Assumes Facts Not In Evidence

In the latest paper by Countercept we examine how cyber security in law firms is misunderstood - and what can be done about it.

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Cyber attack detection in law firms is often misunderstood. As a consequence, security budgets are frequently misspent.

A key reason for this is the series of false assumptions that have become endemic in law firms’ approach to cyber security.

First, despite a media backdrop of breaches and compromises, not all law firms are a target for attack; it depends on whether the firm offers sufficient motivation to threat actors. We look at how a law firm can assess its current risk from state sponsored attacks; from criminals seeking financial gain; and from hacktivists.

Secondly, effective safeguards can only be implemented when the nature of the attack is properly understood. This in turn requires an understanding of the threat actor’s motivations; the result they seek; and their ability to carry out the attack. We look at the ways in which law firms are targeted by the various types of threat actor – and what can be done to mitigate the firm’s particular risks.

Some of the key points examined in the paper:

  • Selecting ‘lightweight’ security controls that are effective without adversely impacting the business process.
  • Understanding that as the firm acquires new clients, in new areas of business, the threats facing the law firm can radically change, and hence the security strategy needs to evolve alongside the business strategy.
  • Invoking economies of scale in terms of cost and capability.
  • Avoiding the trap of relying on assurance and compliance-led controls (which might be useful business-enablers but are potentially irrelevant to the real-world threat).
  • Using SRA guidelines to support the decision-making process.

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