Telemat IT Support, a division of Antur Cymru Enterprise, has been raising the profile of cyber security among solicitors and law firms concerned about a security breach, with financial and identity theft, loss of clients and regulatory penalties among the issues faced.
Business Development Manager Kevin Harrington has worked in partnership with Business Wales to deliver guidance and advice, workshop training, free IT security audits and recorded a video discussing the key points around cyber essentials and a certification and consultancy service provided by Telemat.
“It is becoming increasingly difficult to protect a business from hackers given the sophisticated techniques and tricks being used to illegally access data and information.
“With law firms whose data is largely confidential and sensitive, the subject of an attack is hugely damaging from a reputational and financial perspective.
“There is a lot more that companies can be doing in partnership with the Law Society and by working alongside the authorities and organisations such as Telemat to educate themselves and minimise any future risk.
“Strong passwords which are regularly updated, training for staff and logging any incidents are among the steps that can be taken, and it’s important to tap into resources that offer peace of mind.”
In the UK alone, recent reports showed cyber-attacks have grown by more than 50% in two years, which led to the National Cyber Security Centre (NSCS) and Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) requesting the Law Society to remind its members of their advice – on ransomware in particular – after a surge in incidents.
The Law Society in Wales has recently received grant funding of up to £100,000 from Welsh Government to enhance the cyber and IT security of law firms in Wales.
And in 2020, a report from the Solicitors Regulation Authority found 75% of firms in England and Wales have reported being victims, with almost a quarter of those being directly targeted resulting in more than £4m of client money being stolen.
Kevin revealed that confusion over cyber security certifications is a notable grey area for law practices unaware of what approach best fits their business.
“Having a cyber-security budget and building it into future-proofing plans is a necessity at this point in time, especially when you consider the current economic and social challenges facing all industries post-pandemic,”
“This in turn will have an impact on insurance, build trust with long-standing clients and ultimately, eliminate doubts and worries for staff and company owners.
“Always be aware, always be on your guard and get in touch for help and advice on what has become a major headache for law firms everywhere.”