As law firms regularly deal with commercially and personally sensitive information, such as client finances, documents relating to deals, intellectual property information, patents, key case evidence, criminal evidence, trade information, personal client information, and much more, any loss of data resulting from a cyber attack could result in prosecution, let alone financial penalties.
They also have a contractual obligation as per client litigation privilege to protect any confidential information (failure to do so could result in penalties imposed by the court) so the protection of this information when it’s accessed online is absolutely essential.
The problem, however, is that lawyers often work remotely; visiting clients to discuss legal cases either at the client’s home or a public location, filing documents at court, or working on the train when travelling to or from cases. In each instance, rather than carry the above documents around, lawyers make use of cloud-based tools to store and manage documents, and access these tools via the public WiFi provided in these locations.
But as public WiFi is unsecure, the moment anyone connects to the network, all of their information can be viewed and stolen by others on the network. Without a business VPN service for law firms, lawyers expose confidential information to cyber criminals on these networks.
If a cyber criminal was to gain access to this information, they could potentially blackmail a law firm and its clients, have money transferred to fake accounts, launch attacks against businesses using methods of direct fraud, compromise potentially vital case information, or worse.
So even if law firms have robust cyber security in place for the office – they need to have (at the very least) a business VPN service to protect employees when they are working remotely or at the courts.
Earlier this year, Duncan Lewis, a national law firm, was a victim of a cyber attack. Hackers infiltrated the firm’s IT system and then tried to spread the data they obtained over social media. Without a business VPN service, law firms expose themselves to the following risks:
Cyber crime has reached a record high and law firms and small businesses are under attack like never before. In our new report Under Attack: Assessing the struggle of UK SMBs against cyber criminals we find out just how bad the problem is and whether businesses are equipped to defend themselves.