Cyber incidents are on the rise in law firms. According to a report by the American Bar Association (ABA), 27% of firms surveyed experienced a data breach in 2022. As stewards of highly confidential client data, law firms make an especially attractive target for cybercriminals. And these bad actors have been busy this year. Consider some of the headline making breaches that occurred in just the first quarter of 2023:
- Law firm fined $200,000 over ‘poor data security’ that led to ransomware attack
- Cyber Attack Left Sensitive Client Data Unguarded
- Uber Drivers' Data Exposed in Breach of Law Firm's Servers
- Several Law Firms Targeted in Malware Attacks
As remote and hybrid working and digital transformation expand their digital footprint, the top challenge facing law firms today is making their practices cyber secure. In Formal Opinion 498, the ABA notes that “lawyers must take reasonable precautions when transmitting communications that contain information related to a client’s representation. At all times, but especially when practicing virtually, lawyers must fully consider and implement reasonable measures to safeguard confidential information and take reasonable precautions when transmitting such information.”
To take reasonable precautions and avoid becoming a data breach headline, law firms must focus on making their communication and collaboration cyber secure. Implementing three simple strategies can help law firms lock down communication, strengthen their cybersecurity posture and reduce the risk of a data breach:
- Using mobile messaging tools built for the enterprise
- Providing cybersecurity training
- Taking control of business communication
Law firms can protect sensitive client information and data by adopting mobile messaging and collaboration tools built for the enterprise. NetSfere is the only large-scale mobile messaging solution that meets all the requirements for enterprise messaging. With always-on, built in end-to-end encryption, NetSfere is right-fit technology for cyber securing law firm communication. Featuring secure transmission and device-to-device encryption technology, NetSfere ensures sensitive data is fully protected and private.
Human error is a factor in 82% of data breaches which makes staff cybersecurity training one of the most critical strategies for reducing the risk of data breaches. Law firms should educate their staff on cybersecurity best practices such as using strong passwords and changing them regularly, avoiding clicking on suspicious links and keeping software up to date. Frequently updating staff on evolving cyberthreats is another critical component of effective cybersecurity training programs.
Cybersecurity training should also stress the importance of using only corporate sanctioned, end-to-end encrypted (E2EE) mobile messaging and collaboration solutions like NetSfere for business communication. Employees should understand that using unapproved consumer-grade messaging apps increases the attack surface, giving hackers the opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities in these apps to gain access to a law firm’s systems and data.
Law firms need only look at some of the nation’s biggest banks and brokerages as a cautionary tale on the risk of using consumer-grade messaging apps. Last year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) fined 16 financial firms a collective $1.8 billion for the misuse of messaging apps. This enforcement action reflects increasing concern among regulators over the use of unsanctioned communication apps.
To lock down business communication, law firms need to take control of that communication. NetSfere is designed to meet the unique demands of the legal sector, integrating the most advanced administrative control features with best-in-class security and compliance capabilities.
NetSfere is equipped with a slate of robust administrative controls for managing users, monitoring activity and enforcing law firm policies. These administrative, technical and physical data security features make it easy for law firms to comply with existing and evolving global data privacy requirements.
In today’s digital-first business landscape cyber risk is inevitable. Data breaches don’t have to be. With NetSfere, law firms never have to worry about the security and privacy of their communication and collaboration. NetSfere’s secure mobile messaging and collaboration platform locks out cybercriminals and prevents data breaches that can result in loss of clients, reputational damage and costly fines.
Don’t let your firm become the latest data breach headline. Contact us today to secure your law firm communication.