Your Need to be Sure Your Law Firm is Secure.
In 2017, 35% of lawyers stated they were looking to increase their cybersecurity budgets. In 2019, 87% of lawyers stated they were looking to increase their cybersecurity budgets. That’s a significant increase in terms of concern. Why? Because law firms are starting to realize that they’re a major target for hackers looking to steal sensitive information. What makes law firms the ideal target?
- They hold a large quantity of valuable information containing trade secrets, business strategies, and financial data for clients.
- They tend to have lackluster cybersecurity strategies in place with multiple entry points into the network.
Unfortunately, data breaches typically end up costing firms an incredible amount of money. Dentons Canada LLP experienced this firsthand when an associate accidentally transferred $2.5 million in a phishing scam. They were locked in a $1.7 million dispute with their insurer afterwards!
Is Your Law Firm As Secure As You Think?
In today’s day and age, we know that firewalls and anti-virus software aren’t enough to stay safe against hackers. Yet a lot of law firms are relying on these solutions alone to keep them protected. If you don’t have the following, then chances are, you’re not as secure as you think:
- A cybersecurity training program wherein employees are taught how to detect and respond to threats on a regular basis.
- A comprehensive, multi-layered approach that incorporates firewalls, anti-virus software, encryption, and other solutions.
- A foolproof incident response plan that outlines how to respond in the event of a data breach to minimize fines and/or legal consequences.
- A policy that outlines the proper use of company-issued devices and/or cloud-based applications, as well as proper password best practices.
This is the bare minimum when it comes to cybersecurity as a law firm.
What Are the Legal Consequences of Failing to Ensure Adequate Cybersecurity Measures?
Canadian law firms must ensure adequate cybersecurity measures are in place to prevent data breaches. Why? Because class-action lawsuits are becoming more common than ever before in the event of breaches of privacy and/or the misuse of personal information. Attorneys have a legal and ethical duty to protect their firm and its clients. Canada follows the legal framework known as PIPEDA (The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act), as well as the Digital Privacy Act, which amended PIPEDA in 2015 to include mandatory data breach notification requirements. According to PIPEDA, law firms must:
- Collect, use, and disclose of personal information only with the knowledge and consent of that individual.
- Designate an individual or team to be accountable for the firm’s compliance, as well as enforce proper policies and practices.
- Maintain adequate technical, physical, and administrative safeguards to protect the confidentiality of personal information.
Not Sure You’re Properly Protecting Your Clients Information? Let’s Talk. Call (604) 986-8170 Now.
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