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The recent Love Bug internet crisis demonstrates to us all why information security has become a critical mission to law firms. Five years ago, IT was little more than a filing cabinet. Now it is the fuel of a firm’s growth. The trend is towards coherence, the integration of information from all sources, and the more integrated we are, the more vulnerable we become.The importance of computer-based communication and storage can only grow. This applies internally and in our relationships with clients. There are also particular issues relating to the use of dealrooms for interaction with clients and other professionals. The enormity of the issue is illustrated by the fact that in 1999, the value of the internet economy was already $300bn, larger than the energy or telecom sectors. This year, at $500bn, it is set to overtake the automotive sector, which took 75 years to reach its present value.

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