As corporations and governments are becoming more aware of the threat of cyber-attacks, they are taking more measures to increase the security of their sensitive data.
However, if the law firms that represent these clients do not similarly try to improve their cybersecurity, hackers will take the easy route and target the law firms to obtain the data. Eighty largest American law firms suffered a network breach in 2011.23 In 2012, Chinese hackers targeted Canadian law firms involved in the proposed takeover of the world’s largest potash producer by an Australian company to stop the takeover.24 One can easily imagine shoe designs being stolen from the patent lawyer for an apparel company or confidential emails being stolen from the defense lawyer for a white-collar criminal defendant.
Unfortunately, most law firms are woefully underprepared for defending against cyber-attacks. According to a survey by LexisNexis:
- 77% of law firms use only a confidentiality statement
- 22% of law firms use email encryption
- 14% of law firms use password-protected documents
- 13% of law firms use a secure file-sharing site
- 4% of law firms take no measures to secure data. 25
However, the survey also revealed that 80% of law firms said a breach of privileged information would be consequential or very consequential. 26 The disconnection between the desire for security and the measures employed to provide security can be attributed to three factors: technological ignorance, a preference for simple sharing of information with clients, and a fear of substantial security costs.
25 PRWeb, “LexisNexis Survey Paints Problematic Picture of File Sharing in Law Firms,” May 28, 2014, http://www.prweb.com/releases/Law-firm/file-sharing/prweb11888131.htm (accessed August 16, 2014).
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Written by Desh Urs
Desh Urs brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial, start-up and Global 500 corporate experience in sales, marketing and general management to the customers of iBridge. He has led sales organizations as SVP at Qsent, Inc. and VP at Acxiom Corporation, and has focused on the usage of data in data distribution, direct marketing, fraud prevention, and law enforcement.
As a Vice President of Global Sales, Services, and Marketing at Silicon Graphics, Inc., Urs managed engineering and non-engineering functions, developing solutions in sciences, telecommunications, manufacturing, media, business, and defense intelligence, for companies with revenues of several billion dollars. During his tenure as Vice President at Think Tools AG and Brio Technology, Inc., he ran business development and alliances providing solutions in Business Intelligence and Decisions Cycle Management to Global 100 corporations worldwide. In the late 1980s, Urs founded Indus Systems, Inc., which he profitably sold to a systems integration company.
Urs serves on several Advisory Boards, as well as many company Boards, in the United States and India.