Why is Cyber Security Important for Law firms?
Law firms have a wealth of sensitive information in their possession, making them a prime target of cyber-attacks. Clients entrust confidential information to law firms; therefore, if there is a breach that trust is compromised, the law firm's impact could be significant. In such cases, the client will end their relationship with the firm or sue for malpractice. Therefore, cybersecurity for law firms should be a top priority.
According to the American Bar Association, "Legal malpractice stemming from a data breach or other cybersecurity event is on the rise and - now more than ever - law firms must be aware of the theories behind the claims and how to avoid them."
How Can Cyber Breaches Damage Law Firms and Clients?
The law firm industry has significant risks of exposure to cyber-attacks. Incidents such as the "Panama Papers" are just one of the recent historical breaches that remain fresh in the minds. In actuality, the more significant problem lies undetected or ignored. Furthermore, a recent check of this industry confirms significant security gaps and vulnerabilities. Law firms are a target of choice for hackers as they contain a treasure trove of confidential clientele data; therefore, protecting this information is paramount.
Phishing is a deceptive attempt to trick victims into divulging confidential information by clicking on a link in an email or responding to a text or phone call. According to the "Information Age and the National Cybersecurity Center," Phishing is now the most common cyber affecting the legal sector. To make matters worst, cybercriminals targeting law firms have become more sophisticated by skillfully leveraging available public information about an organization via such social media medium as LinkedIn. One primary goal of such a Phishing email is explicitly designed to target a particular individual within the target company.
In general, Ransomware is designed to prevent access to a user's computer until a monetary sum is paid, usually in Bitcoin. Not only are law firms increasingly targeted providers to law firms such as TrialWorks. TrialWorks, a renowned software provider to the legal community, is frequently the target of ransomware attacks. According to "Law.com," more than one hundred law firms have reported data breaches. The same report indicates the problem is getting worst for law firms.
The human factor is sighted as the number one cause for cyber breaches within a law firm, either deliberately or through share negligence. The "Panama Papers" involving Mossack Fonseca was an example of this. Such exposures can vary from losing a computer containing client or company data, sending an email intentionally or unintentionally to an unauthorized person, or deliberately leaking sensitive information, as was the Panama Papers case. Employee negligence can put a company at risk and damage to the company and the client's reputation.
Malware is software that is specifically designed for the sole purpose of gaining unauthorized access to computer systems to do damage or steal data. Victims are tricked into unwittingly installing malware via email attachments offering free products or misleading messages to update their computers or software. Malware has an insidious trait. It steals information; it destroys the computer and networks system to mask its trail and origin. The destruction of the network decapitates the firm's ability to recover effectively.
Despite being the custodians and handlers of sensitive customer information/data, many law firms do not have a robust infrastructure to implement the necessary security controls, such as access control. As such, open and unmanaged Access Control is a significant contributor to security incidents in law firms.
Due to the increasing attacks and their sophistication, it is difficult for law firms to devote the time needed while dealing with clients to address the time required to address the ever-growing threats. As such, law firms are collaborating with managed Security Service Providers (MSSP) to deliver on their security needs, such as Phishing testing, Awareness education, policies, and incident avoidance.
New Requirement For Law Firms
Law firms face a new challenge in the form of cybersecurity preparedness requirements. The Lexcel Standard is the Law Society's legal practice quality mark targeted at Law firms. The "Lexcel Standard" is now required of law firms to be certified "Cyber Ready."
What is Lexcel?
How CORE Can Help With Cyber and Information Security For Law Firms
Our experts have demonstrated that implementing data protection measures and access control enables clients to control how their data is handled, who has access, and where and how it is used. Thereby significantly reducing the potential data leakage and unauthorized access.
At CORE, we work with you to ensure the solution selected and the processes implemented do not impede your business. CORE is your partner in cyber and information security.
Please send us a confidential email to begin looking at how we can help you.