Law firm technology directors, it would seem, just aren’t destined to get a good night’s sleep. First there was the recession, which slowed the pace of upgrades and new projects. Then there were lawyers using their personal smartphones and tablets for work, raising questions about how firms should safeguard data on those devices. Now, a new challenge is keeping restful slumbers at bay: Protecting against cyberattacks—and convincing clients that the firm is doing this job well.
To be sure, security has always been a top-of-mind issue for law firms. But as The American Lawyer‘s 18th annual survey of law technology reveals, the worries, and the stakes, have never been greater. Eighty-six percent of respondents—technology directors and CTOs from 87 Am Law 200 firms—say they are more concerned about security threats now than they were two years ago. An array of factors, the chiefs say, are driving the heightened focus: tougher regulatory requirements, more security-conscious clients, and the more sophisticated techniques used by cyber-criminals, who are increasingly targeting law firms.