ALM Intelligence‘s second annual Law Firm Cybersecurity Report found that vulnerabilities in law firms’ data and cyber security present an unprecedented existential threat. As news of massive ‘hack attacks’ and cyber security breaches have often dominated the headlines in recent years, corporate demand for legal expertise in information security, compliance and incident response has grown dramatically.
As a consequence, the revenue opportunity for cyber security firms has grown as well.
Foreign actors have targeted transactionally oriented firms in an effort to obtain confidential, market-moving information and trade on it.
Daniella Isaacson, co-author of the report, assessed the situation and said, “Many firms’ confidence in their own cyberattack preparedness seems misguided. Our research indicates that most remain surprisingly unprepared for the threat. For example, many never test their cybersecurity protocols. This means that on the day of a breach, those firms are using an unproven response plan.”
Taking Isaacson’s forewarning into account, the focus quickly turns to what firms can do to prevent any potential cybersecurity threats in the future.
Above The Law outlines six steps that both firms and individual litigators can take in order to make themselves less vulnerable to cyber attack.
- Don’t be lax; make cybersecurity a priority.
- Backup, backup, backup — early and often.
- Use two-factor authentication.
- Consider using a password manager.
- Look into encryption to protect the privacy and confidentiality of your (and your clients’) data.
- Educate your colleagues about cybersecurity.
The tips, derived from expert panels at the recent ABA TECHSHOW, featured tech consultants Sherri Davidoff and Adriana Linares. Linares summed up the relationship between legal firms and cybersecurity in one sentence: “Eighty percent of law firms have been hacked, and the other twenty percent are either lying or don’t know about it.”
While security is never truly ‘perfect’, both individuals and firms can, and should, try to do better over time. You — and your clients — will be glad you did.