The legal industry is on red alert for data security. Often seen as the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain for their clients, law firms are in the midst of vast shifts. The greater data security ecosystem and the unique business pressures facing the legal space are key drivers — for multinational and niche-oriented law firms alike, these trends are influencing fundamental change in the space:
Cyberattacks amplify: Ransomware attacks and massive data breaches are sending rippling effects across the legal space. The litany of negative press is unending with breaches spanning law firm clients like Yahoo, Uber, DLA Piper, and Equifax. Recent data security failings have accounted for millions of leaked attorney-client privileged documents — data ranging from intellectual property to financial information. Preventing the ensuing losses for data recovery and reactive security, alongside immeasurable reputational damage is an important driver for proactive data governance.
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Compliance arrives alongside intensifying client pressure: The outside forces of regulatory compliance and client pressure are squeezing law firms two-fold. GDPR, as well as the expansion of digitization and e-justice services, are fueling the compliance fire. Concurrently, law firm clients are pressing for meaningful security overhauls as a requirement for doing business. Financial service clients are spearheading the trend, requiring validation of information security in line with strict compliance standards.
Business pressures shift: To add to security-oriented stress, law firms are facing uphill battles across a wide array of business fronts. Increased competition for sought-after laterals, pricing pressures, and evolving operational efficiencies are driving increasing downward rate pressure. Firms that are undifferentiated, unsecured and overcapacity as market demand softens are struggling the most.
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