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With the increasing amount of sensitive information being stored and transmitted on mobile devices, the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks is higher than ever. Organizations and professionals are more vulnerable to malicious software, data leakage, and mobile attacks. One essential concern is for the businesses that provide services to the clients. For Law professionals and Law firms, data security is even more crucial to ensure clients' safety, privacy, and trust.
We help lawyers and law firms how to protect their client's confidential information. This blog will discuss mobile security, reasons why mobile security should be the top priority of Law professionals, and how to prevent cyber threats.
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What is Mobile Security?
Mobile security refers to protecting mobile devices from malware and phishing attacks. Smartphones, tablets, computers, and other devices are vulnerable to threats. Wireless devices are open to network malware attacks. Security protects from cyber criminals to protect the data from stolen. Mobile security is the most critical phenomenon because almost all businesses are depended on digital platforms to manage their daily operations. Mobile security is different for legal firms because it relates to lawyer-client privilege. Lawyers seek security to protect their clients' intellectual rights and confidential information. However, Law firms are still at a high risk of digital threats.
Top Mobile Security Threats of Law Firms
Law firms are at high risk of mobile security threats. Client-lawyer relationships lie on the confidentiality of the information. Sensitive data is always at risk of cybercriminals. As the clients of a law firm are related to different cases (divorce, murder, etc.), the party against the client is always looking for a back door. Law firms are at risk of the following mobile security threats.
Loss of Mobile Phone:
Mobile phone is handy; someone might lose it on the bus or in the subway. But the loss of a mobile with important information on it is a risk to the reputation of the law firm as well as the future of its clients.
Mobile Device Theft:
It is the thing for which lawyers are responsible. Loss or theft of mobile devices poses a risk because they can be in the wrong hands. They can use the information to blackmail you against your clients. Lawyers need to stay alert with portable devices having sensitive data.
If you are in a Law firm and didn't update mobile security, then the firm is responsible for risking the client's data; you are not! Outdated software is one of the most significant reasons for data configuration issues. Data configuration requires updating the data you transfer and receive from clients into the system.
Collision of Personal and Work Life:
As more employees of law firms are using their own devices for work purposes, the risk of sensitive data has increased. Lawyers' personal lives collide with their work lives and the risk of disclosing private information increases.
These are the top mobile security threats faced by law firms. Overall, protecting sensitive information is the main priority of a law firm while these threats still exist. We will discuss why lawyers and law firms are attractive targets for cybercriminals. Stay tuned to the article to know why mobile security should be the number one concern for lawyers.
Lawyers and Legal Firms Are Attractive Targets for Cyber Criminals
Lawyers and law firms are attractive targets of malware attacks. Lawyers and legal institutions took cases of essential profiles. These are the institutions where public data is available. The information in the public record is confidential, and attorneys are deep-pocket targets. As the lead in law firms contains high-profile persons, cybercriminals are also looking for information of much importance. Therefore, cybercriminals target lawyers and law firms where they get more data and money. Moreover, getting news from social media is very easy in the digital age. Lawyers also use mobile phones to connect with their clients.
Lawyers can't afford to be complacent because it is easy to get information by simply hacking a mobile device. A call to action is necessary for lawyers to protect their clients and reputation. Mobile security must come first on the priority list of lawyers because security breaches can devastate their practice. Here are some stats showing mobile security risks to lawyers.
Some stats on Mobile security risks to lawyers
- ABA's cybersecurity tech report predicts that 69% of lawyers use public data to access clients' data, while only 38% use the encrypted network.
- In February 2017, the tax forms of 100 Jenner and & Block employees fell into the wrong hands with sensitive information. The law firm stated that it was under a phishing attack.
- As the digital world expands, lawyers tend to do remote work; 44% of lawyers say they use Laptops, 30% use smartphones, 13% use tablets, and 12% use desktop computers (ABA).
- The report also suggested that 59% of email sent to law firms is termed phishing attack or spam email.
- In 2016, the Law firm Mossack Fonseca was hacked, losing 11.5 million documents and impacting almost 300,000 people.
- In 2016, Law firm Moses Afonso Ryan Ltd also got under a phishing attack, causing a loss of 700,000 billings with months of unproductivity.
- Global data also shows that mobile traffic is more than 30 exabytes per month, with 40% of the transactions done using the mobile phone.
With this huge database of mobile phones, the risk also gets enormous. The above statistics show that the data has been compromised due to the negligence of lawyers. The result is the closing of the law firm for the rest of the time. Additionally, out of 69%, only 38% use encrypted networks, while almost everyone uses a mobile device to work remotely. Now security should be the top priority for lawyers. For the legal industry, mobile security has become the Achilles heel.
