Cyber Attacks and Data Breaches in the Legal Industry and How to Protect Your Organisation

Legal Data Breach - Hacks on US law firms reinforces need for increased Cybersecurity

In the wake of a yet another cyber attack on a number of US law firms, the legal industry must respond to protect their practices & their clients confidential information. In 2016, there were a number of major law firm hacks – including the leak of top-secret documents from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and the M&A hack attack by a Russian cyber criminal who targeted 48 elite law firms including Hogan Lovells, Allen & Overy, Cravath Swaine & Moore and Freshfields.

December 2016 saw Chinese Hackers target New York law firms in an attempt to gather confidential information on recent mergers and acquisitions in order to penetrate the stock market. Targeting the confidential communications of the law firms, the hackers netted around $4 million in profit from the information they were able to gather. The ease with which this appeared to have been carried out will only encourage more of the same attacks. Preet Bharara, US attorney for the southern district of New York, said that the Chinese hackers successfully breached “at least” two law firms, which he did not name, and targeted at least another five.

“This case of cyber-meets-securities fraud should serve as a wake-up call for law firms around the world,” he said. “You (law firms) are, and will be, targets of cyber hacking, because you have information valuable to would-be criminals.”

These cyber attacks have highlighted how the interception of client-confidential information can have meaningful consequences, and this applies to virtually every area of law. Traditional methods of communications in law firms are no longer sufficient due to the higher levels of sophistication in hacking, and the increasing availability of equipment and software which facilitates interception and eavesdropping on communications. The need for a CyberSecurity focussed solution is now a necessity within firms, and will affect individuals/enterprises decision on what law firm they wish to work with in the future.

With client information the target of recent cyber attack, legal firms must adopt new, robust methods of communications to protect their clients, as well as their own reputation. In order to do this, the ability to control who speaks to whom within their firm is essential, alongside the mandate that all conversations are encrypted and private.

Salt Communications was created to specifically solve this problem for enterprises and works with all sizes of law firms to protect their practices and their clients. In the words of one of our customers, a large International law firm based in London:

“Salt Communictions is part of every new case set up. We explain the reasons for using Salt Communications to our clients and they’re thankful that we have this in place. It removes the need for cryptic phone conversations and is driving better communication with our clients.”

Salt Communications provides a full managed software solution, on an enterprise scale, that enables absolute privacy in mobile communications. Secure one-to-one messaging and calls, conference calling and group chat, secure transfer and storage of files/images, better call quality and LDAP integration enable secure communication and collaboration across the enterprise. The Salt Communications’ solution is easy to deploy (SaaS & On-Premise) and uses multi-layered encryption techniques to meet the highest security standards. The Salt Communications’ Desktop and Mobile apps are intuitive and easy to install and use. Salt Communications’ Communication Manager provides a console for tight management of users and can be configured for the management of regulatory compliance.

About Salt Communications

Salt Communications provides a fully enterprise-managed software solution that enables absolute privacy in mobile communications. It is easy to deploy and uses multi-layered encryption techniques to meet the highest of security standards. The Salt Communications Desktop and Mobile apps are intuitive and easy to install and use. The Salt Communications’ Communication Manager provides a console for tight management of users and can be configured for the management of regulatory (i.e. FINRA, HIPAA and MiFID) compliance. Salt Communications is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Belfast, UK, and is funded by Accomplice (formerly Atlas Venture) and Stonehammer Capital. www.saltcommunications.com.

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