6 Hours of Social Media Blackout in Arbitration? The Cybersecurity Perspective
Insights Katie Hyman · October 13, 2021
Did Monday 6th October 2021 feel like a snow or rain day to you? With Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp down for nearly six hours, panic and confusion took over as millions of users could not access their most-used apps and websites. Millions of people and businesses of all sizes reliant on these platforms as their main line of communication felt adrift, but there was an additional undercurrent of anxiety: what or who had caused this? Did stakeholders in arbitration feel the same way, especially within its more digitized post-pandemic setting?
Many wondered whether there had been a hack or data breach compromising the valuable information already shared on these apps. The fact that it began only a few hours after breaking news concerning Facebook only ramped up the speculation.
Reasons to care
As more and more of our lives take place online, cyber attacks seem to increase even more quickly. Reports indicate that, even though the year is not over, there was a 125% increase in cyberattacks in 2021 compared with the year before.
Arbitrators should take note. As discussed in the webinar “Arbitrators and their online identity: a double-edged sword”, social media has become an increasingly important tool for arbitrators building their brands, developing their careers, and expanding their networks. As the participants of that webinar discussed, arbitrators using social media in this way should not lose sight of the need to secure their online identities. Being alert to phishing attacks, which are also possible via instant messaging on social media; using secure passwords; and conducting arbitrations (and related communications) via secure portals are key. In addition, just as businesses need to develop cybersecurity response plans, arbitrators should be thinking along the same lines. Are you ready to respond to an incident quickly? Do you really know the data flows applicable to the storage of all your documents and client work? Are you continuing to educate yourself on the latest threats, ransomware, and cybercrimes that may be associated with arbitration?
Rimon has 45 offices across five continents. The firm is widely known as being at the vanguard of legal innovation. The firm has been repeatedly recognized by the Financial Times as one of North America’s most innovative law firms. The firm’s Managing Partners were both named ‘Legal Rebels’ by the American Bar Association’s ABA Journal and have spoken on innovations in the practice of law at Harvard and Stanford Law Schools. Rimon and its lawyers have also received numerous awards for excellence, including from Best Lawyers and Chambers.