Attorney-client Privilege Extends to Client Data

Attorney-client privilege offers a great deal of protection to clients. It’s to the point that this can make them feel secure if any sensitive information ever falls into the wrong hands. The unfortunate part is client data itself doesn’t always have these privileges. And as data breaches in the legal sector continue to rise, most firms aren’t considering cybersecurity at all.

That much is proven by data that was compiled in 2020 by Blakes Canadian Cybersecurity Trends Study. That study found:

  • 33% of organizations in the study suffered from a cyber incident that resulted in their operations being disrupted.
  • 25% had incurred financial losses.
  • 21% resulted in negative impacts to relationships with partners.
  • Roughly 50% of organizations took over two weeks to fully recover from the incident. 25% took over a month.
  • 31% of the law firms reported these incidents to the police.
  • 29% of organizations that had a cyber incident had an effective incident response plan and followed it.

As troubling as these numbers are, the legal industry itself isn’t well known for being tech-savvy. As a result, cybercriminals see these firms as easy targets. Paired with the fact lawyers deal with a lot of sensitive information, it’s possible for cybercriminals to gain access to important legal documents and impersonate individuals.

Legal Firms Need Better Protection

Indeed, they do need protection; however, the question now is what would be the best way to start. At a minimum, all organizations should have the following pieces of technology in place to protect sensitive information:

  • Firewalls – These protect networks by filtering traffic and blocking outsiders from gaining unauthorized access to network computers.
  • Intrusion prevention – Monitor data and have solutions in place to prevent attacks.
  • Virus protection – Anti-virus software helps to detect, prevent, and disarm or remove malicious software.
  • System monitoring – Used to monitor the performance to create a baseline of performance. It’s then used to monitor and detect potential errors or issues.
  • Data leakage prevention – Allows organizations to set rules that classify confidential and sensitive information to prevent it from being mentioned maliciously or accidentally.
  • Spam filtering – Identify and remove any unsolicited, unwanted, and virus-infected emails.

These are but small steps to take in order to protect client information. It is a huge commitment, and it can be confusing to implement, but this is better than doing nothing at all or hoping to never get targeted.

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