Cyber Security Attacks Focused on Law Firms and Small/Mid sized Businesses
Cyber Security Law Firms are a key target for hackers as they house large amounts of sensitive and confidential client data. Cyber specialist practitioners believe there will come a time when a prominent legal practice will be brought down due to a cyber attack breaching client confidentiality.
Law firms that hold large quantities of confidential information are targets for hackers due to the belief that firms are behind the times with regards to cyber security and technology. However, there has been an increased awareness of the potential harm to a law firm’s reputation caused by data loss.
According to Ashley Hurst, an internet-related dispute partner at Olswang, the biggest risk for a legal profession is modern working practices. Use of devices such as mobile phones, memory sticks and laptops as well as working from home and using social media, are increasing the ways that confidential personal data can be disclosed outside the organization.
Jane Jenkens, a partner and co-head of the cyber security team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, says clients want to know that law firms are putting security measures in place.
Cyber specialist practitioners believe the time will come when bank and corporate general counsel will insist on law firm security audits as part of routine panel reviews.
Are other industries at risk?
According to Ed Butler, Executive Director at the Salamanca Group, in the past 18 months there has been a 40 per cent rise in cyber attacks on UK businesses. In 2012, those attacks cost the economy roughly 28bn Pounds.
Researchers claim that roughly 2.7 million attacks a week were made in the oil and gas sector. According to Butler, a multinational US bank claims it fends off a million attacks a day.
The biggest misconception is that hackers focus their attacks on large global companies, financial institutions, energy and pharmaceutical companies. The research shows otherwise with half of last year’s cyber attacks in the UK targeting businesses employing fewer than 2,500 people.
Butler believes if your company is smaller, you are more vulnerable. Hackers believe the smaller companies don’t have the protection in place that larger companies do.
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 Ames, Jonathan. "Cyber security: Lawyers are the weakest link." The Lawyer. N.p., 28 Oct 2013. Web. 15 Nov 2013. http://www.thelawyer.com/analysis/cyber-security-lawyers-are-the-weakest-link/3011315.article.