Law firms face both direct and indirect cybersecurity threats. While most cyberattacks can be avoided with the help of the appropriate network security software and safe-practice systems, no system is truly foolproof. Here are the six most common cybersecurity threats experienced by law firms.
1) Phishing Scams
The legal industry is a common target for phishing scams primarily due to the amount of sensitive information that is conveyed through digital sources. Scammers may employ the use of a false email or spoof the email of a client, colleague, or any other authority figure to lead a user to a phishing site.
Phishing sites tend to impersonate a login, impersonate an e-sign document, request important information via email, or employ any other creative means of manipulating the user to acquire sensitive information.
Law firms can protect themselves and their information from attacks by using secure passwords, using double authentication, and not reusing the same passwords on multiple platforms. Get your network security provider to act immediately if you suspect a data breach in your system.
2) Hacked Email Accounts
Email scams are targeted and more personalized to end-users. Law firm workers are particularly susceptible to such attacks owing to the nature of client-attorney relationships as well as the transfer of payments and sensitive information between the two parties.
Scammers may hack into email accounts and wait and collect information about particular relationships before targeting specific users. They may use this information to demand considerable sums of money from clients, and request sensitive information in exchange for the safety and privacy of clients.
Ransomware is still a significant cybersecurity threat for law firms as they host sensitive client information. It comes in many forms, but the general idea is that it is installed on your device, either by unintentionally clicking on a malicious link or downloading an infected file. Once the file is in your system, attackers use scare tactics, threats, and more to hold your system hostage until payment has been made.
4) Data Breach
Law firms have a higher risk of data leaks which may be targeted using phishing, malware attacks, hacks, or email spoofing to get hold of sensitive client information. To prevent data leaks, a combination of security tools and policies must be put into place. Law firms must also have network security components in their systems, including access control, antimalware, antivirus, communication security, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and security information and event management (SIEM).
5) Malpractice Allegations
Taking precautions against data breaches and leaks is critical for law firms if they wish to protect themselves from any lawsuits. In the unfortunate case of a break or leak, clients may file cases against law firms noting dismissal towards the firm’s data handling and security practices.
6) Increased Standards by Clients
Clients are becoming increasingly sensitive and aware of information protection owing to the confidential nature of the information handled by law firms. This means, most clients take due note of cybersecurity practices and standards.