how to manage the cyber risk, including where businesses can get help from Government and the private sector; and scenarios, including best practice responses to cyber incidents and risks associated with new technologies.
The Government deems trusted professionals like accountants and lawyers to be on the front line of cyber attacks and also to be well-placed to encourage their clients to take appropriate actions to protect themselves.
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 we are launching today 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’s essential Government and industry work together to protect UK companies from online attacks that can cause millions of pounds worth of damage.”
Robert Bourns, deputy vice president of the Law Society, said: “As well as undertaking this essential training, I urge solicitors to take part in the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership, which shares cyber threat and vulnerability information in a secure online environment.”
Martyn Jones, immediate past president of Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, said: “Much of the risk centres on behaviour and ensuring employees do the right thing. The training launched today will help accountants become more knowledgeable and confident to support their clients in reducing risks and increasing their cyber hygiene.”