Getting Ahead of Cybersecurity Issues

by Tony Flesor

Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie is teaming up with a Colorado Springs-based cybersecurity consultant in a strategic alliance that should bolster both organizations’ capabilities for serving their clients.

The alliance between Lewis Roca and eosedge Legal is an indication of how they are both responding to changes in the ways companies think about cybersecurity.

The alliance was announced Sept. 12, but its roots go back about two years ago when the firm started a program asking its lawyers to look at their practice areas and find opportunities to innovate. Firm managing partner Ken Van Winkle said Hillary Wells, head of the firm’s cybersecurity practice, began looking at data security and breaches and came up with the idea of partnering with eosedge Legal’s Doug DePeppe, a cyber law attorney and former advisor to the White House 60-day Cyberspace Policy Review and the then-National Cybersecurity Division within the Department of Homeland Security. Van Winkle said the idea was to couple the business side of cybersecurity and data protection with the legal side.

“Data protection rules and regulations are changing, and clients need to keep up,” Wells said. “In the past, data protection regulations focused primarily on financial institutions and the medical industry. Now, businesses in all industries, regardless of size, are facing legal requirements and potential liability for failing to employ appropriate data protection practices.” For instance, Colorado recently enacted new cybersecurity regulations that apply to businesses in all industries and its requirements for incident response are considered the strictest in the country.

For Lewis Roca, the alliance marks a change in approach to how the firm serves its clients. Van Winkle said it’s part of a strategy to serve as advisors to clients and work with them in a proactive capacity to get ahead of problems before they arise. “It’s a change in direction,” he said. “What we do is take the time to listen to our clients and evaluate what their needs are and respond to the market’s needs versus putting out a legal service and waiting for the need.”

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the October 1, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.