The risk of financial loss, disruption or damage to the reputation of a law practice due to computer hacking, cyber extortion and ransomware, business interruption and unintended disclosure or destruction of confidential information is a serious threat and will become a reality for many legal practices.
Recent experience with malware like 'WannaCry', 'Petya' and NotPetya' has shown that you don't need to be a target to become a victim of cyber crime.
In conjunction with the Law Society of NSW, Lawcover and its professional advisers have been examining ways to raise awareness about cyber risks in legal practice and to assist in mitigating this evolving business risk amongst its nearly 6,500 law practices.
Lawcover has purchased a group cyber risk insurance policy that will provide foundational cyber risk cover to insured law practices at no cost. This cyber risk policy provides crisis assistance and protection from losses to a limit of $50,000.
This policy has been tailored specifically for law practices and sits adjacent to the Lawcover professional indemnity insurance (PII) policy. It provides cover for first party losses, as well as specified third party losses which are not otherwise covered by the PII policy.
The cyber risk policy is a foundation from which each law practice can assess its own risk (either independently, or through an insurance broker or professional adviser). Each practice can decide whether the coverage provided is sufficient for its needs, or consider purchasing an increase in the limit and breadth of cover by approaching the issuing insurer, subject to underwriting review.
The Lawcover Board will consider prior to 30 June each year thereafter, whether to extend the group cyber policy for an additional twelve month period.
This initiative recognises the threat that cyber risk poses to the legal profession. Lawcover and the Law Society of NSW are committed to providing the guidance and resources necessary to keep law practices safe.