Last year, there was a 20 per cent rise in cyber-attacks on law firms. According to figures from the National Cyber Security Centre, this saw cyber thieves take more than £11 million of client money from UK firms.
Whilst financial reasons are still the most significant motivation behind attacks, hackers are also often keen to access sensitive personal information. As one example of this, nation states are likely to begin playing a more significant role in cyber-attacks, making law firms that advise sensitive clients particularly vulnerable.
Cyber thieves are becoming ever more inventive and are finding new routes into companies’ information. They have also broadened their targets. Small UK law firms are at risk, not just the Magic Circle.
Law firms can no longer ignore advanced cyber security. The risk, both to a firm’s finances and reputation, is too great.
Below are a few common weaknesses that firms will need to consider as part of their cyber security and data protection strategies.
- Insecure remote access
Legal professionals frequently work remotely and access emails on their mobile devices. This can form a major security risk, with insecure connections being easier to hack. Despite this, industry research shows that around a third of employees use free, insecure Wi-Fi at cafes, hotels and bars.
To solve this, staff need to be educated. Data security education requires a company wide effort, it cannot be the sole responsibility of the IT manager. Senior teams must ensure that the entire workforce is clear on the threats of their own actions with regards to working and accessing data remotely.
- Securing devices
Printers and scanners are internally networked devices that store and process data. Due to the nature of their work, law firms use such devices for printing and scanning important and confidential contracts or personal documents.
These devices have the same security vulnerabilities as any other networked endpoint device, but they are often overlooked. This leaves firms, and often their most sensitive client information, open to data theft and malware or virus infections.
Galaxkey’s MFD-Secure product ensures data is protected on any networked multi-function device at any time, whether it is being stored or in transit. Importantly, it allows access to the sensitive data transmitted and received by these devices to be properly managed and controlled, which is essential for legal firms.
- Digital signatures
Digital signatures play an important role in the modern business environment, and are used frequently by those in the legal profession. They have become a necessary means to ensure the original content of a message or document is unchanged during the sending process, however they are acutely vulnerable to fraud and forgery.
Galaxkey’s Complete Data Protection package protects any data, across any platform and includes digital signature capabilities. Users can seamlessly and securely add digital signatures to an unlimited number of documents. This feature enables users to send signed documents with the unique identifying data within the signature, meaning that those receiving and sending documents can be sure that the signature cannot be tampered with or altered by unauthorised parties.
- Get in touch
These are just some of the areas that law firms need to look at. To really ensure their cybersecurity, firms need to be smart and seriously upgrade their capabilities.
For more information on how to really protect your firm, get in touch.