Why Law Practices Can’t Afford to Ignore Cybersecurity

Why Law Practices Can’t Afford to Ignore Cybersecurity

Why Law Practices Can’t Afford to Ignore Cybersecurity
Posted on November 27th, 2023

Today, businesses are either fully immersed in technology or rapidly heading in that direction, and the legal industry is no exception. With access to vast amounts of sensitive data, law practices are attractive (and lucrative) targets for cyber thieves. Legal professionals should make it a priority to regularly assess their security posture and establish both short-term and long-term goals.

Law Firms Under Siege

Law firms are gold mines of confidential information, managing everything from client records to strategic case details and financial data. Shockingly, almost a third of law firms still haven’t adopted cloud storage, and a full 25% lack any form of cybersecurity awareness training. As cyber threats escalate, the legal sector finds itself behind the curve compared to other industries, risking both its reputation and the trust of its clients.

From Ransomware to Data Breaches

The most common types of cyber attacks targeting law firms include ransomware, data breaches, phishing, insider threats, and malware attacks. High-profile incidents like the attack on DLA Piper or the data breach that led to the Panama Papers scandal demonstrate just how catastrophic these attacks can be. Then there’s the threat from within: disgruntled employees or careless staff members can also compromise your data, making it essential to have a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that addresses both external and internal risks.

How Do You Protect Your Legal Practice?

Protecting any business from cyber threats requires proactive measures. It’s essential to practice good "digital hygiene"—clean up old files, keep up with software updates, and install antivirus software. Employee education is also critical; your staff should be trained to recognize and avoid common cyber threats like phishing emails. Regular backups of important data are non-negotiable, and for sensitive client information, encryption is your best friend. But managing all these aspects can be challenging, which is why a dedicated IT security partner like Southside CHI Solutions can be invaluable. We offer tailored strategies that fit your practice’s unique needs, helping you navigate the increasingly complex landscape of cybersecurity effectively.

The High Cost of Ignorance

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to cybersecurity. A single successful cyber attack can lead to reputational damage, revenue loss, ransom payments, and even legal repercussions.

Good news: Laws are changing to make sure the legal industry steps up its game on security. Starting July 1, 2023, lawyers in New York who renew their licenses have to show they’ve taken an hour of cybersecurity training. This could be just the start of more regulatory requirements and IT standards coming for law practices.

Given the confidential nature of the data they manage and the rising tide of cyber threats, legal professionals can’t afford to neglect cybersecurity. Contact Southside CHI Solutions at (773) 417-9994, we can help law firms focus on what they do best—serving their clients effectively and leaving IT security to us!

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