The Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC) – in collaboration with the Cambodia Academy of Digital Technology’s Institute of Digital Governance – has organised a seminar for lawyers on cybersecurity.

BAKC president Ly Chantola said at the March 14 opening of the online seminar that cybersecurity issues could easily affect lawyers or other professionals. The seminar is being held under the theme “Lawyers and technology: Is Cybersecurity a threat or an opportunity?”

Advances in technology and telecommunications continue to occur daily around the world, and in the context of globalisation, Cambodia has also been affected by these advances through the personal use of smartphones and smart devices and communication applications such as Telegram, Whatsapp, Facebook, Zoom and Google Meetings, among others, he added.

He said that using technology for professional or business use is necessary – especially for offices, law firms and legal teams – to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of providing services to clients.

“Some people may think that the legal profession in Cambodia has no direct connection to cybersecurity. But if we take a closer look at the issue, it becomes obvious that cybersecurity could affect us at anytime – whether an individual lawyer or the entire profession,” he said.

Chantola said any electronic device – or the confidential files stored on it – could be vulnerable if any of the parties involved do not understand how to protect themselves against theft, cyberattack or the loss of files – any of which could happen through various means.

The keynote speaker of the workshop was Ou Phannarith, director of Information and Communications Technology Security at the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

Phannarith said that through the use of unlicensed software programmes, users could easily lose data files to invasion by cybercriminals.

He said that when a computer contains important data, it must be protected with a combination of methods. Otherwise, cybercriminals may hack the system and delete valuable information – or distribute it in the public domain, as has already happened in Cambodia.

“Protecting a computer system is like protecting a house. If it does not occur to us that thiefs might break through the roof, then that is exactly how they will get in. That being said, cybercriminals are often more resourceful than run-of-the-mill criminals, which makes planning a defence more complex,” he said.

Phon Daro, representative of the digital academy’s institute of governance, said this workshop would provide the knowledge and skills – through the combined experience of its instructors and speakers – to allow lawyers and other professionals in the field of justice to protect themselves from cyberattack.