Kingston Technology: Middle Eastern law firms “must prioritize cybersecurity as a cornerstone of their practice” with attack rates escalating
- Legal firms incur an average global cost of $4.47 million per data breach; international legal community experienced 1,248 per week across Q1 2023
- Kingston Technology encourages law firms to adopt the latest cybersecurity measures to repel threats, protect their clients and themselves
- “Law firms must take every step possible to fortify their digital infrastructure” – says regional team lead Antonie Harb
Dubai, UAE – 8 February 2024: The legal landscape is increasingly becoming a prime target for malicious actors, posing serious challenges and responsibilities for law firms to secure their digital infrastructure. Trusted repositories of highly confidential and sensitive information concerning finance, business, intellectual property, and personal agreements, the necessity for law firms to protect such assets has never been more imperative.
In the face of an escalating wave of cyber threats, failing to uphold ethical and legal safeguarding obligations could be catastrophic, reputationally and financially. Kingston Digital Europe Co LLP, a flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., a world leader in memory products and technology solutions, is calling on law firms to adopt the latest cybersecurity measures, thereby repelling potential threats while protecting their clients and themselves.
Antoine Harb, Team Leader, Middle East said: “There’s no question that law firms are facing unprecedented difficulties in the current cybersecurity landscape. Soaring numbers of cyberattacks targeting legal entities underscore the urgency for comprehensive security measures. The intricacies of legal proceedings, as well as the vast amounts of client data in their possession, make these institutions particularly attractive targets for hackers seeking financial gains or competitive advantages. As such, law firms must adapt to the evolving threat landscape – prioritizing cybersecurity as a cornerstone of their practice.”
In an era where digital transformation is paramount, the catastrophic consequences of a data breach cannot be overstated, as highlighted in the 2023 Cost of a Data Breach Report published by IBM Security. Globally, legal firms stand to incur an average cost of $4.47 million following a breach.
The increasing rate of attacks experienced by law firms within the last year alone also emphasizes the need to be proactive. For example, the rate of weekly cyberattacks across the global sector rose by 7% in Q1 2023 compared to the same period the year prior – reaching 1,248, according to cybersecurity firm Checkpoint Research.
Moreover, the cost of global ransomware attacks incurred by law firms reached $20 billion in 2021 – prompting the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) in the UK to write a joint letter urging law firms against paying ransom demands.
With such examples in mind, Kingston Technology insists that law firms operating in the Middle East should take note of the stark warnings manifesting across international territories. While noting the “immense responsibilities” that regional legal sector incumbents must honor, the company is adamant that the most stringent data security frameworks are “non-negotiable”.
Antoine Harb continued: “The responsibilities weighing on law firms are immense, not least due to the ethical and legal obligations. A data breach not only jeopardizes the confidentiality of sensitive legal matters but also erodes the trust that is fundamental to attorney-client relationships. Once damaged, post-breach repercussions will inevitably follow with potential long-term financial sustainability and organizational viability in question alongside the sizeable challenge of rebuilding relationships. It’s therefore non-negotiable that law firms recognize the full extent of such severities. They must go above and beyond to be proactive and take every step possible to fortify their digital infrastructure.”
Kingston Technology has shed light on a series of viable, proven avenues available for law firms to enhance their defenses. From implementing robust encryption, undergoing standard security audits, and mandating regular employee training programs, to devising incident response plans, enforcing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), and collaborating with cybersecurity experts to avail next-generation services and solutions, the company stresses that proactive action is both beneficial and hassle-free.
In line with this advice, the best, most secure method for upholding stringent security frameworks and meeting strict regulations concerning confidential information is using password-protected, hardware-encrypted USB drives. Increasing numbers of law firms and their personnel are deploying these solutions in everyday practice – carrying out their roles and responsibilities without hack or decryption concerns should they be lost or stolen.
With Kingston IronKey’s Vault Privacy 50 Series USB Flash Drive, Keypad 200 Series Hardware-encrypted USB Flash Drive, or D500S USB Flash Drive, there is peace of mind that data will remain safe in any eventuality. All these drives incorporate BadUSB malware safeguards with digitally signed firmware that prevents unauthorized entry. With a secure individual ecosystem depending solely on strong passwords to access data, each drive is essentially impregnable.
Harb added: “By embracing this proactive measure, law firms can fortify their cybersecurity defenses, protecting themselves ahead of potential scenarios while demonstrating an unwavering commitment to safeguarding the trust placed in them by clients. The legal community must unite in the face of the growing cyber threat, and our message to all within the community is clear – please ensure your reputation and operational capabilities and continuity remain unimpeded by the shadows of digital malevolence.”