Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

Lawyers Rank High in Cybersecurity

Despite the luddite label, law firms are not so bad after all when it comes to cybersecurity.

"There's this impression that the legal sector is behind everyone else," says Jacob Olcott, a vice president at BitSight and an attorney. "From a quantitative, measurable standpoint, we don't see that's true."

So why do law firms have the reputation for being adverse to technology? And if that's true, why are they so cybersecure?

Cybersecure

BitSight, a cybersecurity rating firm, says that lawyers are just as cybersecure as the top-performing finance industry. The company uses more than 20 categories to create cybersecurity scores.

The firm analyzed 2,295 law firms to create a score. It included law firms of "all sizes and geographies," Olcott told the ABA Journal.

"That macro-trend here is that the legal sector is a very high performer in cybersecurity," he said. However, "this isn't to say every law firm is top performing."

The survey found that law firms are good at managing and preventing attacks from malware, ransomware and other hacks on their computer systems. Olcott said lawyers are particularly sensitive to issues with client confidentiality and data privacy.

However, there is room for improvement.

Cyberinsecure

The BitSight report said law firms are weak when it comes to encrypting their websites, which can compromise communications and data. SSL certificates can help with that, but many law firm sites do not employ the encryption tool.

According to one survey last year, as many as 30% of law firms had not secured their websites. Writing for JurisDigital, Casey Meraz said the results were "a bit shocking."

"As early adopters to most technology requirements I figured that many others would have followed suit over the past 2 years," he said.

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