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Clients to Lawyers: Protect Our Data, Or Else

By William Vogeler, Esq. on July 31, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A lot of outside counsel are going to lose their jobs if they don't improve their cybersecurity.

According to a new report, seventy percent of companies are "somewhat confident" that their outside attorneys adequately protect their data. Nine percent are "not at all confident."

For the law firms with superior cybersecurity, that could be good news. For the rest, it's time to get serious about it.

The Association for Corporate Counsel issued its cybersecurity report for 2018, and it reveals some big problems. Among others, one in three in-house counsel have experienced data breaches.

It's a significant increase from the last report, when only 15 percent had a data breach. It's also prompted companies to increase spending on cybersecurity upgrades and training in their legal departments.

According to the ABA Journal, that means companies will expect more of their law firms as well. In-house counsel must ensure that outside firms are "not the weak link in the company's cyberdefense."

"In light of the rise in cybercrimes, many corporate clients are now demanding that law firms respond to exhaustive requests for proposals and describe the data security programs and preventive tools they have in place on the condition of retention," wrote Karen Painer Randall and Steven Kroll.

More, Not Less

The demand is not new because the problem is not new. Law firms have long been easy targest for hackers.

Wall Street banks have required their law firms to demonstrate they have top-tier technologies to guard the banks' data for years. Even so, change has been slow.

Last year, DLA Piper got hacked. It was a ransomware attack that spread thoughout the 4,000-lawyer firm.

Logikcull, an ediscovery company, said lawyers are finally getting the message. Get serious about cybersecurity or lose business.

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