There’s no doubt that peoples’ inboxes have been inundated with emails referring to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
This new regulation is going to change how the internet collects and manages private information. While this regulation really serves to protect European Union citizens, it will impact the way that businesses who deal with the EU collect and protect data, too.
After all, it doesn’t matter if businesses are outside of GDPR borders; these businesses might still have connections to the EU through vendors, customers, or stakeholders, so it is important to understand GDPR and its effects.
According to this regulation, companies that deal with the personal information of EU residents are either data controllers (firms who collect data) or data processors (third parties with whom the data controller shares personal information). Data controllers can share their client’s personal information only with processors that provide written guarantees that the data is protected.
Understanding how law firms can share their client’s information is not only important for compliance with GDPR, but because of the highly sensitive nature of the data. For this reason, Law firms need to be smart about data protection.
Many hacks go unnoticed by their victims. It can sometimes take months to detect a breach, meaning that sensitive data is continuously leaked over that period. Hackers could potentially gain access to emails, private records, and other sensitive data.
Lawyers need to know how they can protect their clients from these often reputation ruining breaches.
Essential Aspects of Controlling Data Loss for a Law Firm
Law firms can be attacked many different ways – via mobile devices, home networks, or phishing scams, business email compromise, and even a failure to install security patches to design vulnerabilities.
Law firms should be able to demonstrate that they have a secure information security program in place, no matter the size of the firm. The information security program should address all three elements of cybersecurity risk: threats, vulnerabilities, and impact.
Not only should a law firm be able to present how it is addressing each risk component, but it also needs to give a security roadmap that shows how the firm will continue to advance its cyber risk program.
Emailing Confidential Information
Emailing confidential client information can expose law firms to cybercriminals. Many lawyers send files with sensitive information via emails, even though this process is not always secure.
To prevent emails with valuable data from being hacked, companies are starting to rely on cloud services to handle sensitive information. Law firms can choose from Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to help with their cybersecurity needs.
Data security for Law Firms
Security breaches can have negative consequences for finances and could also affect a law firm’s relationship with their clients. When law firms are victimized by security breaches, it makes them seem untrustworthy to their clients.
Clients trust law firms with valuable information. If law firms fail to implement cybersecurity programs to reduce the risk of breaches, improve response protocols, and mitigate financial and reputational loss, they risk falling behind with cybersecurity protection.