Of all the enduring trends from 2023 and predicted trends for 2024, cybersecurity is an ever-relevant topic in the legal industry. As firms increasingly rely on digital solutions, protecting sensitive case and client information is more critical than ever.
In late summer/early fall 2023, U.S. Legal Support conducted a survey asking lawyers and other legal professionals what they expect 2024 to bring and how they plan to leverage litigation support services to align with their priorities.
Cybersecurity remained a primary theme within the survey results. And this trend isn’t new. According to a report by the American Bar Association, firms are generally improving their security posture but need to embrace new technologies, including those utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning, to counter rising cybersecurity incidents.
Read on for findings from our 2023 litigation support trends survey and what to expect in cybersecurity related to ongoing technological developments in the legal industry.
→ Missed the full survey results? Click here to download the litigation support trends infographic.
A crucial consideration for any law firm in 2024 is your data security policy, which protects digital information from unauthorized access, corruption, or theft. While data security policies primarily defend against cybercriminal activity, a robust strategy guards your assets and information against insider threats and human error as well.
Data security policies for law firms are highly topical as we move into 2024. In July 2023, Bloomberg reported at least five class-action lawsuits filings in 2023 against law firms that allegedly failed to protect their client data. Law firms are attractive targets to cyber criminals because they possess valuable data—employee information, Social Security data, confidential patents, financial information, and merger plans are just a few examples.
78% of the firms we surveyed confirmed that they have a data security policy in place. This statistic tells us two things: data protection is a top concern for the industry, and there is still a need for cybersecurity education and technological advancements to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and breaches.
To help gauge how common cyberattacks were in 2023 within the legal community, we asked litigation professionals in our survey about their experience in the last year dealing with cybercrime.
With 20% of respondents reporting that their firm was the target of an attempted cyberattack in 2023, these instances are not as uncommon as one would hope. This is especially alarming considering each attack can expose the sensitive data of tens of thousands of individuals. In one since-dismissed lawsuit last November, more than 93,000 people had their personal identifying information stolen and were at risk of identity theft after a breach at a firm.
Only 76% of respondents said that they believe their firm is compliant with security and privacy standards. Staying compliant with the latest standards helps protect firms against unforeseen attacks, as cybercriminals are continuously evolving their methods parallel to our increasing defenses.
An important consideration in securing your data is the security posture of any vendors and partners your firm works with. Many litigation support service providers claim to be SOC 2 Type 2 compliant but have little in terms of evidence to support these assertions.
U.S. Legal Support has been verified as SOC 2 Type 2 compliant by a reputable, independent auditor because data privacy and security are just as important to us as they are to you and your clients. Additionally, U.S. Legal Support is verified by independent auditors to be HIPAA compliant and follows the NIST Cybersecurity Framework to stay up-to-date regarding policies, procedures, and controls.
Don’t fall victim to rising cyberattacks on law firms. Ensure your data security policies are updated, and your organization fully complies with the latest security and privacy standards. When it comes to vetting providers, make sure to ask the important questions. Download our free cybersecurity checklist today.
American Bar Association. Cybersecurity for Law Firms: What Legal Professionals Should Know. https://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_practice/resources/tech-report/2022/cybersecurity-law-firms/
IBM. What is data security? https://www.ibm.com/topics/data-security
Bloomberg Law. Law Firm Cyberattacks Grow, Putting Operations in Legal Peril. https://news.bloomberglaw.com/business-and-practice/law-firm-cyberattacks-grow-putting-operations-in-legal-peril
Content published on the U.S. Legal Support blog is reviewed by professionals in the legal and litigation support services field to help ensure accurate information.