Nearly nine in 10 Canadian lawyers plan to increase cybersecurity resources within their firms in order to keep sensitive data safe from breaches, which is a growing concern for the profession in 2019, show recent statistics.
The report found that 34 per cent of lawyers plan to significantly increase their budget on cybersecurity-related tools and services, 53 per cent say the budget will somewhat increase, 11 per cent say it'll neither increase nor decrease, zero per cent say it'll decrease and two per cent say they don't know.
In the similar 2017 version of the survey, only 35 per cent of lawyers had answered that they were looking to increase cybersecurity budgets and measures ¬— that's roughly 52 per cent fewer respondents than what's currently reported.
Cybersecurity resources are both human-based and technology-based. For instance, a firm might hire extra IT staff and cybersecurity consulting experts to assist in this area, as well as providing staff with cyber-awareness training as a learning opportunity. Additionally, firewalls, threat-monitoring and detection, ongoing security assessments and encrypted email transmission are some technological defences to prevent data breaches.
At Torkin Manes LLP in Toronto, partner Lisa Lifshitz says the firm's clients demand bolstered security, given that lawyers are often the targets of data breaches due to the confidential nature of their work.
"In my mind, [cybersecurity] is part of doing business in 2019," says Lifshitz.
Ensuring external vendors secure their data is top of mind at her firm. She says it's the firm's responsibility that the external vendors used are cognizant of cybersecurity threats and that the products and services Torkin Manes procures have the required protections. This due diligence is sought by clients, and it ultimately impacts the firm's bottom line.