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California faces cybersecurity expert deficiency

General counsel speculate a higher proportion of experts have been brought in-house instead of working for firms

So, your company has been hacked. Who do you call? One report out of California says that is a tougher question to answer than you may think.

According to a cover story in the Los Angeles Daily Journal, general counsel say there is a shortage of qualified cybersecurity legal experts in one of the country’s major tech hubs. While need has exploded, supply has not kept up with demand.

The Daily Journal spoke with LinkedIn Corp.’s General Counsel Erika Rottenburg, who speculated that technology companies were bringing in most cybersecurity experts as inside counsel, leaving law firms with few options.

However, that doesn’t mean major technology companies are relying solely on inside counsel. Cisco Systems Inc. General Counsel Mark Chandler was quoted saying he relies on outside counsel for strategic advice on regional and international cybersecurity regulations.

So how can California law firms fill this gap? According to Greg McNeal of Forbes, the answer may just lie with law schools and certification programs.

Groups such as The International Association of Privacy Professionals  provide certification programs for U.S., European, Canadian, U.S. government and IT-related privacy standards. In addition, McNeal notes that opportunity may be available for law schools to attract students with dedicated cybersecurity courses if the schools are “nimble enough to respond to the demand.”

According to an InformationWeek survey from earlier this year, cybersecurity experts earn more than their nonsecurity counterparts, with certified attorneys earning an average of $10,000 more per year than noncertified attorneys.


For more on cybersecurity, check out these InsideCounsel stories:

Obama appoints McAfee CTO as DHS undersecretary of cybercrime

Five hackers charged in biggest cyber crime case in U.S. history

Eight charged in cybercrime scheme targeting banks, government

FTC defends decision to sue Wyndham after data breach

Assistant Editor

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

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