Why worry about IT risks when your business is the law?

Posted by Rudy Mitra on Feb 1, 2019 1:13:08 PM
Rudy Mitra
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Why worry about IT risks when your business is the law?

Outside of banks, insurance companies and government agencies, there are not many businesses where the data that moves through everyday workflows is as sensitive as that of a law firm.

Law firms are particularly vulnerable to cyber-attacks given the confidential information that is contained within legal documents and other records. And worryingly, many legal professionals in Australia don’t have the time or the know-how to manage day-to-day IT security operations.

According to the 2018 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Overview the total cost of a data breach averages out at $3.86 million, with the average cost per lost or stolen record being $148. Imagine the impact that would have on a firm.

Losing the trust of valued clients is not something that any law firm wants to experience, so how do you mitigate risk and keep your data safe?


What are the risks and how can I avoid them?


Reputational damage

If a cyber-attack occurs or confidential data is lost through human error, the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme requires businesses to notify the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) as well as the affected individual(s). Given the potential for this disclosure to become public knowledge, there is a significant risk of reputational damage to a business in this scenario.

While cyber-attacks and human error are a given in any business over time, appearing to be careless with the risks can be a quick way to end business relationships. When a business is built based on relationships, word of mouth and reputation, it is vital that you take all necessary steps to ensure you present your firm in the best possible light.

Employing the services of a specialist cyber security business like The Missing Link allows you to delegate the task of keeping up to date with the ever-changing world of security and IT. You can trust that our team of security experts will work with you to provide the best solutions for your individual needs.

Monetary penalties

It’s almost a year since the NDB came into effect and according to Lawyers Weekly the legal, accounting and management services sector provided the OAIC with the third highest number of data breach notifications in the reporting period of July to September 2018.

Civil penalties of up to $1.7m may apply if a breach occurs (as well as potential compensation for damages), so it is imperative that law firms, large and small, take all necessary steps to ensure the risk of breach is minimised in order to protect the bottom line.

Loss of data

How long could your firm operate if you lost your data? Many businesses would stop dead in their tracks and not being able to operate begins to create a customer and financial impact very quickly that could take months, if not years, to recover from.

Having a robust backup and recovery solution can protect your business from such disruptions and given our ability to match the best solutions for your needs, and then only applying the level of support required, you’ll pay for what your business actually needs and nothing more. Remember, back up is NOT recovery, there are many cases where back-up will not help e.g in the case of many cyber attacks, the back up is compromised too, only a disaster recovery solution would protect you in this case.

Doing what you do best

At the end of the day, you wouldn’t expect a dentist to be an expert in astrophysics or a fisherman to have an in-depth understanding of engineering, so why should legal professionals be expected to be experts in IT security? You shouldn’t be and that’s why we’re here to help. 

Reach out today and talk to one of our experts so that you can get back to doing what you do best, secure in the knowledge that your IT security needs are being looked after.


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Rudy Mitra

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