This post was written by William Scarbrough, chief operating officer of Bodman PLC

This year’s Law Firm CFO/CIO/COO Forum in New York City will focus on data privacy, security and the globalized law firm, certainly one of the biggest and most important management challenges facing law firm leaders today. Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute has assembled a particularly impressive group of law firm executives, in-house counsel, technology experts, and academics to share best practices, innovations, and challenges. At the time of writing, over 100 CFO/CIO/COO Forum attendees had been confirmed. We are all seeking the magic, simple, inexpensive answer to these challenges.

Speakers at the program will talk about recent security breaches at major companies, cyber warfare and state-sponsored hacking, the security concerns of cloud and mobile technology, expense management strategies for law firm data security, fostering a culture of vigilance, new ethical obligations in cyber security, and cyber liability insurance.

I will participate in a panel discussion on preparing for a client security audit. The session will be moderated by Bradley Christmas, managing director of nSource. My fellow panelists will include Michael Donnelly, chief information officer at Simpson Thacher, William Gregory, director of technology at Jones Day, and Andrew Jurczyk, chief information officer at Seyfarth Shaw.

Financial institution clients, primarily due to increased federal regulation, have been at the forefront of pressing their outside law firms to assess and improve the security of their information systems. Other corporate clients have followed suit. Audits of law firms have become increasingly common, with many firms responding to multiple client audits at the same time. The audits bring about important security improvements, but at growing cost.

Our panel will address how these requests come about and how law firms should best respond.  We will talk about how the audits have evolved and changed over time. I will share my own experiences at Bodman PLC, a 150-lawyer firm based in Detroit, including the growing variety of audits from clients in areas related to, and unrelated to, information security. We will also address how the demands of responding to client security audits can be managed.

This conference promises to be one of the most substantive and timely I have attended in years. More information can be found here.

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