Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Law Firm Information Risk and Security -- FBI + Financial Services Clients Raising the Red Flag

Several presentations LegalTech New York last week focused on information security and risk management issues facing law firms. This coincides with two major stories about hacking as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Washington Post admit to being hacked by (allegedly by Chinese hackers).

Law firms manage some of their clients more sensitive information. We've posted several stories and upates on firm hacking/security breach examples and warnings (here, here and here). Evan Koblentz published several updates from LegalTech, connecting the dots:

LegalTech Day Three: FBI Security Expert Urges Law Firm Caution:

  • "A computer security expert from the Federal Bureau of Investigation pulled no punches at LegalTech New York on Thursday." 
  • Said Mary Galligan, FBI Special Agent in charge of cyber and special operations: "We have hundreds of law firms that we see increasingly being targeted by hackers. The FBI puts great importance on this issue."
  • Adding: "The more mobility you have, the more documents you're sending through the internet, the more likely you are to be the victim of a cyberattack, and that's what we're seeing at law firms... The cyberthreat is too big for any of us to fight alone."
Law Firm Security Awareness
Next comes commentary from Carlos Rodriguez at Lathrop and Gage, and Mark Brophy at Rogers Townsend & Thomas, who describe how clients are driving their firms to respond to these threats:
  • Rodriguez notes: "It's important that all information technology employees at a firm deliver the same message, he added. 'We're trying to move from just having a compliance checkmark into transforming our organization,'"
  • "Brophy noted that his firm's clients, many of whom are in the financial industry, demand security audits. 'They are holding our feet to the fire. You have to have an awareness program and you have to provide materials about what you are teaching...You may have a partner who's a rainmaker and generates $1 million for the firm, but if he causes a breach, that's a $7.2 million liability.'"
  • "Behind the scenes, law firms are learning from the financial industry's best practices, he added. Several major New York firms met with Goldman Sachs earlier this month to learn additional security techniques, he said. Such meetings will probably recur on a regular basis, he said."

1 comment:

Darlingtons Solicitors said...

Law firm security is vital but are clients willing to pay for it ? Clients are challenging fees like never before and most take the view that they are not interested in the very significant overheads that lawyers have compared to other businesses. Clients cannot continue to have "their cake and eat it". If law is to remain a profession, clients need to listen to lawyers just as lawyers need to listen to clients.

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