Ensuring cybersecurity for your firm and clients

In today's digital landscape, cybersecurity is a critical aspect of protecting your firm and client data. The Association of British Investigators shares valuable insights on how to strengthen your firm's security measures in the face of increased remote working and evolving cyber threats.
Using a laptop and mobile phone

In an age where data is more valuable than ever, it pays to be ahead of the game when it comes to cybersecurity.

Any business that processes sensitive data is a ripe target, making law firms especially attractive for cybercriminals.

It’s necessary to take a proactive approach to mitigate cyber risk. To do so, it’s important to understand what kind of cyberattacks exist and how your firm is potentially vulnerable.

The impact of remote working

Recent workplace trends have drastically altered the traditional office discipline, pushing more employees to work remotely.

While in most cases this shift has not interfered with productivity and business continuity, it has also created new opportunities for cyberattacks and data breaches.

Recognising this vulnerability is the first step towards enhancing your firm's cybersecurity.

Understanding cybersecurity

To effectively address cybersecurity, it's crucial to understand the correlation between physical security and cybersecurity.

While the term may sound complex, cybersecurity simply involves the protection of technology assets such as mobile devices, laptops and networks.

By acknowledging the role of technology in our daily lives and business operations, we become more aware of the potential vulnerabilities that can be exploited.

The cost of a cyberattack

The financial implications of a cyberattack can be significant. Moreover, the time required to identify and secure a breach can be extensive. Additionally, there's the intangible cost of reputational damage, which can take years to recover.

Identifying common cyber threats

Several common cyber threats plague small legal businesses. These include phishing emails, spear phishing emails, and smishing (SMS phishing) and quishing (rogue Q-codes).

Phishing emails are mass emails sent to acquire personal information, while spear phishing emails are more targeted and tailored to the recipient.

Smishing involves using text or WhatsApp messages to deceive recipients. Being vigilant and proactive in identifying these threats is crucial.

Reducing the risk to your firm

Implementing effective cybersecurity measures can help mitigate risks and safeguard your firm. Here are some key steps to consider:

1. Training

Provide comprehensive cybersecurity training to your staff, enabling them to understand and counter cyber threats effectively. Seek professional advice if needed.

2. Processes

Establish audited systems and procedures to protect your firm against potential threats. Define data points, communication channels, and secure data storage and communication protocols.

3. Data mapping

Identify where data is stored, how it is transferred and by whom. This includes considering devices and networks outside of the office, such as employees' homes.

4. Passwords

Emphasise the importance of strong, unique passwords. Encourage the use of a combination of letters (lower and upper case), numbers and special characters. Consider online tools for generating secure passwords.

5. Maintain backups

Regularly back up your data to secure locations, both offline and online. This helps mitigate the risk of data compromise and ensures data availability in case of an attack.

6. Two-factor authentication

Implement two-factor authentication for accessing critical systems or information. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring dual verification, such as a password and a code sent to a registered mobile device.

7. Encrypted email systems

Consider using encrypted email systems for enhanced security. These systems provide extra layers of protection for sensitive information.

8. Encrypt sensitive documents

If using encrypted email systems is not feasible, sending password-protected PDFs and communicating the passwords separately can enhance document security.

9. Audit

Engage the services of physical and cybersecurity auditors to identify vulnerabilities and assess your firm's security posture. This investment can help prevent costly cyberattacks and breaches.


To ensure the security of your firm and clients in the digital age, a proactive approach to cybersecurity is paramount.

By understanding the risks, implementing robust measures and staying informed about evolving threats, you can create a safe and secure environment for your business and foster client confidence.

The Law Society and its partners offer support and resources to help you fortify your firm's cybersecurity practices.

Find out more about ABI

The Association of British Investigators (ABI) is the UK’s leading authority and thought leader on all matters relating to the investigation industry, and is a working with partner of the Law Society.

Find out more about ABI's work.

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