Author: Alex Newman
12 Oct 2012 | 00:00
Research shows one in five firms hit by cyber attack in past year
Almost one in five law firms have suffered a cyber attack in the past 12 months, according to thousands of lawyers surveyed as part of a major research project by Legal Week.
Legal Week Intelligence's eighth annual IT report found lawyers from just under 20% of the 51 firms surveyed said that their firms had been victims of a cyber attack during the past year, with the research also revealing continued reticence about IT outsourcing.
The findings, which are due to be published later this month, canvassed 5,000 lawyers about IT matters, with the survey also highlighting the growing use of personal tablet devices and the potential security risks this is creating.
According to chief information officers (CIOs) at some of the UK's largest law firms, the threat and frequency of cyber attacks is likely to be much higher than the perceptions of those surveyed.
Taylor Wessing IT director Stuart Walters warned: "I suspect that if cyber attackers are really good, you wouldn't recognise an attack even if one had been carried out."
Bond Pearce CIO Ben Weinberger (pictured) commented: "No one is safe. The threat is increasing and the risks are that clients could be impacted by breaches. Without appropriate mechanisms in place, it's no different from leaving the front door of the firm wide open with the files sat on top of the first desk."
Compounding security risks is the increasing use of tablet devices. Some 23% of lawyers responding to the survey now use a tablet device at work, with 91% of these devices owned by the individual.
The survey also found that, despite the increasing uptake of IT outsourcing, 30% of respondents were uncomfortable with any form of outsourcing.
City firms are the most likely (17%) to embrace the idea, with national firms (11%) the least enthused.
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