When you think of a business getting hacked, do you think of a law firm being the one affected? Most people tend to think of the big box stores such as Target when hacking is at issue. Law firms keep sensitive data from intellectual property cases, corporate transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and business strategies. This makes law firms a prime target for hackers.
Mandiant, a division of the data security company FireEye, reports 80% of the largest law firms in the U.S. have been hacked. The 2015 Study of the Legal Industry’s Information Security Assessment Practices showed that external threats such as hackers are the biggest security threat to law firms. The top security concerns were human error issues arising from employee negligence and phishing attacks as well as computerized attacks involving virus, worm, and malware threats. To counter these security threats law firms should be open to reporting threats, identify their vulnerabilities, educate employees, and implement targeted and effective security policies.
In the U.S., law firms are not required to disclose hacking incidents, but they are being urged to be more open about reporting. If more law firms would report threats, and even issues in which their systems were infiltrated, experts would be able to better pinpoint and address weak spots in security networks to provide law firms and others with better protection.
According to the Digital Defense study, about 70% of respondents conduct security assessment and penetration tests. It is important to have the latest antivirus, data-loss, and data protection technology in place. By conducting security assessment and penetration tests, law firms can protect their information from real threats. It is far better to find the weak spot yourself and address them than having to deal with a hacker infiltrating your firm’s network and the aftermath.
Law firms are urged to provide on-going training so employees will become aware of scams and safeguarding behaviors. Even training on a subject as simple as not opening fishy looking e-mails can go a long way in protecting confidential information stored in your law firms online systems.
Law firms should implement a culture of security with written policies and procedures that address information security. These written policies and procedures can help protect confidential data from beginning to end. Every law firm, and really any business in general, should have policies in place regarding the following:
- Electronic Communications and Internet Policy;
- Social Media Policy;
- Secure Password Policy;
- Mobile Security Policy; and
- Equipment Disposal Policy
As a business, even if you follow all the correct procedures and rules, it is still possible to get hacked. Which is why it is also important to have an incident response plan and a disaster recovery plan.
As a business, even if you and your employees follow all the correct procedures and rules, it is still possible to get hacked. If you are a business owner and need assistance with security policies and rules or for more information on cyber law.