Lawyers and law firms are trusted continuously with highly sensitive information about their clients, making the need for effective data security to be of critical importance. Law firms need to be smart about data protection. Unfortunately, law firms don’t always take the appropriate precautions when protecting their clients’ confidential data and intellectual property.
Many law firms – and cyberattack victims in general – are hacked without detection. In fact, these hacks can sometimes go for months without being detected. When this happens, sensitive data is continuously leaked over an extended period.
According to a report by LogicForce, about two-thirds of law firms reported a cyber breach in 2016-2017. When an attack occurs, hackers can gain access to emails, private records, and other sensitive client documents.
So how can you protect your clients and your law firm from these devastating data breaches?
Essential Aspects of Controlling Data Loss for a Law Firm
Law firms can be attacked many different ways – via mobile devices, home networks. Phishing scams, business email compromise and failure to install security patches to design vulnerabilities.
A law firm should be able to demonstrate that is has a secure information security program 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 t advance its cyber risk program.
The rise of BYOD
Law firms also need to be aware of the threats that the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend bring to their firm. While personal devices allow users to access what they need where they need it, it also means more devices and platforms need to be protected.
Law firms need to look into software that allows employees to access data only through trusted devices, apps, and cloud services.
Emailing Confidential Information
Emailing confidential client information can expose your law firm to cybercriminals. Many lawyers send files with sensitive information via emails even though this process is not always secure.
To prevent valuable data from being hacked via email, companies are relying on cloud services to handle sensitive information. Law firms can choose from Software as a Service (SaaS0, Platform as a Service (PaaS), or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to help with their cybersecurity needs.
Data security for Law Firms
A data security breach will not only have legal and financial ramifications, but it could also impact the relationships you have built with your clients.
Clients trust law firms with their most valuable information. Law firms need to implement cybersecurity programs that will help to reduce the risk of breaches, improve response protocols, and mitigate financial and reputational loss.
Beyond having the proper cybersecurity tools in place, employees must have effective and ongoing cybersecurity training.
Firms that fall behind with cybersecurity protection could see a loss of business as client expectations rise and attackers become more advanced and persistent in their efforts.