Are You Adequately Protected from Cyber Attacks?
Is your website or blog protected from cyberattacks? If not, then you could be just one of the 4,000 websites attacked each day.That’s equivalent to 170 attacks every hour. For any business, these are worrying figures, but for law firms whose business is based on the trust between themselves and their client, it’s particularly alarming. Yet despite this, most firms aren’t even aware when their website has been compromised.
Law firms are popular targets for hackersLaw firms are particularly targeted for the large amount of sensitive information they hold for their clients. All firms, regardless of their size, can be vulnerable to scammers. But more than 80 of the 100 largest law firms have been hacked since 2011. The American Bar Association’s (ABA) Legal Technology Survey Report found that 15% of firms have been victims of a breach. But many smaller firms are also becoming targets, as hackers recognize they are less likely to have adequate security measures in place. The ABA’s report discovered that firms with 10 to 49 attorneys were most often hacked, followed by solo practitioners.
Widespread costs of an attackThe cost to legal firms can be substantial. The 2016 Ponemon Cost of Data Breach Study found that the combined average cost of data breaches reached $7.01 million. A breach could cost an organization around $221 for each compromised record. For smaller firms, a cyberattack could threaten their entire business just from the cost. But, a cyberattack can also have a huge impact on a firm’s reputation, after all, confidentiality is the heart of the legal profession. But there are ways to prevent future attacks or minimize their impact, if they do occur.
Use reputable hosting providerOwning your own website can be very rewarding. But it could easily be hacked if you have not taken adequate security measures. Around 41% of blogs get hacked through their hosting provider and 29% get hacked through their WordPress theme. To avoid this, you should ensure you are using a reliable and well known hosting company and utilize a popular and common WordPress theme that has received good reviews.
Protect your clients by securing your infrastructureFortifying where and how client information is stored is crucial to protecting the data you hold. All employees have a role to play too, including regularly changing passwords, having different passwords for various systems and to keep the most sensitive information out of the cloud environment.
Keep a response plan in placeEven with the best protection in place, breaches can happen, so firms must have a plan in place to address attacks when they occur. If you think there has been a security breach, then you must notify your security partners immediately so they can investigate and minimize the situation. You must also take measures to reduce the amount of data that can be accessed and notify clients that their data may have been breached. But it is possible to fight back against cyber criminals by having a solid and effective defense mechanism in place.
VIEWS AND CONCLUSIONS EXPRESSED IN ARTICLES HEREIN ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHORS AND NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF FLORIDA BAR STAFF, OFFICIALS, OR BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF THE FLORIDA BAR.