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According to recent ONS figures, there were 1.6 million computer misuse offences in the last 12 months. Although cybercrime affects all types of businesses and individuals, the legal sector is particularly vulnerable to malicious hacks due to the highly confidential nature of client data.
As well as the data protection rules which apply to all businesses under the Data Protection Act and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), businesses have an additional obligation to keep client information confidential, under Rule 4 of the SRA handbook. Failure to implement sufficient cybersecurity measures can therefore lead to enforcement action from both the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Furthermore, a hack can lead to serious reputational damage. So what lawyers do to prevent their data being compromised?
As a first step, all companies and business leaders should be aware of the main types of cybersecurity threat, which include:
Aside from technical cyberattacks, cybercriminals also extensively use social engineering to target businesses and their clients. In an age of social media, individuals are increasingly accessible to malicious hackers who can manipulate or blackmail their victims in an effort to access their login details. They also lure disgruntled employees to sell sensitive data.
Preventing IT systems being compromised is largely down to awareness of risks and using common sense to avoid devices becoming exposed to unauthorised access. Some of the key measures include:
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