Top Cyber Security Priorities for Law Firms in 2024

As a law firm leader, you know that data and privacy are critical in today’s digital landscape. Guarding client confidentiality and firm assets means staying ahead of sophisticated phishing, Office 365 attacks, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) fatigue, and malicious proxy schemes. Read on to learn what proactive measures your firm can take today to enhance security and keep sensitive information protected this 2024 and, in the years, ahead.

1 – Sophisticated Phishing & Social Engineering

Law firms remain prime targets for phishing and social engineering attacks due to the sensitive data they hold. Employees should be trained to identify and report phishing emails, especially those impersonating clients or vendors. Multi-factor authentication should be implemented for email to reduce the risk of compromised accounts. Regular phishing simulations and security awareness training are a must.

2 – Multi-Factor Authentication Fatigue

While multi-factor authentication (MFA) is critical for security, requiring it for every system can lead to “MFA Fatigue” where employees get frustrated and start looking for workarounds. MFA should be required judiciously based on data sensitivity and risk. For maximum security overburdening employees, MFA can be required for email, file shares, practice management systems, and remote access while still protecting accounts with strong, unique passwords.

3 – Malicious Proxy Attacks

Proxy services are often used by malicious actors to mask their true location and identity. Law firms should monitor for anonymous proxy and VPN use which could indicate an attack. Web filters and firewalls should block known proxy and VPN services. MFA and monitoring are also important for remote access to firm systems.

To guard against these and other threats in 2024, law firms must take a risk-based, defense-in-depth approach to security. Priorities should include MFA, security awareness training, web filtering, continuous monitoring, and patching critical systems. Firms should evaluate technology and processes regularly to identify and mitigate new risks as threat actors continue to evolve their methods. With sensitive data at stake, law firms can’t afford to be reactive – staying on the cutting edge of information is key.

4 – O365 Attacks

Implementing advanced email security solutions such as email authentication (SPF, DKIM, and DMARC), email encryption, and anti-phishing measures to mitigate the risk of O365 email compromise attacks, including business email compromise, phishing, and spear-phishing attempts targeting lawyers and staff members.

Additionally, deploying email filtering and sandboxing technologies to detect and block malicious attachments and URLs in emails, reduces the likelihood of successful email-based attacks on the law firm’s O365 environment. Regular security awareness training should also educate employees about the risks associated with email-based attacks and reinforce vigilance in identifying suspicious emails and reporting them to the IT security team.

5 – Data Encryption and Protection

Law firms deal with highly sensitive client information, including legal documents, financial records, and personal data. Encrypting this data ensures that even if it is intercepted or accessed by unauthorized parties, it remains unintelligible and unusable. Encryption adds an extra layer of security, especially when data is transmitted over networks or stored on devices susceptible to theft or hacking. Compliance requirements such as GDPR and CCPA also mandate data encryption as a fundamental measure to protect individuals’ privacy rights, making it a non-negotiable aspect of cyber security for law firms.

In conclusion, as law firms enter the 2nd quarter of 2024, prioritizing information and cybersecurity is paramount. With the increase in sophisticated phishing and proxy attacks, it is crucial to implement robust email security measures and defensive gateways. Addressing threats targeting Microsoft 365 and addressing multi-factor authentication fatigue through enhanced awareness and streamlined workflows will enhance the firm’s overall security readiness. Despite ongoing challenges, allocating resources to hiring skilled law tech professionals to conduct system testing and implement best practices positions firms to effectively combat emerging threats. By making cybersecurity a top priority now, you will better protect your company and client’s data for the years ahead.