SC Insights | Cyber security connects key themes on law firms’ wishlist for digital: part i

“Implementing the Cyber Essentials framework, for example, doubles as an opportunity to differentiate in a market where survey respondents highlight that ‘firms just like theirs in their geographies’ represent the second biggest commercial threat in the next five years.”

Back in spring 2021, Stratia Cyber contributed commentary on the findings from this year’s Frontiers Legal IT Landscapes report in the LPM Frontiers Legal IT Landscapes magazine. With the focus on how law firms’ technology wants and needs may or may not have changed as a result of the pandemic, the report provides both breadth and depth on the legal sector’s readiness for digital transformation, capturing leaders’ views on everything from what hybrid working will really look like, what one thing firms would do today to boost their competitiveness and appetite for cloud deployment.

Responses revealed that enthusiasm amongst the legal sector to:

  • Launch a digital products team
  • Employ a data guru, Legal Technologist, Data analyst
  • Work with lawyers to develop specific IT products
  • Have more staff in security
  • Reskill lawyers
  • Uncover and educate on operational inefficiencies

At least 72% of respondents are confident that the cloud will host the majority of managed services by 2024.

Source: page 27, Frontiers 2021: Legal IT Landscapes

As for turbocharging efficiency and competitiveness, collaboration technology comes out on top. Operational leaders view digital services as becoming essential not only as a way to stand out, but also as a new offering in an increasingly competitive market.

Cyber security: the common thread

Business leaders are looking for more digital ways of operating,

setting the stage for significant and longer-term cultural change.

Source: page 6, Frontiers 2021: Legal IT Landscapes

We were inspired to hear that more than half of leaders anticipated that investment in IT will rise in response to the pandemic (page 14), where their highest priority tech projects centre around remote teams and agile working solutions. So if we could ask the same audience a question, we’d be curious to know who has recognised this sudden hike in interest to adopt more digital services as an opportunity to trailblaze and become secure by design.

  • Survey findings discuss how client calls for evidence of security continue to grow: 61% of respondents said they’re seeing an increase in the number of clients performing security audits
  • And it’s no surprise lawyers are looking to innovation agendas to differentiate: more than ¼ respondents say ‘other law firms like mine’ represent their firm’s biggest commercial threat over the next five years

Turning to your tech stack to boost competitive advantage is undeniably attractive – SaaS solutions are designed to deliver ROI fast, chosen because implementation is quick, easy, and cost-effective. But we couldn’t have said it better ourselves:

“A more distributed approach to working raises different information security and confidentiality challenges…It can be attractive to outsource the running of a service to SaaS providers – but don’t forget you’re still looking after your client’s data,

wherever you elect to store it for them.”

Source: Andrew Powell at Macfarlanes, page 31, Frontiers 2021: Legal IT Landscapes

Cyber security remains alarmingly low on the list of considerations in light of the increased appetite for digital and data-led innovations. Further to this, research conducted during the first UK lockdown (Remote Control by Briefing with LoopUp) saw firms admit to frequently undermining any security audits carried out on their own arrangements and technologies for remote meetings, instead using the client’s preferred platform – representing another rabbit warren of preventable cyber risks.

Advocating for a more secure future

It’s time to shed more light on the opportunity to differentiate with an enhanced approach to security, to act on the many claims that firms have at the very least factored the government-backed Cyber Essentials certification scheme into future plans, and to realise the market potential of this kind of investment.

The NCSC lists the following reasons to get Cyber Essentials: 

  • Reassure customers that you are working to secure your IT against cyber attack
  • Attract new business with the promise you have cyber security measures in place
  • You have a clear picture of your organisation’s cyber security level
  • Some Government contracts require Cyber Essentials certification

“Clients want to know that firms are renewing their investment in information security and not simply taking a check-box approach.”

Source: Eddie Twemlow, Head of IT and Operations at Burges Salmon, page 30, Frontiers 2021: Legal IT Landscapes

The IASME Consortium is the NCSC’s Cyber Essentials Partner, and you’ll find Stratia Cyber listed as a licensed Certification Body under IASME. This means we’ve been trained to help you understand the (more technical) assessment questions, how they relate to your organisation and what steps you need to take in order to achieve certification, and are licensed to certify against the Cyber Essentials Scheme. And that’s not all – we’re accredited and certified by multiple cyber security bodies to deliver consultancy services across the board, trusted by organisations of all sizes to help ensure proactive measures against cyber attacks are in place, and that compliance standards are met.   

As we continue to emerge from the early stages of the pandemic, the stage is undeniably being set to accommodate a future more flexible than law firms may have ever imagined. Step in now to guide the moving parts in your favour.