Imminent cyber threats facing businesses have become much more prevalent within recent years, and the risk won’t be diminishing any time soon. Whilst data protection is an issue that runs across the board for all businesses, it is particularly important that law firms keep a more vigilant eye on their cybersecurity.
Law firms house information within their systems that relates not only to the personal information of their clients, but also to particularly sensitive matters that include confidential legal and court documents. If this information should fall into the hands of cyber attackers, it could prove incredibly damaging to all parties affected, which makes law firms a particularly large target for hackers who know how valuable this information is.
Cyberattacks are not only dangerous because they will diminish client trust and put them at risk; they are also extremely costly. If the correct practices are not put into place to prevent data breaches, there may well be a cyber attack that could become incredibly difficult to bounce back from.
The Risk of Data Breaches for Law Firms
In 2018, 60% of law firms reported a cyber breach. As mentioned, because of the type of information that is stored within their systems, law firms are a huge target for hackers. This is especially true when it comes to ransomware, as this type of malware restricts your access to data and demands you pay a ransom before they return your access. Hackers attempt to garner hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransomware fees from law firms who need to protect this sensitive information.
Sensitive information housed within law firms is especially personal and can include names (of both the offended and the defense of any case), addresses, information relating to the nature of their cases, photographic and videographic evidence, Social Security numbers, financial information, and more. Law firms simply can’t afford to let this data fall into the hands of opportunistic threat actors and then pay up an exorbitant ransomware fee to get it back.
But while ransomware is a particularly vicious type of malware, virtually any type of attack that leads to stolen data can be incredibly costly for law firms. There are a plethora of associated costs involved with a cyber attack if you do not have the correct cybersecurity in place. In fact, IBM puts the average cost of a data breach at $3.92 million, and while this number may be smaller for smaller firms, the cost still reaches well into the hundreds of thousands for any firm.
This type of payout could drastically damage your firm, and even bankrupt some firms. Although many firms will have an attitude that it won’t happen to them, the risk is only increasing and the backlash for a cyberattack becoming more severe. In 2017, for example, DLA Piper came under a major cyber attack, leaving the company without phone lines and emails for three days. This led to a huge backlog of work and mammoth payouts to have the systems reinstated.
The takeaway from this data is that investing in cybersecurity planning has never been more important than it is now for law firms. But even though threats are continuing to become more sophisticated, so are the solutions you can implement to protect against them.
How Can The Attacks Be Prevented?
Prevention is better than the cure. Preventative cybersecurity services such as those offered by a Managed Service Provider (MSP) can easily be put into place and modified when needed to ensure that your software is fully protected.
One of the primary solutions you’ll want to seek, which is usually included in IT management services, is 24/7 system monitoring. Continual monitoring stops hackers from being able to easily infiltrate accounts and hack systems by immediately identifying and patching new vulnerabilities in your systems. This proactive approach protects against even the latest threats, as well as allows your business to develop unique cybersecurity strategies that align with business goals.
Other cybersecurity solutions that can help prevent attacks within your law firm and keep your data safe include the following:
- Remote backups of all data, which ensure it is correctly stored and adequately protected in the event of any outage or disaster.
- Layered security architecture, which establishes greater password protections, limited file access, and file encryption.
- Specialized hardware and software procurement, as well as necessary upgrades to the systems.
- Spyware solutions that will combat any SPAM and will filter any viruses flagging up on the system.
As law firms turn to more robust cybersecurity services and planning, they can protect client information and avoid costly damages. There are several advanced cybersecurity solutions that can be customized to your firm’s needs to ensure these attacks are prevented. It’s a much more wise solution to invest in cybersecurity first so you can avoid the exorbitant costs and damages of a data breach later.