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Cyber security could be major issue in 2014

Posted by: Laurence Simons 06/01/14

In-house lawyers have seen many changes in their role over the last few decades, as compliance issues become integral to businesses hoping to trade across global borders and technology changes the way in which many firms carry out their roles.

The latter concern is likely to become even more important over the course of 2014, with the majority of businesses hoping to invest further in their IT resources throughout the year.

According to a new report from Deloitte, chief procurement officers (CPOs) across the globe are set to prioritise data analytics and other newfangled approaches as they attempt to stay ahead of their counterparts by gaining technologically-driven market insights.

Seven out of ten respondents said that they planned investment in IT over the next year. While 75 per cent of CPOs admitted their current analytics programme is based on retrospective information, many of them are hoping to make the shift to real-time in the near future.

Making these changes means "procurement will be enabled to make a meaningful contribution to decision making", Deloitte explained.

However, data quality remains a key problem, as does the capability of the personnel needed to carry out analytic tasks.

This sounds good, you might think - at least they're not investing in fountain pens or fancy typewriters. But for corporate counsel, the emergence of big data and information analysis raises a security minefield to be traversed with great caution.

It's not enough for in-house lawyers to simply scan the latest figures from their IT department and cross their fingers - collaboration between departments is crucial.

Catrin Griffiths, the editor of Lawyer magazine, dedicated an issue to this topic in October last year. In her keynote piece, she warned against the dangers of complacency.

"Business is interconnected. Senior partners have Facebook accounts. (And even if they don’t, their partners do.) Everyone brings their own devices into work and most of us have loyalty cards. An increasing amount of personal and institutional data is held in the cloud," declared Ms Griffiths.