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Security Is Still the Biggest Technology Challenge for Law Firms

The ILTA 2016 Tech Survey highlights that security was still the biggest technological challenge for law firms in 2016 and going into 2017. With the media constantly reporting hackings and phishing scams, it is easy to see why this is such a concern. Law firms store and transfer a lot of sensitive data, so it is essential to have high levels of security. ILTA’s survey highlights that there is a general consensus about security. Yet, the issues firms have with it are becoming more about the users than the technology itself.

The survey found that security compliance/risk management was the top technology issue or annoyance within firms, With 39% of respondents agreeing that this was their main issue. Although this is down from 42% in 2015, it is clearly still a key issue. We predict that it’ll still be the dominant challenge in 2017.

ILTA asked, ”What are your three biggest law firm security challenges?“ and 34% answered balancing security with usability, 25% said user acceptance and behavior, 21% answered user education and awareness, and 21% said firm culture. Therefore it is clear that it’s less about the technology firms are using and more about their users. This is key for firms realizing that they can have the most secure technology in the world, but if your users are not on board and practicing high levels of security, it is not going to work.

So firms must invest time and money into formal training for users. ILTA found formal security awareness training programs dramatically increased in 2016 up to 62%. Even with the most secure technology, it is only as secure as its users are. This focus on users suggests that the fear surrounding technology being the problem for law firms’ security is changing.

However, firms should not ignore the fact that technology selection is important. Enterprise systems will provide adamant security as long as their users have the correct cybersecurity training and use these systems correctly. This is an area which we predict more time and money will go into in 2017 in order to help with user adoption and reinforce the importance of cybersecurity in law firm’s culture. So it will be just as important if not more important than other training. Firms need to view IT as a beneficial tool that is key to their business.

As security is still the biggest technological challenge for law firms, and with an increase in data breaches and hacks, we predict that this will still be the key issue for firms in 2017. However, there has been a shift from technological worries to worries over breaches resulting from users. The security of your software depends hugely on your users themselves. Therefore in 2017, firms need to focus on the cybersecurity of their users to avoid breaches, making training a top priority and investing both time and money into this.


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