Legal firms who do not embrace cloud technology solutions and leading-edge cyber security will risk their reputations in the months ahead
In light of numerous dramatic shifts in the geopolitical landscape in recent months, this blog has reiterated the need for organisations across all sectors to strengthen and - if necessary - reconsider their cyber security postures, in order to prepare for the anticipated attacks by global bad actors. The legal sector is no exception, particularly as these attacks are anticipated to specifically target the most high-value data.
Even before the escalation of the cyber threat landscape, the damage that can result from a firm's cyber security ecosystem being breached was painfully illustrated in November 2021, when Premier Property Lawyers, a Leicestershire conveyancing firm, suffered a serious cyber-attack that took their systems completely offline and rendered all customer data inaccessible, preventing numerous home buyers from completing their purchases and moving in, leaving them in limbo until the situation was resolved. The firm's inability to provide the affected customers with concrete evidence that their money and their data had not been compromised would later lead to legal action against their parent company, Simplify Group.
Several months on, data-driven legal and compliance transformation is not simply a matter of optimising efficiency and reducing costs: in the months (and, likely, years) ahead, clients will expect any firms they engage with to be able to demonstrate their commitment to the highest standard of security, compliance, and data protection, and have invested in leading-edge systems around this.
Put simply, legal technology in the areas of cyber security, data protection, disaster recovery, and business must enter the next phase in its evolution, in order to provide clients with complete peace of mind that their data will be kept secure, no matter what.
In particular, as the incident described above demonstrates, firms' overall operational resilience and ability to recover from the most serious, aggressive ransomware attacks must be carefully considered.
With attacks growing in sophistication with each passing month, it is not safe to assume that even the most advanced cyber security infrastructure will be fully infallible.
Systems and processes must therefore be established to ensure infrastructure can be restored and data secured with minimal disruption in the event of a successful attack.
This should be complemented by an 'always on' approach to security, with all traffic monitored, based on the latest threat intelligence, so any potential threats can be automatically identified and escalated. This includes the highly sensitive files that legal firms handle on a daily basis, with cyber security policies effectively automated to ensure robust access control is applied at all times, wherever lawyers, staff, and clients are connecting from. This will not only streamline the process of ensuring compliance obligations have been met, but significantly reduce the chances of human error - still the leading cause of cyber security failures - leading to a breach.
Legal technology infrastructure is coming of age… And Exponential-e are here to help
Exponential-e is already a trusted partner for numerous UK legal firms, and is working closely with them to proactively develop, deploy, and maintain a new breed of cyber security infrastructure that is designed with legal firms' distinct requirements and compliance obligations in mind. To discuss your own firm's cyber security challenges, do not hesitate to contact our team.
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