Explore The Best Strategies for Protection Against Cyber Hacking and Computer Fraud
In the cloud environment, there is a rapid increase in email and wire fraud risks leading to cyber security breaches. Attorneys are often a smart target for sophisticated hackers and they are commonly victims of wire fraud. Data management safeguards lawyers from being a victim of cyber-security breaches.
Why Lawyers Need to be Extra Careful about Cyber Crimes?
Sophisticated email scams are becoming increasingly prevalent in law firms. As confidential and valuable information is passed on from clients to their lawyers, and this information is protected by the client-attorney privilege, computers and email accounts of lawyers and law firms are a favourite target. When lawyers store confidential client information through password protected email systems and cloud computing, there is an inherent risk of a third-party breach and theft by a hacker. If reasonable and preventive steps are not taken, lawyers risk losses for the firm and their clients.
Understanding how lawyers are exposed to cybercrimes is the first step towards protection. Due to the increasing cloud capabilities of mobile phones, tablets and laptops, even a misplaced device can pose a serious threat to sensitive data.
- Law firms must maintain policies that require employees to regularly update their passwords not just for email, but mobiles, laptops, intranet and extranet, document management systems and Citrix-like virtual desktops
- While official devices may be protected by anti-viruses, it is also important to ensure lawyers using personal devices have also installed a comparable anti-virus protection
- Firm guidelines should contain periodic inspections of mobile and computer devices to check that the passwords and anti-virus protections aren’t turned off
- Limiting access to electronic materials for print, share and altering data is a good safeguard strategy
- There should also be a policy regarding the length of time a particular data will be stored, strength of security to be maintained for the data, and procedure to eliminate unnecessary or outdated information
- Firms also need to have a procedure to report a potential threat or suspected disclosure Attorneys can, and must, take all necessary precautions to minimise the risks of cyber-security breaches so that they can give their clients peace of mind and shield themselves from liability of theft or other security breaches.