Frontiers Legal IT Landscapes 2021 partner comment: Perceptions versus reality by Stratia Cyber

Stratia Cyber | Resource | 12 March 2021

Read between the lines and cybersecurity is, in fact, a critical theme connecting most responses documented in this report. There’s a clear disconnect between the perception of cyber risk, the desire to adopt technology in an industry traditionally reluctant to embrace digitisation, and curious reports that the number of data leaks remains the same since before the Covid-19 pandemic – despite more dispersed working practices.

That last point runs counter to broad evidence suggesting that working from home has directly led to increased cyber risks across every sector – the opportunities for breaches have simply multiplied. Perhaps, eager to demonstrate their readiness for continued remote working, law firms are now not only comfortable with migrating to the cloud, implementing automation and upgrading their tech in general, but are also confident that changes to their IT infrastructure are the answer to enabling growth and gaining competitive advantages. In particular, demand is high for better hardware that helps get the job done, and billable hours inevitably remain front-of-mind. However, the mere suggestion that change is afoot represents significant risk. As for perception of cyber risk, the indicators suggest the legal profession is still lagging behind.

Based on these findings, top of our agenda is providing topical predictions for future ways of working combined with support for building cyber risk awareness. We believe there’s work to be done to make cybersecurity issues fundamentally more accessible to lawyers, and talking in plain terms about the commercial benefits is crucial to achieving this. Implementing the Cyber Essentials Plus framework, for example, is an opportunity for firms to differentiate themselves in a market where survey respondents say “firms like ours” in their own geographies represent their second-biggest commercial threat over the next five years.

Unfortunately, while 70% of firms claim to have factored the government-backed certification scheme into their future plans to protect against common cyberattacks, most decision-makers have yet to realise or act upon the potential return on investment this can also deliver.

As firms opt for a more permanent split between home based and office working, we’ll be keen to see if recognition of their responsibilities to provide adequate protection for information assets will keep pace with the rate at which legal is exploring new environments in pursuit of greater market share.

A suite of shiny new devices without the security infrastructure to match brings the magpie out in your average cybercriminal. The good news is having the Cyber Essentials Plus, a badge front and centre can be enough to deter a thief completely.

This sponsor comment was taken from LPM Frontiers: Legal IT landscapes 2021. To read the full report, click here.