This article was featured in the May 2023 edition of the Business Plus Magazine.
FutureRange leading-edge solutions defend law firms from external threats
The legal profession is a constant target for cybercriminals due to the sensitive data held for clients, including personal data, financial data, and assets under your control. More than two-thirds (68%) of data breaches are caused by insiders, according to official figures from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
This risk is further exacerbated by the shift to hybrid work. According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, 60% of organisations reported an increase in insider risk as a result of remote work, as the lines between personal and professional devices become increasingly blurred.
A ransomware attack can potentially be catastrophic for a firm, impacting business operations and damaging the trust of clients and the firm’s reputation within the profession.
As cybersecurity experts, FutureRange, a specialist IT company that provides leading-edge solutions, is well-versed in defending firms from these threats.
An insider threat refers to a cyber security risk that originates from within the firm. It typically occurs when a current or former employee, contractor, vendor or partner with legitimate user credentials misuses their access to the detriment of the firm’s networks, systems and data. An insider threat may be intentional or unintentional, but regardless the end result is compromised confidentiality, and integrity of systems and data.
A recent encounter with a leading Irish law firm has highlighted the increasing issue of insider risk and the need for robust protection measures in the legal sector.
During a demonstration of data classification and encryption-at-rest solutions for the Irish law firm, FutureRange observed the extent of insider risk within the firm. The sheer volume of sensitive information held by law firms, including intellectual property, personal data, and confidential client details, makes the legal sector uniquely vulnerable to insider threats.
Another factor contributing to insider risk in the legal sector is its complex employee structure, with different departments and employees given varying levels of access to sensitive information. This creates a complicated web of trust, increasing the likelihood of accidental and intentional data breaches.
The following five strategies are crucial for safeguarding sensitive data, whether the threat is internal or external:
- Implement robust access controls: Identify, classify and limit access to sensitive data based on the principle of least privilege, only granting access to those who require it for their role responsibilities.
- Encryption: Encrypt your data to render it useless if removed from your corporate devices or firm.
- Evidence and Audit Trail: Track the movements of your sensitive data and where the data resides.
- Regularly review and monitor user access: Conduct periodic audits of user access rights and remove any unnecessary privileges. Implement real-time monitoring to identify and respond to suspicious activity.
- Invest in user training and awareness: Educate employees on the importance of data security, the risks associated with insider threats, and best practices for maintaining a secure environment.
Contact Michael Rooney to confidentially discuss your firm’s cyber strategy, email email@example.com