Importance of Mobile Security for Lawyers
This section provides information on the importance of mobile security for lawyers, as it is called the legal industry's Achilles heel. Why the mobile device security is Achilles heel for lawyers? Because the rise of technology also has a consequence. Hackers are constantly seeking ways to find information and sensitive data to use against famous personalities. Politicians and entertainment personalities use their lawyers to manage political and personal relations. Cybercriminals try new attacks like malware, Phishing, unauthorized network, and ad-clicking hacking methods. The consequences of the breach are higher because everything is public. The dark web is present with the evidence of recently leaked voice recordings of politicians. The result was drastic for their future.
Moreover, there are many reasons why lawyers should constantly be vigilant of mobile security threats. The statistics also proved that the increasing demand for mobile devices in professional lives put the lawyer's practice at stake.
There are several reasons why lawyers should keep up to date with security practices. Some of them are listed as follows:
Mobile devices contain confidential information about clients. The clients seek lawyers with high confidentiality practices to protect their sensitive information. Confidentiality will break in the loss of data, and the lawyer will lose the client. If the client is high profile, then the lawyer will have severe consequences in terms of punishments too. Moreover, it is the primary reason people tend towards lawyers to resolve personal matters like marriage fix, divorce, and legal cases like rape, murder, etc. The client's age, contact number, and occupation, the problem is confidential information that the lawyer is supposed to protect from criminals.
Due to increasing data breaches, protecting sensitive information stored in mobile devices is necessary. Hackers can access information by creating misperceptions. Employees would think it is a legitimate request from management, but it will be mistakenly transmitted to an unauthorized person. New ways have developed to put viruses in devices. Data breaches are a reason why lawyers should be vigilant for mobile security. Also, sensitive information like pictures and videos can be leaked, posing a high risk to the client's life. Therefore, lawyers need to consider mobile security to avoid the consequences of data breaches.
Intellectual property includes clients' rights, such as the right to live in peace, the right to privacy, and the right to intellectual creation like images, logos, designs, symbols, names, etc. Lawyers must deal with patents, rights, trade secrets, and intellectual rights. Any data exposure can cause a massive loss to a client, which is not bearable by a lawyer. But for a firm, it is impossible to show irresponsibility because the Law firm works with multiple clients at a time. It is written in the policy to protect the intellectual rights of its stakeholders. Moreover, employees of the firm also need to protect the privacy of their clients. The use of mobile in professional and personal life poses a risk.
The reason everyone wants to avoid is financial loss. Data breaches and stolen data affect the lawyer's career, and he has to pay the client, as the above statistics show that the Law firm Mossack Fonseca was hacked in 2016. It caused a loss of worth 11.5m to a firm. Loss of mobile devices also puts financial information at risk. Reports also suggested that mobile devices cause a breach of financial information by password sharing. Banks closely monitor financial transactions. But in the end, it lies on the consumer to protect himself from financial fraud. For lawyers, it is crucial to safeguard financial information; that's why mobile security should be no 1 concern.
Law firm reputation
If you belong to a law firm, you have more responsibility. A data breach and cybercriminals can damage a law firm's reputation. It can devastate the future of the company. In today's social media world, every firm strives to make a name in the market. With a minor mistake, the firm's name can be damaged and cause a loss of millions. People also buy terms or intellectual rights with money. Loss of data can cause not only financial loss but also market share. Revenue and clients are the vision of any law firm. They can be harmed without security. Therefore, mobile security is the utmost concern of lawyers.
Lawyers are common victims of cyberattacks. Among the professionals, lawyers contain important sensitive information under the strict supervision of cyber criminals. As it is a clear target for criminals, it must need security. Mobile devices are vulnerable to cyberattacks, including Phishing, malware, and social engineering attacks. Mobile devices also contain password credentials, and credential stuffing attack is also a form of cyber-attack. The best practice, in this case, is to use an extra security layer for sensitive information. Stay tuned to learn the tips and tricks to keep your law firm safe.
This is the most common type of cyberattack. In malware attacks, criminals send emails that appear to be from trusted management. These messages contain links or attachments that, when clicked, download the malware in the device. The malware attack can cause damage to the intellectual rights of the clients. Ransomware attacks also threaten information. Criminals get the information, and upon asking for ransom, they send it back. This is a common form of mobile device threat. Lawyers must be vigilant because handy devices are feasible for malware, Phishing, and ransomware attacks.
After Covid-19, remote work has become common. Most firms have shifted their operations online. Lawyers also work remotely. Connecting with their clients on mobile phones while traveling or on a bus can cause harm to the information. While lawyers connect remotely with their clients, their devices also stay online. They are at risk of remote access to criminals. This is why lawyers should be vigilant in the digital world. Moreover, remote access is the easiest way to get information.
