Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Identity Theft and Law Firms

This is often the time of year when consumers become increasingly concerned with identity theft, with all the online holiday shopping taking place. Statistics show that 80% of U.S. consumers are concerned that they may become victims to online fraud, and about 15 million consumers experience identity fraud annually. But, identity theft presents troubles for law firms as well.

Consider law firm concerns about this crime. With the increased digital discovery processes in litigation, law firms themselves are growing more susceptible to the same pitfalls that consumers regularly face. The American Bar Association’s “2015 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report” notes that 15% of survey respondents disclosed a breach within the past year. Law firm digital litigation files often involve sensitive, confidential material that present law firms with damaging exposure if breached.

Today it is almost a business requisite for law firms to take an assertive and proactive approach to data security to prevent liability issues. To deal with security issues, law firms can build up in-house expertise for addressing security measures internally. Firms should have a standing incident response plan, a data inventory and an action plan for protecting it, and due diligence when using third-party vendors, according to Brian Kudowitz, Bloomberg Law’s commercial director for privacy and data security.

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