Reports of cyber security breaches of law firms stay linked to the top of search engines results warning existing clients and deflecting potential new business. One leak can tarnish a firms’ reputation which could take years of energy and expense to repair.
According to a 2017 survey from The American Bar Association (ABA), 43% of law firms reported cybersecurity events while 23% were unsure. The ABA states that “clients are increasingly focusing on the information security of law firms representing them and using approaches like required third-party security assessments, security requirements, and questionnaires.”
These increasing cybersecurity liabilities have led some firms to implement measures to safeguard client information and adopt various security programs. However, less than one-third of law firms have planned to adopt full security assessments from independent third parties. Law firms need reliable cybersecurity frameworks to protect legal information, their clientele and their own liability.
Cybercriminals leak information for one of two reasons: to profit or make a personal or political statement.
Targeted data in a breach can include:
Consistently, law firms battle the threat of cyberattacks, which take a variety of forms. According to the ABA, the bigger the law firm, the higher the risk it has for a cyber attack. It is important for firm leadership to understand common cybersecurity threats and take steps to mitigate risk factors.
The American Bar Association (ABA) has established cybersecurity and data protection ethical obligations for lawyers through formal opinion 477R, 482, and 483, as well as Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1. The top security practices include obtaining cyber liability insurance, undertaking formal data protection assessment and developing data breach plans.
As a high value target for cyber hacking, law firms need to establish cybersecurity as a priority.
In 2016, three Chinese citizens received criminal charges in the United States for obtaining confidential corporate information by hacking into the networks and servers of law firms working on mergers and acquisitions involving Intel Corp and Pitney Bowes Inc.
The trio gathered inside information and placed trades in at least five business stocks based on data obtained from the law firms and profited by more than $4 million.
- U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan (link).
Cybersecurity attacks on law firms has led many to implement measures to safeguard client information and adopt various data security programs. Cybersecurity is essential to protect law firms from threats posed by cyber-criminals who would seek to benefit from the sensitive non-public information in their custody.
CyLogic deeply understands the threats faced by law firms. When the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) required a framework for secure usage of cloud services for their sensitive data, they created FedRAMP - the world's most comprehensive and strict cloud security standard.
CyLogic’s flagship offering, CyCloud, provides a secure enterprise cloud environment that delivers a higher level of security than any public cloud provider. Our team would be happy to discuss how we can assist you to mitigate the complex challenges faced by your law firm.
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Lawyers create and depend on a bond of trust with clients. Preserving and protecting clients’ sensitive personal information is an essential pillar for maintaining this trust. When a cyber-attack leads to a serious breach, the promise of confidentiality is at significant risk. The firm could be confronted with the loss of clientele, their professional reputation and significant liability.
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