Cybersecurity: Corrs Cyber launched amid rising attacks

Australia’s first multidisciplinary rapid response cyber security team created to help businesses prepare for and recover from an attack
• Former AFP digital forensics expert Phillip Magness joins Corrs to provide forensic capacity
• ‘Ethical hacker’ Georg Thomas appointed as advisor in Corrs Cyber response team
Australia’s leading independent law firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, has today launched Corrs Cyber, Australia’s first multidisciplinary cyber security team to defend Australian businesses from cyber-attacks. Corrs Cyber provides businesses with unparalleled access to a combined team of data breach management specialists, including legal advisors, IT forensic investigation specialists, cyber risk, incident response consultants, and crisis and reputation management services.
The comprehensive team ensures that in the event of a cyber incident, such as a data breach, denial of service attack or ransomware incident, critical evidence is captured immediately while businesses also have access to resources to rapidly restore operational integrity. This includes finding the source of the breach, learning how it occurred, providing a legal response, managing and protecting the organisation’s reputation, and advising on what preventive steps need to be taken to minimise the risk of repeated instances.
As part of the launch, Corrs has appointed Phillip Magness, a forensic IT expert with over a decade of experience in the Digital Forensic department of the AFP. Joining Corrs as National Forensic Technology Manager, Mr Magness is uniquely experienced in gathering forensic evidence and assisting lawyers to understand and prove the wrongdoing.
Georg Thomas, National Security & Risk Manager, has also joined Corrs as a certified ethical hacker who understands how criminals and activists target systems. His role in the Corrs Cyber team provides a link between the technical response and the management response to a hacking incident.
From a legal perspective, the Corrs Cyber team includes Partners from Corrs offices across the country who have significant experience advising clients on legal issues around cyber security, including Partners Philip Catania, James North, Helen Clarke, Simon Johnson, Michael do Rozario and David Yates.
In addition to Corrs’ internal legal, forensic and cyber consulting capacity, Corrs has partnered with external incident response experts, including those focused on business systems and reputation management, positioning Corrs Cyber as the most comprehensive cyber security offering in the Australian market. Corrs also has partnerships in place with law firms across the world, and particularly in the United States, ensuring clients have access to immediate on-the-ground resources outside of Australia if required.
“There’s no doubt that cyber incidents are now a fact of modern corporate life, but it’s how an organisation prepares for an incident and responds after a breach that is critical. It is evident from recent events that there is a clear need in the market for companies to be able to turn to experts who can assist them to respond in a strategic, coordinated and informed manner. This can be the difference between business continuity and business failure,” said Corrs Partner James Whittaker, who is responsible for overseeing Corrs Cyber.
“Corrs already has one of Australia’s largest legal technology groups, and with the launch of Corrs Cyber we are now offering clients a differentiated service that can help them capture and analyse data when a cyber incident is known or suspected, preserving vital evidence and investigating what information has been accessed,” added Mr Whittaker.
With the ability to respond to any type of cyber incident, the team offers a complete, solution based round-the-clock cyber incident service. A 24/7 hotline is on hand to both initiate preparation for and respond to cyber incidents as effectively as possible.
In addition to helping companies respond to a cyber incident at the time of the event, the Corrs Cyber service also includes advice on data breach prevention to ensure businesses are prepared to respond in the instance of an attack. This includes conducting data protection audits and impact assessments, as well as the development and testing of response plans, including reporting, privilege, fraud response and requirements of external notifications.
Corrs Partner Philip Catania commented: “Numerous recent incidents have proven that businesses who have engaged with legal professionals before an incident has occurred are able to coordinate a more effective response, significantly limit financial and reputational damage, and recover faster. And with the introduction of the mandatory data breach notification scheme commencing in February next year, the time to take action is now.
“Contrary to common belief, it is not just large global organisations that are at risk of cyber-attacks or data security breaches – smaller businesses also face serious internal and external threats,” said Mr Catania.
About Phillip Magness, National Forensic Technology Manager, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Phillip was a member of the Australian Federal Police for 17 years and is recognised as one of Australia’s leading forensic technology practitioners. He has been involved in a wide range of investigations, inquiries and prosecutions and has given expert reports and evidence in over 100 cases.
Phillip is one of a limited number of people who can combine investigations experience, forensic expertise and an understanding of the law to offer clients a complete package of service.
His qualifications include degrees in policing, computing and a Masters of Information Systems Security. He is a Certified Computer Examiner, Certified Forensic Analyst and Certified Information Systems Security Professional. He is also a technical assessor in electronic evidence with the National Association of Testing Authorities.
About Georg Thomas, National Security & Risk Manager, Corrs Chambers Westgarth
Georg is a proven leader in information security, technology, governance, compliance, and risk, with expertise across many disciplines and industries in Australia, the United States, Europe, and Asia.
In his previous role with a global advisory firm based in New York, Georg consulted to organisations on their approach to Cyber Security and risk as well as leading a team of ethical hackers testing the security controls of organisations including Fortune 500 companies.
As a Certified Ethical Hacker, Georg provides perspective around the role of a Cyber Hacker – including how a hacker thinks, works, their approach and the different types of cyber-attacks which can occur and how.