Our Summer Breakfast Series Train continued with our second stop in Washington, DC on July 17. The dialogue at Wednesday’s breakfast centered on corporate counsel’s growing expectation for law firms and third party vendors to come to the table with a higher level of cyber security capability, counsel, and advice. There seemed to be a very clear bottom line: the cost of doing business is increasing at a time when corporate counsel wants more busines for less money.

Corporate counsel at both our NYC and DC breakfasts stated that they expect more from their outside counsel with regards to cyber security knowledge, preparation, and protection. More specifically, there is a growing expectation and demand for outside counsel to invest in ISO certifications, cybersecurity insurance, and on-site inspections. While many corporate clients have a long history of exposing third party vendors to stringent security standards, law firms are now beginning to undergo the same level of scrutiny. Additionally, subcontractors of third party vendors, termed “fourth-party contractors,” are now beginning to be subjected to those same expectations for cyber security protection as well.

These new demands, expectations, and bright-line standards do not come cheap and I do not expect we’ll find many corporate counsel willing to pay for these security protocols, people, and technology. I expect many law defense firms to understandably and reasonably invest in these new standards for cyber security, data protection, and technology operations, but there are thousands more in the United States that will not be able to meet these new evolving and elevated standards for security protocols. What will they do? How will they compete? And who will help them?

Please join us as we continue this important conversation regarding the impact of cyber security on the delivery of legal services during our summer breakfast series. Our next breakfast event will take place in Chicago on August 7.