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Cybersecurity and Law Firms: A Secure Partnership

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Cybersecurity and Law Firms: A Secure Partnership

Protecting Your Law Firm From Cyberattacks and Avoiding Malpractice Claims

If your law firm were to be struck by a cyberattack, could you say with the utmost confidence that it would be protected? Or, more likely, could your cybersecurity strategy stand to be strengthened?

In New Jersey Law Journal’s article “Data Breaches: Adding a New Layer to the Risk of Legal Malpractice” by Karen Painter Randall and Steven A. Kroll, the authors illuminate the weak points endemic to law firms’ cybersecurity. As today’s news becomes flooded with reports of significant data breaches in all industries, lawyers and law firms alike must take action to protect themselves from threats or otherwise face severe consequences. To the extent that they continue to ignore their ethical and legal obligations to guard against cyberattacks, it is expected that even more professional malpractice lawsuits will be filed.

If your law firm is reluctant to invest in your cybersecurity strategy, consider these eye-opening points:

  • Law firms are a soft target to hackers, as they possess a large volume of sensitive, critical data. For example, an attorney involved in a highly sensitive business transaction has access to a wide breadth of their clients’ (and their adversaries’) information. The scope of this vulnerable data is staggering, ranging from personally identifiable information and personal health information to confidential details of business transactions and financial information, to even market-influencing mergers and acquisitions intelligence and intellectual property from a patent filing.
  • Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility in a law firm. Buy-in must flow from the top down to ensure a culture of security in the organization.
  • Law firms tend to employ fewer resources toward strengthening their cybersecurity approach, their complacency, or reluctance to invest, making them more susceptible to an attack. It is evident that firms will continue to be ripe targets for cyber-attacks and consequent malpractice claims should they fail to add additional layers of protection to safeguard their clients’ information as we head into the new decade.
  • The ethics rules require attorneys to be competent and take reasonable measures to safeguard sensitive information. For example, the comments to American Bar Association Model Rule 1.1 state that “[t]o maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject.”

Don’t remain at risk for impending cyberattacks and malpractice claims. Atlantic’s team of IT experts will help to educate you and your team as to how you can protect and mitigate your firm’s risk moving forward into the next decade. We would love to schedule 15 minutes to learn about your current strategy and introduce why other law firms are investing in industry-specific solutions. To learn more and speak to one of our experts, contact Atlantic today!

James LaPenna
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