Protecting the rights of customers is the legal duty of any firm. Clients are legal customers of lawyers. Their information must be safe with them. Otherwise, they will be acted upon by rules and regulations. Law wouldn't protect from digital threats. If you are a lawyer and think you are exempt from any danger, then you are mistaken. If any unlawful act happens just because of you, you will face its consequences accordingly. For regulatory compliance, lawyers need to be concerned about mobile device security.
After an attack on information and data, the productivity of the firm/employees will decrease, which in turn reduces the revenue generated. If you are a solo lawyer, it will devastate you. Productivity depends on smooth devices to be used for clients. Lawyers should consider device security because their productivity is at risk.
Technological advances have changed the security settings of mobile devices. Lawyers should be updated on technological advances. Google and IOS are continuously updating privacy settings. Sometimes, there is the configuration of data to the mobile system. Viruses and malware can quickly attack non-configured data. Lawyers should look for mobile device security measures to protect their client's confidential information.
Clients want a lawyer who keeps the information safe and sound. For the client-lawyer relationship, the one thing that matters the most is trust. Clients share their sensitive information thinking about getting the solution. But in the end, if they get the breach of data, then it will be destructive for a lawyer and a firm as well. To consider clients' expectations, lawyers should keep updated on security practices.
Bring your own device policy works with employees in different fields in a firm. For lawyers and a law firm, the own device policy pose a risk to the client's sensitive information. Other employees have additional devices with no or fewer security measures. This increases the risk of a cybersecurity attack. If you belong to a firm where the "bring your own device policy" works, you must consider security at its best. Mobile devices should be checked against security measures.
Read: How to Implement Secure BYOD Policy
Mobile device management
Sometimes poor mobile device management poses a risk of cyberattacks on important information. Mobile device management is necessary for lawyers. It includes monitoring, securing, and updating the device so that it can stay away from vulnerabilities.
Access to Networks
Mobile devices can connect to networks that are not secure. Any unauthorized network poses a risk to data present in the mobile. Lawyers have sensitive data on their mobile devices. They must be vigilant because unsecured networks can be a gateway to viruses, malware, Phishing, and cybersecurity attacks.
All of the above reasons show that mobile device security should be the no 1 concern of lawyers. Otherwise, there is a potential for unauthorized access to data, and a data breach will have severe consequences. To prevent the result of a violation, lawyers must understand the legal and financial implications of data breaches. Here are the tips and tricks to secure your mobile phone.
What Can Lawyers Do to Protect Themselves from Mobile Threats?
Following are the tips and tricks to keep your law firm safe from cybersecurity threats:
- Develop a policy that outlines the acceptable use of mobile devices for work-related tasks. This policy should include guidelines for password protection, software updates, and data encryption.
- Mobile device management (MDM) software can help protect mobile devices by enabling remote tracking, wiping, and disabling of lost or stolen devices. Lawyers can use mobile device management systems.
- You should use encryption to protect sensitive data stored on mobile devices. This includes encrypting files, folders, email communications, and all confidential information.
- Multi-Factor Authentication can add a layer of security to mobile devices. This can include a password and a fingerprint or facial recognition scan. This will prevent the breach of data if the mobile gets lost or stolen.
- You must update software and apps to protect against the latest threats and vulnerabilities. You can also enable automatic updates wherever possible. It will help mobile devices to manage security conditions.
- If you work in a law firm, educating employees on the risks of mobile devices can help them secure their information. This can include regular training sessions and reminders about safe mobile device usage. Employee training is critical for mobile device security.
- Always use secure Wi-Fi connections to protect mobile devices when accessing the internet. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks, which can be easily hacked.
- Lawyers can use mobile antivirus software to protect mobile devices against malware, viruses, and other cyber threats.
- You can regularly monitor mobile devices for suspicious activity or security breaches. This includes tracking devices, reviewing logs, and implementing intrusion detection systems.
With all the tips and tricks, lawyers can protect mobile devices.
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Mobile device security is the no. one concern of lawyers because of several reasons. The rise of the digital age also raises security concerns for sensitive information professionals. With all the reasons to consider mobile security, there also lie technologies to protect clients' confidential information. How you choose the right tool to evaluate and implement effective mobile security solutions depends on you. There is regulatory compliance for data privacy and security. Lawyers must navigate the complex landscape of mobile data privacy laws. The future of mobile security shows many trends. You must watch and make strategies to stay ahead of the curve. Moreover, some ways can be used to ensure the client's safety, confidentiality, and security. If you belong to a firm, you must empower productivity with mobile security, focusing on the human element because employee education is critical for mobile security.
Read: SIM Swap Attacks on Law Firms and Tips to Prevent Them