Like many other industries, the legal sector faces its own unique set of cybersecurity related issues. Lawyers are required to protect the confidences of their clients, so it is vital that clients’ information is protected from an attack.
In a 2020 Survey conducted by the American Bar Association, they found that law firms use certain security tools less than half of the time. Those security tools include:
- Only 43% of respondents use file encryption.
- 39% of law firms use email encryption.
- Less than 50% of respondents use multi-factor authentication.
- Only 39% of law firms use intrusion prevention and 29% use intrusion detection.
There is significant room for improvement in the legal sector when it comes to some basic cybersecurity tools and processes, particularly when you think of the risk and reputation loss associated with a cybersecurity related incident or data breach.
Businesses of all sizes and industries are falling victim to cybersecurity attacks at an alarming rate, so it is important to be prepared to handle any incident.
To start, we are outlining the top 3 biggest cybersecurity threats to law firms.
- Phishing: A phishing attempt is a type of social engineering attack that tricks users into disclosing confidential information or clicking a malicious link. Typically, these scams arrive by email disguised as a vendor or other trusted source. The emails are designed to trick users into divulging login information, so hackers gain access to a firm’s network. Phishing scams are one of the top cybersecurity related incidents regardless of industry or company size, and hackers are getting more sophisticated by the hour.
- Data Breach: A data breach is the loss of critical and confidential firm information – this includes employee and client data. The loss of this information causes a devastating impact to a firm’s reputation and can majorly damage a client’s business as well. Data breaches occur due to user error, insider threats, or hacking. It is important that law firms have the proper security measures in place to prevent a data breach from occurring.
- Ransomware: Ransomware locks a firm’s network, encrypting files and preventing access unless a ransom is paid to the cybercriminals. Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly popular. 1 in 3,000 emails that pass-through filters contain malware, and on average, organizations pay a ransom of $233,217 in order to gain access back to the systems.