Cybersecurity in law firms

According to Legal Week, cyberattacks on UK law firms climbed by nearly 20% between 2014 and 2016. The prevalence of cyberattacks is growing and there’s no doubt law firms are hackers prime targets. Our last blog post highlighted cybersecurity will be a top priority for the legal industry this year, here we outline some key considerations for your firm:

Consider the facts

In April 2016, a large-scale cyberattack took place against 48 major law firms, including global giant Allen and Ovary. You would expect such a large firm to have heavy security measures in place to prevent data loss, wouldn’t you? Correct, however even the best thought out security strategies are vulnerable. Cybercriminals are becoming smarter, and if this attack has taught us anything, it’s that firms off all shapes and sizes are on the hit list of cyber criminals.

FACT: The Solicitors Regulation has highlighted data protection and confidentiality should be a top priority for all law firms.

Consider the costs

Along with risk, the cost of a data breach is also increasing. Research from IBM has found that the average consolidated cost has grown from 3.8 million to 4.8 million from 2015 to 2016. And the bad news? These costs are expected to rise in 2017.

Moreover, The Annual Fraud Indicator estimates cyber-crime costs businesses around £193bn per annum. On top of ransom fees, a cyberattack could also cost you loss of data, passwords and bank account numbers, not to mention theft of account funds. The cost to your business could be greater, have you considered the cost to your customers? Lastly, remember the downtime of an attack can impact your billable time too!

Consider a strategy

Security spans across more than passwords and anti-virus software. To ensure your security strategy is bulletproof, ask yourself the following:

  1. Do you have a disaster recovery strategy in place?
  2. If yes, have you carried out a complete Disaster Recovery test within the last six months?
  3. Has a security vulnerability test been completed in the last twelve months?
  4. Are there internal network controls in place to achieve segregation and ensure confidentiality?
  5. Do you have appropriate policies and procedures in place to protect your business data?

If you’ve answered no to any of these questions, or are uncertain of your answers, it may be time to review your security strategy!

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