Why Your Law Firm Will Benefit from Routine Risk Assessment

by Brad Garland

Law firms stand in a uniquely vulnerable position with respect to security breaches. Because they handle sensitive corporate information, law firms are seen by hackers as a back door to valuable information. The Journal of the American Bar Association reports, “Most major U.S. law firms have been victims of security breaches.”


Routine risk assessment is the only way to responsibly address these concerns, and having a risk assessment procedure in place provides additional benefits for the long-term success of your law firm.


You’ll have less to worry about

Risk management is a major concern for many corporate executives and high-level law professionals. David Cunningham, managing director at Baker Robbins & Co., writes, “In most firms ... risk responsibilities have simply been added to the plates of existing leadership roles.” As the methods for sharing and storing information become more complex, the task of monitoring cyber security requires a specialist whose skills and tools are always at technology’s cutting edge. With so many other projects on your plate, you can lessen the burden of risk by outsourcing to a specialized company.


You’re making a valuable investment

Liabilities and losses result in greater expenses than the preventive cost of risk management, so investing in routine risk assessment is based in mathematics: The decision to protect yourself comes down to whether you feel you have any risk. The law firm of Crowell & Moring, LLP writes “Given such escalating risks to law offices, ABA President Laurel Bellows has made law firm cyber security a priority for 2012.”

The biggest asset that your firm has to offer is your credibility, which requires a robust risk management process. Clients choose your firm because they are seeking a strong framework for conducting business -- information security is integral to the services you offer. 


Your firm will have greater potential to grow

Identifying possible risks that come with company scaling is crucial to a smooth and scalable period of growth. As your firm becomes larger and more successful, it will present an increasingly tempting target for cyber theft. Growth also brings personnel changes, which makes accidental security breaches possible. Having an established risk assessment procedure will improve scalability and allow your firm to respond to a changing market environment.

Good information governance attracts larger clients (who have to be more risk-averse), and also draws the attention of the highest caliber legal talent. The best lawyers want to tie their fortunes to a law firm that is fully aware of the changes brought by the evolving digital world. The purpose of your law firm is to practice law; leave risk assessment to the professionals. Check out our free webinar on protection against other kinds of attacks to learn more about how your firm can benefit from security consulting.