Cybersecurity risks can be particularly severe for solicitors – but simple steps will help to reduce the risk of cyber attacks, according to a new guide published by the Law Society of Scotland.
The Law Society’s Guide to Cybersecurity sets out key risk areas, the potential impact and consequences of a cybersecurity breach and what solicitors can do to help significantly reduce the likelihood of a successful attack on their business. The guide also highlights the need for a well thought out response and disaster recovery plan in the event of a successful cyber attack.
Helena Brown, vice-convener of the Law Society of Scotland’s technology law and practice committee, and data protection and intellectual property partner at Addleshaw Goddard, said: “Cybercrime poses one of the most important challenges to business, with increasing numbers affected by frauds and scams.
“Many of the threats to legal firms are no different to other businesses but in the legal world, where keeping client information confidential and client funds secure are paramount, the consequences of not having a robust cybersecurity plan in place can be extremely severe, not only in terms of potential data or financial losses but also to the reputation of the firm.
“While there is no shortage of information on cybercrime and cybersecurity in general, we specifically wanted to have a look at the issues from the perspective of solicitors and legal practices.
“The Society’s guide has been designed to help solicitors and their staff team understand and defend against cyber threats. It provides simple tips that could help safeguard information and protect against reputational damage.”
A copy of the new guide, which has been sponsored by IT consultancy Quorum and cyber security company Sapphire, will be sent to all law firms and will also be available to read on the Society’s website.
James Frost, managing director of IT consultancy Quorum, said: “With the increasingly hostile threat landscape, cyber security is now one of the top priorities for all law firms to ensure their data, finances, and ultimately their reputation is protected. Quorum believes it is important that firms are armed with as many tools as possible to defend themselves and that’s why we chose to support the Law Society’s new guide.”
Sapphire CEO Annabel Berry said: “We wholly support the new cyber security guidance. Having specialised in cyber security for 21 years, we fully endorse the pragmatic advice which the guide offers and the practical steps recommended for every law firm to take to ensure their data, assets and users are as secure as possible.”