Every day, law firms rely on technology to keep their business running, yet their IT teams are overwhelmed with the growth of data’s role in the courtroom and the prevalence of cybersecurity threats. Because the data load has become hard to protect as new innovations and threats crop up, the legal industry has struggled to maintain profitability while keeping up.
To better explore the challenges the legal industry faces and whether they are taking measures to mitigate them, Bluelock partnered with ALM (parent company of LegalTech News, The American Lawyer, Law.com, etc.) to conduct an online reader survey of legal IT professionals.
Read about the results in our latest white paper.
It’s for good reason that most survey respondents (69%) noted “data security” as their largest concern. Cyber intrusions are a real threat for law firms. Just look at the recent news of three hackers who breached a law firm and used confidential merger and acquisition information to make $4 million in profits.
The goal of having the right data security often guides a firm’s IT decisions – but not far enough. Given that survey respondents rated tight “budgets” (59%) and “overwhelmed IT teams” (40%) as next in line for their top challenges, it looks like these concerns are not being addressed with the necessary vehemence.
Respondents also noted increasing client and auditor demands around proving their disaster recovery (DR) strategies. This may confirm that data’s role in the legal industry has taken greater precedence in successful operations and case proceedings.
Though the majority expressed apprehension in their DR plans, 23% of respondents expressed high confidence. This may be ill-placed reasoning, given the above challenges and increasing pressures.
When IT individuals express confidence in their DR, but also note an “overburdened IT team” as a major challenge, clients may see a glaring disconnect. If legal firms don’t assure clients of their data’s recoverability with verifiable evidence, then clients will go elsewhere since they may see an inability to retain data for important court proceedings.
Furthermore, when IT professionals lack proper testing methods to find vulnerabilities in their DR plans, the confidence disconnect only grows wider. 62% of respondents said they have no DR tests in place or weren’t sure what types of testing they performed. Worse, some said they had no disaster recovery strategy at all. This means most legal firms aren’t assessing their security risks simply because they aren’t challenging their DR environments.
It’s important to define internally what your firm calls a “disaster.” Historically, DR plans only accounted for weather-related events. But, now that weather has become the least-likely type of event to disable your firm, IT teams must plan for a wider gamut of probabilities. Cyber threats have become so prevalent that IT teams need mitigation strategies for an intrusion. Sensitive client information often makes a valuable ransom for cybercriminals.
A better DR strategy doesn’t mean buying better insurance. In fact, many insurers now want proof of an effective DR strategy to obtain or renew insurance policies. True confidence begins with a more robust DR plan that provisions stronger firewalls and patches them consistently. Every possible vulnerability needs to be mitigated, and these vulnerabilities can only be found when IT teams test their environments comprehensively. Don’t stop there. Data needs to be encrypted in transit and at-rest. Hard copy backups need to be paired with replication for full coverage and fast recovery in the event of a breach.
As you can see, it’s not just necessary to have a DR plan for your law firm – it’s critical. A Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) provider like Bluelock can help in creating uninterrupted digital service to clients. Not to mention, we can provide verifiable evidence for concerned constituents in a globally-competitive landscape.
Read our full white paper here.