6% Of Law Firms Suffered A Data Breach This Year

6% Of Law Firms Suffered A Data Breach This Year

The Law Society have released their findings into the use of Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Worryingly, 32% of law firms reported being targeted by cyber fraudsters in the last year. In particular, law firms have reported significant increases in spam emails and sophisticated phishing attempts.

This equates to a 25% increase in cyber attacks compared to the figures released for 2016-2017. The Law Society had speculated that this could be due to many firms being naive to attacks in the previous year as the National Cyber Security Centre found that 60% of law firms had an information security incident in 2016-2017.

Reassuringly, 94% of the scams were squashed and prevented; 6% resulted in a data breach and a further 3% resulted in financial loss. 1% of these losses were deemed as ‘serious.’

Christina Blacklaws, Law Society President, said: “Just one third of small firms are aware they are approaching a cliff edge in relation to long-term run-off cover, and they are the part of the profession most likely to suffer if they have not arranged a suitable substitute.

“We have been warning about the potentially serious implications of the loss of SIF for many years. Firms that are going to close without a successor practice need to think about the kinds of liabilities they might still have outstanding when their mandatory six-year run-off cover ends. They may need to factor in the additional costs of extending run-off cover to avoid being sued in a personal capacity.

“The findings reinforce an increasingly widely held view that the market is hardening, and PII prices could well rise next year.”

“Only 6% of scams resulted in a data breach, and just 3% led to financial loss, but we must not become complacent because the effects of just one successful attack can be devastating for clients, law firms and staff.”

“Some insurers now ask about the measures firms have taken to protect against scams, including their security and IT systems.”

It would seem that many firms are preparing for a hardening market by locking in longer insurance term policies with 24 month polices rising from no take up in 2016 to 5% in 2018.

Despite the headline figure that only 47% of firms are familiar and aware of the 2020 closure to the Solicitor Indemnity Fund (SIF), PII claims against firms reduced from 23% to 10% in the last year.

Is your law firm aware and prepared for cyber attacks? Are your employees savvy to phishing emails?  

Martin Parrin

Martin is a Senior Content Writer for Today’s Conveyancer, Today’s Wills and Probate, Today’s Legal Cyber Risk and Today's Family Lawyer

Having qualified as a teacher, Martin previously worked as a Secondary English Teacher that responsible for Head of Communications.

After recently returning to the North West from Guernsey in the Channel Islands, Martin has left teaching to start a career in writing and pursue his lifelong passion with the written word.

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