Cyber attacks in the professional services sector
Produced in partnership with Lockton Companies insurance brokers
Cyber attacks in the professional services sector

The following Practice Compliance practice note produced in partnership with Lockton Companies insurance brokers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Cyber attacks in the professional services sector
  • What’s the risk?
  • Case studies
  • Wipe-out
  • Tracking your hacking
  • The phish are biting
  • The value of data
  • Cyber specific insurance

Cyber attacks in the professional services sector

Professional services firms make attractive targets for cyber criminals and are experiencing an increase in cyber attacks. The professional services sector, a term that encompasses firms across the spectrum of accounting, legal, insurance and other client-focused businesses, has become a prime target for a number of reasons. One major factor is their access to confidential and sensitive client information, which typically is of great value.

This Practice Note sets out why the professional services sector is a particularly attractive target for cyber criminals and contains various case studies highlighting actual cyber attacks encountered by professional services firms, and their cost.

What’s the risk?

By their very nature, professional services firms often handle their clients’ most sensitive information, including financial details, tax returns, identification numbers, asset investments, corporate strategies and intellectual property as relate to both private individuals and businesses. Any of this information, if leaked, could cause devastating financial loss and reputational damage. Professional service firms also of course hold large amounts of client money. Traditionally, professional services firms (particularly those in the small to mid-market) are seen as soft targets. Larger organisations often have extensive security budgets and resources to implement strong perimeter and internal defences, but many professional service firms do not have the internal resources to commit that same level of investment into IT security, leading to inferior

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