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15 August 2017 at 09:00 BST

Corrs hires ethical hacker as it launches cyber rapid response team

The Australian law firm is ready to rock when it comes to data breaches, hacks or cyber security issues.

Bruce Rolff

The firm will ensure that in the event of a breach or cyber 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 two key experts.  Phillip Magness is a forensic IT expert with over a decade of experience in the digital forensic department of the Australian Federal Police. Joining Corrs as national forensic technology manager, Mr Magness is  experienced in gathering forensic evidence and assisting lawyers to understand and prove the wrongdoing.  Georg Thomas, national security and 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. In his previous role with a global advisory firm based in New York, Mr Thomas 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.  

Business systems

The two will work with partners across the country to provide the service. 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. 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.

Data breach

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.


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