Keeping the legal sector protected against cyber threats
Published: 4th May 2023
The legal sector has undergone significant digitisation over the last few years, as it has brought in new technologies and adapted to the increased expectation for hybrid working brought on by the pandemic. While this should be celebrated, it does not come without risk. Increased use of technology brings with it additional exposure to cyber threats. A reliance on the systems being used means there is more to lose in the event of a successful attack.
Law firms are being targeted by cyber criminals due to the sheer volume of sensitive and valuable information they possess, such as confidential client data and financial records. On top of this, the threat landscape is constantly expanding. The growing use of bots, AI and automated scripts that scour the internet looking for vulnerabilities have made robust cyber security an essential part of modern operations in the legal sector.
To continue working efficiently and safely, and to properly integrate new technology into the workplace, law firms need to ensure their cybersecurity environment is up-to-date and fit for purpose. A proactive approach to cyber risk management must become part of the industry’s culture.
Putting robust cyber security measures in place
Implementing effective cyber security solutions and practices is crucial for law firms, but it’s not easy. The cyber security market is flooded with options, and, without a deep understanding of cyber security technology, it can be hard to determine which tools and technology are right for your firm.
To help make the right decisions, legal practices should assess the current level of protection across their network, to identify and start addressing any weaknesses. Performing risk assessments, reviewing software and technology, and testing defences is a good starting point, but the full breadth of work required will depend on the size and specifics of your business.
Seeking guidance from cyber security experts can help firms ensure they are well-protected and equipped to tackle and respond to threats. In today’s world, where cyber threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated and frequent, it’s more important than ever to prioritise cyber security.
Improving cyber hygiene and staff awareness
Assessing and reviewing your cyber security practices isn’t the only measure needed to improve security. A firm’s employees, at all levels of the business, must understand how they can help prevent breaches. Social engineering attacks – like phishing, vishing, smishing, pretexting, baiting, tailgating, piggybacking and quid-pro-quo attacks – have become the biggest security risk facing law firms, meaning firms need to work on strengthening their human firewall.
This starts from the top, building a culture of cyber awareness throughout the business and implementing ongoing training programs to ensure employees understand how they can safeguard their firm. An organisation’s security is only as strong as its people, and with human error having the potential to bring down even the strongest cyber security environment, making staff aware of cyber threats and the policies they need to adhere to is an important step in protecting the data of both your firm and your customers.
Cyber insurance is not protection
Cyber insurance is a last resort to mitigate damage and cannot protect against, or retrieve, stolen data. In the legal sector, cyber insurance has historically covered legal fees, data recovery expenses, and compensation for customers whose personal information was stolen.
However, as cyber threats become more commonplace and sophisticated, insurance companies are no longer able to offer the same assurances they once did. If a company’s cyber protection isn’t strong enough, it is unlikely the company will be granted a policy or a pay out in the event of an attack. As a result, strong security must become the priority, with or without insurance.
Protect your firm from cyber crime
Robust cyber security is imperative. That is why we’ve put together a practical guide that will help you understand your current levels of protection, and the steps you need to take to build a multi-layered approach to security. Our whitepaper, Improving your law firm’s cyber security, provides further information about the topics mentioned here and details how you should start to strengthen your cyber security.
By taking a proactive approach to cyber risk management, law firms like yours can continue to reap the rewards of digitisation with the peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to stay protected in an increasingly complex threat landscape. Download the whitepaper today by filling in the form below.