With the number of cyber security breaches increasing every year, businesses both big and small remain under threat from hackers. Many law firms believe they are too small or not well-known enough to warrant attention from cybercriminals, meaning many of them don’t have plans in place should a data or cyber security breach occur.
Confidentiality is vital to every business, but the information held by law firms is often personal or financial in nature. Consequentially, this data is deemed extremely valuable by con artists and hackers. Despite the assumption that cybercrime does not pose a serious threat, the legal sector remains a sitting target for hackers with a number of motives and objectives – the implications of which could be extremely detrimental to your chambers. The potential consequences of a cyber security breach include:
Damage to your reputation
Loss of client trust is often the most detrimental impact of cybercrime, especially if it involves a breach of data. A violation of this nature could result in loss of long-term business, as people will be uncertain about trusting you with their data in the future. Needless to say, a reputation as a business that doesn’t take cyber security seriously could damage your firm irreparably, so you need to have a plan in place.
Loss of client data
In the event of a cyber security breach, you could lose or compromise your clients’ data, which will have severe repercussions for everyone involved. During the infamous Equifax data breach of 2017, personally identifiable information belonging to around 800,000 UK consumers was accessed by cyber thieves. However, data theft of this nature doesn’t just happen to large businesses. Clearly, the more data you hold, the higher the threat, but smaller firms often make easier targets due to their weaker defences.
Damage to your IT system from malware
Vicious malware can easily infiltrate your IT systems, resulting in a substantial loss of data and serious downtime for your business. Viruses like WannaCry, StormWorm, and MyDoom have been known to wipe out entire networks and leave companies vulnerable to data theft, so data protection and backup is a must if you store client information digitally. According to research conducted by the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Program, 33% of all data breaches originate from this kind of software.
The average total cost of a data breach in the UK in 2017 is £2.48 million, with the average price per lost or stolen record being around £98. With this statistic in mind, it’s easy to see how devastating a breach could be to your chambers – no matter the size of your organisation or the number of clients accounts you hold. Therefore, it’s worth investing in your cyber security budget if it means protecting your business.
How to protect your chambers from a cyber security breach
As with crimes of any nature, prevention is the best cure where data security is concerned, and awareness and action are your best lines of defence. A cyber attack on a legal institution could have a significant impact on both your organisation and your clients. What’s more, cyber security is vital to shareholder confidence, so a breach could lead to a substantial loss of revenue from all sides.
You can avoid data breaches and their repercussions by implementing the right tools and training in your organisation. You should also have a plan in place to protect your chambers and clients should a cyber breach occur. Don’t let your chambers become another statistic. Get ahead by allowing CBSIT to navigate the online threats facing your business, while providing access to the knowledge and technology needed to protect your chambers.