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Data Privacy and Cybercrime Concerns
October 23, 2023

 1. Introduction

In recent years, cybercriminals have increasingly targeted law firms due to the wealth of sensitive information they possess. A firm’s data consists of confidential client records, critical intellectual property, and proprietary knowledge. Hence, a successful cyber-attack could have far-reaching consequences beyond financial loss or regulatory sanctions, tainting the firm’s reputation and undermining client trust.

The SRA’s thematic review – last published in September 2020 – served as a critical wake-up call for law firms to improve their cybersecurity measures. The review emphasised the importance of protecting sensitive client information and maintaining the firms’ hard-earned reputations. However, despite the warning, many firms continue to fall behind in implementing the necessary precautions, leaving them vulnerable to devastating cyber-attacks.

The persistence of these vulnerabilities highlights the need for a renewed push within the legal industry to prioritise cybersecurity. Firms must re-evaluate their existing systems, policies, and training programs to ensure full compliance with the SRA’s recommendations. Among these key recommendations are adopting multi-factor authentication, installing up-to-date antivirus software, and conducting regular security audits to identify and address any weaknesses.

In addition to technical measures, fostering a culture of awareness and vigilance is essential in mitigating cybersecurity risks. This entails providing employees with comprehensive training on the latest cyber threats and best practices for ensuring data privacy and security. Law firms can effectively shield themselves and their clients from potential breaches and the resulting consequences by cultivating a proactive approach toward cybersecurity.

Read our previous articles:

 2. Ransomware Attacks: A Threat That Is Here to Stay – Cybersecurity Awareness Month

For Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Mitigo, our trusted cyber risk management partner, offers advice on ransomware to improve your firm’s cybersecurity.

  • Ransomware guide – 6-minute read

In this guide, they are helping firms with a strategy to defend against ransomware attacks. It highlights the five layers of defence that you should have lined up against this threat to keep your firm secure. Download guide.

  • Ransomware Q&A – 9-minute listen

In their latest Q&A, Mitigo partners Lindsay Hill and Kerrie Machin discuss ransomware. In this episode, they cover what it is, who the attackers are, how you know you’re under attack, what is demanded and how you pay, your reporting obligations and most importantly, how to defend against it. Listen now.

For further guidance on actions you can take, you can access these previous articles:

 3. Our Regulation and Compliance Services

At The Strategic Partner (TSP), we have developed a compliance product that addresses each key stage of managing a compliant law firm. From implementing policies and IT system reviews to file audits and supervision, we work with you to implement a proportionate and sensible approach to compliance.

Our packaged risk and compliance solutions provide guidance and support to firms on a range of topics and include: –

  • Our Risk, Regulation and Compliance Service (including AML), provides firms with the necessary Policies Control and Procedures (PCP’s) – that are in line with CQS requirements and the standard of the relevant quality mark –  alongside training, supervision structure, an annual independent assessment and reporting. This solution ensures that firms and their staff are compliant and remain so. It also clarifies what to do in the event of a mistake and/or a breach occurs.
  • Our extended service, Risk, Compliance, AML Guidance and Register Administration, provides an outsource solution for firms where The Strategic Partner not only manages and maintains the risk registers and provides guidance to all staff (inc. Partners), we also produce monthly risk and compliance reports.

The combination of these two solutions provides a law firm with a robust and cost-effective risk and compliance strategy that ensures staff have access to expert guidance as it is needed.

 4. Training Courses

The Strategic Partner has developed a range of training courses to assist firms with their training challenges. We have trained firms of all sizes, and our clients range from sole practitioners to multi-office, multi-service firms with overseas offices. Our courses constantly evolve to keep relevant with changing regulations, requirements, and industry topics. Our training can be delivered to firms and their staff on both a 1-2-1 or Group basis, find out more about our training courses

 5. About The Strategic Partner

The Strategic Partner is a law firm knowledge hub. We work with law firms and professional indemnity insurers, advising and guiding on compliance and risk management techniques to assist and reduce instances of claims or regulatory breaches.

We offer a range of services and consultancy tailored to the Legal sector. We have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in the overall management of law firms and work with them to achieve profitability, stability, and efficiency. Our goal is to become a valued and respected partner to our member law firms, consistently providing high-quality services and solutions.

For more information about The Strategic Partner, you can call us on 0203 911 9710, email us info@thestrategicpartner.co.uk or visit our website to make an online enquiry.

View and download the PDF version of this article here.

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