Cybersecurity is an important consideration for all industries today. That’s blatantly apparent in some instances – credit card companies and retailers that handle consumer financial information are routinely targeted by hackers, for instance. However, what about law firms? Do law firms have unique security requirements that entail specific solutions?
Actually, they do.
Unique IT Security Requirements: the Cybersecurity Risks for Law Firms
In 2017, two of the largest law firms in the US, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, and Weil Gotshal & Manges, were caught in a breach that ultimately connected them with an insider-trading scheme to the tune of $4 million. And those are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
Law firms without an IT security solution in place may have been the victims of an attack and never even know it.
Why are hackers focusing on law firms?
The gain is easy to see with other targets – consumer and personal information, for instance. Law firms do have assets that data thieves covet, namely, valuable client information. However, because your firm also has contact information for your clients and others, including email addresses, it also means that thieves can use that information to cast a wider net, possibly even impersonating your firm in order to gain the recipient’s trust.
Just some of the potential in-roads a hacker might exploit include:
Finding a Solution to the Threat
Given that law firms face mounting cybersecurity threats, it is imperative that you know where to turn for a solution. Many firms state that cost is a serious factor affecting their ability to implement a cybersecurity solution. Thankfully, creating a customized solution that protects your firm and your clients’ data doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Where do you start, though?
Really, it all begins with an in-depth assessment of your current vulnerabilities. A vulnerability assessment will identify areas where remediation and further action are necessary. However, it is worth considering becoming involved in the assessment, because if the results are not protected by privilege, they may be used against you in a court of law.
Once the assessment has been completed and your weaknesses defined, the next step is to develop a cybersecurity plan based on your firm’s specific risks and then implementing the plan. Working with a reputable cybersecurity specialist is the only viable way forward here – attempting to go the in-house route will usually lead to additional weaknesses that data thieves can exploit.
Ultimately, working with a third-party cybersecurity specialist will help ensure that your clients’ data is safe and secure. It’s about protecting your reputation and ensuring client trust, which is something that you may not be able to rebuild once it has been lost.