Three biggest cyber safety threats to the legal profession – triSearch
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Three biggest cyber safety threats to the legal profession

Cybercrime is a growing concern for the legal profession. With the legal industry becoming digital, the importance to be educated on how to keep your practice safe from cyber-attacks is now more important than ever.
Cyber-attacks intend on stealing sensitive data from an individual or business through a digital forum, with the purpose of either financial gain, disruption or espionage. In the legal industry, we are mostly affected by the corruption of transactions between clients and the loss of confidential client information. It has been reported that cyber security incidents are directly costing Australian businesses $29 billion per year.
The legal sector is particularly vulnerable to cyber threats due to the volume of data, sensitive information, financial responsibility and authority it holds. Discussed are the three most common attacks in the legal industry.
Malware
Malware is a software that has been programmed to damage a certain device or network. It can act in several different ways to corrupt systems, often designed to spy on your activity. It will ‘hide’ in the background of your device and memorise highly sensitive information like passwords, credit card details and habits.
Malware is becoming more prevalent with a prediction that by 2021, there will be an attack every 11 seconds.  It has been proven that small law firms are equal to or more at risk to cyber threats then large law firms. A report shows 15.7% out of the 172 firms that were surveyed suffered from a cyber-attack in the last two years.
To protect your firm from the threat of malware, you should always keep your anti-virus software up to date. We’ve all been guilty of ignoring that notification that prompts you to update your antivirus software. However cyber threats are constantly evolving to avoid getting caught in anti-virus software, so it is important that you update your software regularly to protect the files you hold on your device.
Data breach
A data breach is an incident where sensitive information has been exposed and stolen due to unauthorized access. This can occur through user error or hacking. User error is when information is leaked by mistake, often caused through human error of opening emails or websites which contain harmful links or downloads.
Globally, nearly 5 million data files are lost or stolen every single day according to the Breach Level Index. That equates to roughly one file/record stolen every minute.
A lot of us use one single password to use across all accounts. However, stealing a user’s credentials is the easiest way for hackers to open the doors to your network, and poor password practices can put savvy attackers one move away from doing just that.
In 2016 a report showed that 63% of data breaches were caused by poor password practices. Proper password management is one of the many ways in which you can protect your firm from a cyber-attack. By utilising two-factor authentication, password rotation process and a password manager you can minimise your risk of being targeted.
Phishing
Phishing is the most common attack to succeed in this industry. This is an email attack that involves tricking the recipient of the email, into disclosing sensitive information or sending malware via a link, which is sent within the email.
While many law firms think its enough to just house an anti-virus software on all computers, 90% of all cyber-attacks start with phishing.
An email containing a link to a website or download can instantly reveal login credentials to your accounts and allows access to your server. Whilst phishing can be prevented, majority of the time it comes down to human error. Therefore, education about these attacks is a very simple preventive measure to avoid this.
People argue that cyber threats are common knowledge and cybersecurity doesn’t need to be taught. However, if employees don’t know how to recognize a security threat, how can they be expected to avoid it, report it or remove it?
Data is rapidly becoming the most important commodity in this technological era and its entrusted to us all. It is important that all data is untampered and secured from any external threat.
If you want to know more about how to manage your risk against cyber threats, you can register for our webinar on tips and tricks to being cyber safe.

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