cyber security is key for law firmsWe’re not saying this just to scare you – it’s the truth. Even the highly conservative financial industry has already adapted to the cloud. The Legal industry as a whole, however, still lags somewhat behind.

Joseph M. Burton, who writes for said: “The need for better cyber security, along with the responsibility to safeguard client and firm information from the risk of loss from cyber attacks, has been the focus of considerable discussion by law firms for the past four years…Let’s look at the progress (or lack thereof).”
Yes, The Legal Industry Is Behind Many Other Businesses’ Data Security Measures. One particular case comes to mind, where Toronto, Canada-based law firms were attacked in order to stop a $40 billion acquisition of the world’s largest potash producer. The amazing part? No one figured out this even happened until two years later! The FBI later held a meeting that included 200 of the largest US law firms. They discussed the fact that they expected cyberattacks like these (which originated with Chinese hackers) would continue. Some law firms were fully prepared, while others didn’t seem to understand what the FBI was even talking about.

Jeffrey Brandt, a prominent legal blogging authority, also discussed the issue when he reviewed the FBI meeting. At that same meeting with 200 large law firms, Mary Galligan, who directs the cyber division of the FBI, described security at legal practices like this:

“Much, much easier quarry,” for hackers. In a Forbes post on Chinese hacking threats, Alan Paller had this to say about law firms: “Most law firms have very weak security…they don’t pay attention to security notices and guidelines, and the important files relating to clients’ international activities are usually much easier to find in the law firm’s files than in the corporate files.”

So it’s pretty clear the legal industry as a whole lags behind most other businesses’ data security measures. As cyber security and data recovery threats become more prevalent, many law firms are deciding to outsource IT support to protect client data.  Besides data security, one of the real benefits of outsourcing your IT needs is that it levels the competitive playing field for law firms of all sizes.

When you have the right IT support company in place, you can:

1)   Manage your cases better, which gives your clients better service
2)   Predict future legal events with greater accuracy
3)   Have more client and customer intelligence available to make better legal decisions

It’s Easy to Shrug Off Your IT Security Needs…Until Something Bad Happens Don’t do it! Take appropriate preventative action and make sure your client data remains 100% secure. Otherwise, you’ll have a number of stressful conversations you must have with your clients. And who knows what else could go wrong?

Learn more about the author Bob Martin