How can we protect our law firm from cyber criminals and hackers?

Cybercrime can have a devastating effect on any business, compromising customer data, damaging reputations and causing significant financial losses. Because law firms routinely handle large amounts of money and sensitive client information, they can be especially attractive to cyber criminals and hackers as highlighted in the National Cyber Security Centre’s latest report.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) published its report into the legal sector in June 2023, and the stats on law firm cybercrime are eye-watering. 18 law firms were the victim of ransomware attacks in 2021 and nearly three quarters of the UK’s top 100 firms had been affected by cyber-attacks.  

Most legal practices are now switched on to the need to invest in cyber security, although it can be difficult to know how much you should be budgeting – and where to allocate it. As a guide, PWC’s latest report indicated that the top 100 law firms spent an average of 0.46% of fee income on cyber security in 2022.

What can you do to bolster your cyber resiliency?

It sounds trite, but prevention really is better than cure and a proactive approach is essential. Cyber risk management is more than just technology, it is about taking an approach to building in ‘security by design’ and layering different levels of protection, education and training and changing the attitude of your firm to the risks. If you are not sure where to start with building your cyber resilience, here are some pointers to build your law firm’s cyber resiliency:

  1. Place management of cyber risk at the right level – this is business critical so the accountability must be at the most senior level.
  2. Adopt a cyber security framework e.g. NIST, CE+ etc to ensure the correct controls are in place.
  3. Get the right people in to help you. Don’t learn on the job. Cyber criminals are experienced business people – not back room hackers!
  4. Ensure your firm has a well-rehearsed cyber incident plan and involve your insurers in this plan with the right people involved (its not just IT!).
  5. As well as the above, there is of course a plethora of IT actions too long to list here but including immutable backups, MFA, regular patching, use and maintenance of high quality security software and services etc etc.

Cyber security education and training

Alongside all of this, continual employee education and training is absolutely vital. Fostering a culture of cyber security awareness, where employees know how to identify and report potential threats and phishing attempts and adhere to best practices on handling sensitive data will significantly strengthen your firm’s defences.

Underpinning your employees’ vigilance should be quality, well-sourced cyber protection technology that can keep pace with the evolving cyber risk landscape.

Access to specialist advice and support

Cyber-attacks are gruelling, and they take both focus and energy to navigate, from the battles with technology providers, through to handling the communications and managing your team’s well-being. Lights-On Consulting is not a cyber tech company but we have helped several of our clients work with such companies to recover from cyber attacks. In short we can be the “level head” that supports your business through a difficult time.

Importantly, we can also help you to mitigate the risk of a cyber-attack, helping you to procure and implement effective cyber protection for your firm.

Finally, did you know?

Multi factor authentication can now be worked around with relative ease!

Interested? Give us a call.