Top ten tips for better security

5 July 2023

On 4th July we held a well-attended seminar on cyber security and the law. The event was hosted by Francesca Whitelaw KC, who with Jason Beer KC acted for South Wales Police in the Court of Appeal in the world’s first case on the lawfulness of automatic facial recognition, R (Bridges) v Chief Constable of South Wales Police.

The keynote speaker was Christian Toon, Head of Cyber Professional Services at Pinsent Masons, who spoke engagingly about the external and internal threats facing companies in every sector.

He was followed by Aaron Moss who talked about legal and regulatory risks arising from cyber attack, and the interplay between cyber security and corporate liability. Aaron spent much of his talk exploring urgent applications for interim injunctions made in the immediate aftermath of a cyber attack, most recently considered by the High Court in Armstrong Watson LLP v Persons Unknown. Following the three talks, there was a lively discussion between the panel and attendees, including an exploration of the practical benefits of such injunction applications.

Then Robert (Bobby) Talalay discussed rogue employees, developments in respect of vicarious liability as it applies to data, and the challenges for and liabilities of employers in securely retaining data.

Here are Christian Toon’s top ten takeaways for better security which apply at home and in business:

  1. Update: Always keep your software updated. Regularly update your operating systems, applications, and software to benefit from the latest security patches and bug fixes. By doing so, you can stay one step ahead of potential cyberattacks.
  2. Use strong passwords. Ensure your passwords are unique and strong, combining upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays or pet names.
  3. Enable two-factor authentication (2FA) wherever it’s available. By activating 2FA, you add an extra layer of security to your accounts, requiring a second form of verification alongside your password, such as a code sent to your mobile device.
  4. Educate yourself. Stay informed about common cyber security threats and best practices. Regularly educate yourself and your employees on identifying phishing emails, suspicious links, and other potential risks.
  5. Backup your data. Regularly back up your important files and data to an external hard drive or secure cloud storage. This ensures that you can recover your information in case of a breach or data loss.
  6. Think about your third parties, business partners and all other entities who need you to connect to their systems, or them to yours. They should have the same or better levels of security. Some even mandate levels of security you need to meet to win business.
  7. Secure your Wi-Fi networks. Set up secure Wi-Fi networks at your home and office. Use strong encryption, change default passwords on routers, and avoid public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive transactions.
  8. Limit access and privileges. Implement user access controls within your business. Grant employees access only to the resources necessary for their roles, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  9. Regularly monitor accounts. Keep a close eye on your financial accounts, personal emails, and other critical online accounts. Report any suspicious activity immediately to the respective service providers.
  10. Develop an incident response plan. Create a comprehensive plan for your business, outlining steps to be taken in the event of a cyber security breach. This will help minimize the impact and allow for a swift and effective response.

We hope you find these ten essential steps to enhance your security and preparedness in the face of cyber threats useful. Remember, by staying vigilant and implementing these measures, we can protect ourselves, our businesses, and our personal lives from potential cyber security breaches.

5 Essex Court’s specialist information law barristers continue to be at the cutting edge of this developing field. If you would like to get in touch, please contact Mark Waller, Senior Clerk.



Francesca Whitelaw KC

Call 2003 | Silk 2023

Robert Talalay

Call 2010

Aaron Moss

Call 2013

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