Cybersecurity threats and cyber risk are the biggest problems that companies across every industry are facing in 2018, including the legal industry. On average, cyber attacks happen every 30 seconds, and by 2019, most businesses will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 14 seconds. The reality that cybersecurity threats are on the rise and evolving is real, and data protection is absolutely vital. In the legal industry in particular, client’s and prospects alike are demanding higher standards from legal firms to meet cybersecurity standards and go above and beyond to protect their data. However, many firms are facing challenges to get their cybersecurity up to par.
The 2016 report from ABA titled, Legal Technology Survey Report, revealed that 30.7% of all law firms of 500 lawyers or more reported that prospects and current clients alike provided the law firms with security requirements that were expected to be met. Many legal firms are experiencing this today, two years later, and clients are demanding and expecting cybersecurity plans to be in place at a firm to protect their data.
With cybersecurity threats and cyber crime on the rise, law firms are finding it difficult to put together cybersecurity plans that not only protect their clients, but allow them to compete in the increasingly technology reliant legal industry. Why? The answer always goes back to the same thing: money. Lawyers unanimously agree that cost is the number one major factor as to why their cybersecurity plans are non-existent.
“Software costs a lot to keep up-to-date, monitoring costs even more, and hiring another internal IT person to handle it is out of the question. We just don’t have the revenue to back that.”
The legal industry is behind when it comes to cybersecurity, and their lack of expertise on the subject, and their failure to realize the benefits of their investment, hinders their advancements. They focus only on the costs: cost of hardware updates, software updates, monitoring, etc. Unfortunately, they never think about the costs associated with not investing in cybersecurity until their firm is breached.
But cybersecurity is no longer an option, it is a necessity and a way of doing business. With growing pressure from clients, law firms in 2018 are now making cybersecurity their number one focus.
Why Cybersecurity Should Be Important to Your Firm
Legal firms, for years, have been highly targeted on the digital front. Why? Legal firms hold vital data about their clients, they are involved in major deals, and lawyers are almost always emailing attachments back and forth in multiple conversations. For hackers, there are many points of entry to infiltrate legal firms, and they have a lot to gain from doing so.
In addition, cybersecurity threats and attacks have become so sophisticated that they know who to attack and why. The legal industry is a hot target because it is known for its weak cybersecurity and its lack of protection, and hackers are quick to exploit it.
How You Can Start Implementing Cybersecurity Plans
Despite the fact that cybersecurity can be costly and is a huge undertaking, there are ways that your firm can start improving its cybersecurity plans.
Start small. Sit down with your firm’s most important leaders and see how your data is spread across the firm. Where does the most important data live? What is the most important data? Once you can identify that, you can start to protect that small portion little by little. Then, decide what data is second most important to that and so on.
Delegate someone in a senior position at your firm to be in charge of cyber breach preparation. They should start to build a handbook or process of what to do, and who to contact in the event of a cyber breach.
Hiring an outsourced IT Cyber specialist team is also a great form of action, as they can help you organize your internal processes while protecting every layer of your infrastructure and data. They will not only implement a cybersecurity plan and cybersecurity standards, but they will manage your IT for all of your users as well, 24×7.
Cybersecurity is something that should be your laser focus goal for 2018. If you need help setting up a cybersecurity plan, zbrella Technology Consulting provides Cybersecurity Platforms and IT Managed Services specifically for law firms. To speak with our Cyber Specialists, call 800-750-4296 or contact us here.