Is video conferencing safe for law firms? In short, yes. But to stay ahead - and secure - in today’s changing legal landscape, it’s important for firms to understand what security threats are out there, and how they can keep their business and clients protected.
- Why are law firms moving to video conferencing?
- Law firm data breaches - on the rise
- Video conferencing compliance - what should you be asking?
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Why are law firms moving to video conferencing?
Over the past two years, many law firms have turned to video conferencing in an effort to maintain business continuity and client relationships throughout the challenges of Covid-19.
It’s become clear that video conferencing makes meetings more efficient and flexible, meaning that many firms are headed toward a more permanent “hybrid” way of working. Research shows that clients want this, too: Clio’s 2020 Legal Trends Report found that 37% of consumers prefer that their first meeting with a lawyer be over video, while as many as 50% want follow-ups by video conference.
But as firms plan for the future, it’s critical that they consider the significant implications of a data breach, and what’s at stake when it comes to security, data privacy, and compliance. This post will help you understand what to look for to ensure your video conferencing solution is truly secure.
Rising data breach threats toward law firms
In some firms, lawyers have had to settle for whatever video system their IT department already had in place. In others, quick-decision purchases were made in the midst of the pandemic crisis that may not be the best - or most secure - long-term fit.
Law firms have increasingly been a prime target for cybercriminals because of the large amounts of sensitive data and funds held on behalf of clients. Malicious actors also know that leaked data can affect the admissibility of evidence, embarrass high-profile clients, and result in enormous liability costs. A report by BlueVoyant on cybersecurity in the legal sector found that every single one of the global law firms they assessed had been targeted. 15% of the firms were found to have signs of compromised networks despite a high level of security.
Data protection challenges for law firms are on the rise, with 29% of law firms in the U.S. reporting a data breach in 2020, up from 26% in 2019, according to the 2020 Cybersecurity report from the American Bar Association. However, some data breaches also happen without you even realizing it, with 21% of law firms reporting in the same report that they are unaware if they have ever had such a breach.
We’ve seen data breaches are on the rise, but have you thought about how much they can cost your law firm? The average total cost of a data breach for the services industry, which includes legal, was $4.65 million in 2021 according to the Cost of a Data Breach Report. This was up from $4.23 million in 2020, a 7.8% year-on-year increase.
Given the high rate at which the legal sector is targeted, it should not come as a surprise that 71% of the top 100 UK law firms ranked cybersecurity as their top challenge in a report by PWC.
However, there’s more to video conferencing compliance for law firms than just cybersecurity. What about legal and regulatory concerns around data privacy? These were ranked the top challenge by 63% of tech lawyers in a recent survey by Bloomberg Law, especially in the context of GDPR in Europe and looming new privacy legislation in several U.S. states.
The tough compliance questions to ask about video conferencing
Many of the popular consumer-focused video conferencing platforms have come under increasing scrutiny for their security and privacy practices. One of the key points you may have heard about is encryption. This is essential for sensitive information in any context. However, encryption is not the only thing you should be looking into if you want to ensure your video conferencing solution is secure.
What about the issue of data sovereignty - meaning, where the data from your video meetings is stored? If you’re a major European firm with high-profile clients and you use a consumer-grade video conferencing solution, your Call Detail Records (CDR) data is stored in the cloud. This means it will probably end up on cloud servers in the United States, which would be in breach of GDPR regulations. Or maybe you’re a U.S. firm with data that ends up in China.
Can you and your clients trust that data will not be exposed?
The CDR data of your video meetings could be sensitive, revealing who’s talking to who at what times. But that’s not all. What about files shared in a video meeting? Or recordings of meetings? Where are these saved, and are they transmitted securely? Is all of that really compliant? These are some of the compliance concerns attorneys struggle with and need to look more closely into to meet their ethical obligations, as highlighted in a recent article in the Business Ethics Pledge.
Secure and flexible video conferencing for law firms with Pexip
Whether you’re looking to boost the security standards of your existing solution, are preparing for the new hybrid workforce, or haven’t used video conferencing before but are ready to take this next key step, Pexip can provide secure yet flexible solutions that meet the unique needs of your team, services, workflows, and security compliance criteria.
- A security-first enterprise solution for video conferencing, which adheres to industry-standard security regulations and protocols
- Flexible deployment options, including self-hosted, as-a-service, and Pexip Private Cloud
- User-facing features like PIN-protected meetings, one-time meeting links, and custom branded meeting screens add extra layers of meeting security while also providing peace of mind for clients
- A video engagement platform for creating customized, secure client meeting experiences
➡️ Learn more about how Pexip for Secure Spaces helps law firms around the world build secure, compliant and trustworthy video solutions.