Mastering Data Governance & Law Firm Data Security  

The Changing Landscape of Cyber Threats in the Legal Sector

April 16, 2024
Mastering Data Governance & Law Firm Data Security

The legal industry is facing a critical juncture in the digital age, as the threat landscape continues to evolve at an alarming pace. Cybercriminals are targeting law firms with sophisticated attacks, putting sensitive data at risk and causing significant disruptions to operations.  According to the American Bar Associations 2023 Annual Cybersecurity Report, more than 29% of law firms experienced security-related breaches in 2023, an increase of 2% since 2022. With high-profile incidents making headlines around the world, it is evident that no organization is immune to these threats. Even with potential repercussions, threat actors are targeting the legal industry without hesitation.  

So, how are they slipping past the yellow tape and taking advantage of vulnerabilities? 

Ransomware: Holding Data Hostage

One of the most significant challenges facing law firms is the surge in ransomware attacks. These malicious attacks encrypt critical data, holding it hostage until a ransom is paid. The consequences of such attacks go beyond just operational disruptions; there is also the danger of confidential information falling into the wrong hands

Phishing: Exploiting Human Vulnerability

Phishing attacks have become increasingly deceptive, preying on human vulnerabilities rather than technological gaps. Employees can unwittingly reveal sensitive information or unknowingly download malware, making them a significant weakness in a firm’s defense against cyber threats

Data Breaches: The Fallout

The fallout of a data breach can be far-reaching and devastating for a law firm. It not only results in financial losses but also erodes client trust, damages the firm’s reputation, and invites legal scrutiny. Thus, it is crucial for law firms to prioritize cybersecurity to mitigate the risks of such incidents. 

How can you protect your organization and reduce the risk of a breach?

  1.  A Comprehensive Identity Hygiene Strategy
    Law firms must adopt a comprehensive and proactive approach to Identity Hygiene to stay a step ahead of threat actors. This includes implementing vigilant monitoring, deploying cutting-edge security solutions, and fostering a culture of security awareness at all levels of the organization.
  2. Effective Management of Compliance and Client Expectations
    Along with the intensifying cyber threats, law firms also face increasing demands from regulators and clients. Stricter data protection laws, such as the GDPR, have raised the bar for privacy standards, imposing severe penalties for non-compliance. Clients, especially those from regulated industries, demand greater assurances on data security. In this environment, showcasing robust cybersecurity protocols is not only a compliance requirement but also a crucial factor in maintaining client trust and retention.
  3. Modern Identity Hygiene Management Tools
    Identity Hygiene has evolved from being a technical concern to a critical business strategy. Law firms that prioritize and communicate their Identity Hygiene efforts can differentiate themselves from their competitors, turning potential vulnerabilities into a testament of their commitment to data protection. This not only mitigates the risk of cyber threats but also aligns with broader goals of operational excellence and client satisfaction. 

Meet SPHEREboard: The Blueprint for a Secure Future 

SPHEREboard protects both legal organizations and their clients from the potential risk of a breach by leveraging capabilities such as:  

  1. Intelligent Discovery
    A robust cybersecurity strategy starts with acknowledging potential vulnerabilities by identifying what accounts, groups and data are part of your digital landscape. Our multi-faceted approach to discovery combines machine learning, industry best-practices and experience, and a customized algorithm that uncovers, inventories and categorizes all your organizations digital assets form the foundation of a resilient defense.
  2. Reinventing Data Governance
    Proactive data governance is vital in the fight against cyber threats. SPHEREboard’s extensive capabilities enable organizations to conduct comprehensive, real-time audits of unstructured data access. We designed SPHEREboard to align with industry-backed cybersecurity frameworks in combination with our tested methodologies to support both regulatory compliance and business objectives. Our ownership verification and campaign automation features minimize human error and ensure that law firms can adapt to the evolving threat landscape.
  3. Strategic Alliances for Stronger Defenses
    Collaborating with cybersecurity experts offers law firms access to specialized knowledge and solutions, keeping them ahead of cyber threats. These partnerships are instrumental in navigating the complex cybersecurity ecosystem, enabling firms to adopt and implement industry-leading practices. 

The Road Ahead: Embracing Cyber Resilience 

As the digital world continues to advance, the complexity of cybersecurity challenges facing the legal sector will only intensify. Law firms that take a proactive, comprehensive approach to Identity Hygiene will safeguard the confidentiality and integrity of client data, preserving their competitive advantage.  


SPHERE is the global leader in Identity Hygiene. We are dedicated to reshaping modern identity programs by embedding this foundational fabric, enabling organizations to quickly reduce risks. Our expertise lies in leveraging automation to deliver immediate time-to-value. We work through an identity lens that protects an organization’s accounts, data, and infrastructure.    

Driven by our core values of passion, empathy, and transparency, our vision drives us to continually innovate. Our clients sleep better knowing their attack surface is drastically reduced with SPHEREboard’s continuous protection.  We’re ready to help you address your Identity Hygiene and security challenges. 

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