Legal Marketing Blog

Lawyers and Cybersecurity – Is your firm secure?

Posted by Jennifer Macqueen

Based on ABA Legal TechReport 2019, law firms as a whole are falling shockingly behind when it comes to cybersecurity measures.  Rather alarming giving they highly confidential nature of the industry and laws governing the protection of attorney/client communications.

“In fact, the results are shocking and reflect little, if any, positive movement in the past year or even in the past few years,” from an article released on October 23rd.  “The lack of effort on security has become a major cause for concern in the profession.”

TechReport presents an annual look at how lawyers integrate a variety of technologies in providing legal services. The survey found that the most popular security measure being used by 35% of respondents was secure socket layers, which encrypt computer communications, including web traffic. Yet, only 27% of respondents report making local data backups and 26% reported their firm had already had a security breach. Ouch!

Only 25% of respondents reported they are reviewing ethics opinions related to cloud technology. Ironically, the survey indicates that lawyers are tepid about the cloud because of cybersecurity concerns.

Every lawyer and law firm should be practicing with a fully secure environment in place, no exceptions.  Systems should be closely monitored and regularly evaluated to ensure whatever the firm is doing to protect data is the latest, greatest and most secure option offered.

Existing and prospective clients should be asking their lawyers what is being done to keep their information safe.  For any law firm or lawyer to be practicing law with even the slightest question of how they rate on the cybersecurity range, is totally unexceptable.

The survey report is broken into five volumes, including online research, Tech Basics & Security, Law Office Technology, Marketing & Communication Technology and a new addition this year: Life & Practice. All volumes of the report are on sale at the ABA website.