Cybersecurity risks are inevitable. Therefore every organisation that retains personal data on EU individuals, or deal with EU citizens living outside its territory must implement data security measures.
Similarly, Law firms should protect their user’s data from cyber-attacks. Data experts offer steps to take and educate that a breach can offend the professional and ethical obligations that lawyers must uphold. They ought to keep their client’s information safe from unwanted access and disclosure.
Law firms are the easiest and interesting targets of intruders. Many tried to fix their cybersecurity practices to help clients; they ended-up attracting cybercriminals.
Many law firms are expanding their practices in terms of cybersecurity. Because, clients stay more concerned with legal counsel on breach preparedness and response, regulatory requirements, and risk management. Cybercriminals target law firms as their only motive is to steal sensitive client information.
Confidential corporate deals, privileged communications, nonpublic personal information and intellectual property, are just some examples of sensitive information law firms.
They collect personal data on a daily basis which is a prime interest of hackers or malicious insiders always seek to monetise, blackmail or identify insider trading opportunities.
However, according to the ABA 2019 Legal Technology Survey Report, almost 26 per cent of the respondents confirmed that their law firm encountered a data breach.
The data breaches can be catastrophic. The primary concern here is that data breaches violate the professional and ethical obligations.
But, lawyers must protect privileged client information from any kind of unwanted access and disclosure.
There are no hack-proof tools to deal with such incidents. Additionally, there are some steps such firm should take to mitigate the cybersecurity risks.
Conduction of Security Audits on a regular basis
Law firms do not contain efficient knowledge of tackling and managing cybersecurity levels.
As the American Bar Association states, “Information security starts with an inventory and cybersecurity risk assessment to determine what needs to be protected and the threats that it faces.” For more information visit here
Security audit conduction is integral for every law firm. Their audits must have the following questions:
- Does the firm have a data governance plan in place?
- Can the security team quickly locate and secure privileged data and sensitive client and firm intellectual property?
- Can the security team identify, manage and track who has access to sensitive information, and for what purpose?
- Is your firm’s information security for employees with mobile and/or BYOD devices?
- Can you ensure that employees do not use unsecured solutions—like personal email—to do their work?
- What technology solutions are deployed to protect sensitive information?
A Security Expert will be a plus point
An efficient chief information security officer (CISO) should be present in a law firm. He/she must have deep security experience and should be able to ensure that is your cybersecurity strategy is aligned with the firm’s overall strategy or not. The person should generate support for the resources entail and render ongoing direction to cybersecurity efforts.
Nonetheless, appointing a huge full-time security staff or a dedicated security operations centre (SOC) is not a requirement for every law firm. It depends on the size of the organisation. Cybersecurity plans should have an explicit balance amongst in-house and third-party sources for supporting plan and execution.
Another privilege of a CISO is that your customers can require it. 48% of law firms conducted a data security audit on their client’s demand in the previous year. Now, the complexity of audits of outside counsel’s technical competency and systems is raising in numbers every year.
Manage the Risk of Insider Threats
Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report signifies that 34% of all infringements were conducted by insiders.
Data violations or breaches mostly happen as a result of malicious activities or errs. For instance, when a misconfigured server or any employee of the company click on a phishing email link.
But, unfortunately, the insider threats can also remain undetected for a longer time. Later, companies pay huge money to inculcate or remediate them.
However, Security training and device security aids to mitigate such risks. Insider threat management also incorporates the implementation of technology solutions for identifying and decreasing the risk of malicious activity.
Maintain your Client Confidence and Trust
In the present day, technology is getting advanced and along with the increasing number of a data breach.
Now, the law firms are admitting how important these operational cybersecurity protocols are for them because they help the firm to protect sensitive client and employee data.
Every law firm must consider the steps mentioned above. These steps are known as fundamental business practices for up-graded firms.
If companies want to defend their perimeters and maintain their hard-earned reputation, they must follow or design such type of security protocols and defensive mechanism.
If the firms avoid potential disciplinary actions, they can lose their customer’s trust, which they have earned after years.