BlackBerry Chief Legal Officer Steve Zipperstein shared his thoughts on cybersecurity and its impact on today's legal professionals in his presentation at the 2015 Chief Legal Officer Leadership Forum in Chicago on Sept. 30. In his presentation, "Developments in Cybersecurity for In-House Lawyers," Zipperstein noted that cyber threats are changing the way in-house lawyers operate.
According to Zipperstein, cyber theft and sabotage are among the most common cyber threats for today's organizations. As such, many organizations are hiring lawyers to understand these issues, Zipperstein said. In addition, Zipperstein said in-house lawyers who work with an organization's IT team can explore ways to minimize cyber threats: "[There is] lots and lots and lots of concern for those of us in-house to make sure we’re doing everything we can to work with our own teams, to work with our technical people and to make sure that we’re availing ourselves of the best possible technology so that if we get hacked and if we get sued we can at least proffer the defense that we did everything reasonably possible to prevent it."
Zipperstein also pointed out that cybersecurity is becoming an issue for members of the C-suite. However, he noted that executives that focus on cybersecurity can be proactive, and ultimately, reduce the risk of data breaches: " Cybersecurity has become a board level issue in corporations throughout the world. Look at Target. Target was hacked. The CEO of Target was fired. ... So boards of directors are now rightly concerned about their own liability and about the company’s liability for failure to maintain an adequate program to prevent, detect and deter cyber theft."