Data breaches are an unavoidable fact of life for all organisations, including professional services firms. It’s not a matter of ‘if’ a firm might be breached, but ‘when’. The cyber threat to the global professional services sector is significant and the number of reported incidents has increased significantly over recent years. With data breaches on the rise, cyber security should be high on the agenda of all firms. The risks should not be underestimated.
Data breaches and phishing are among the most significant cyber threats to professional services firms. ‘According to the NCSC’s (National Cyber Security Centre’s) first legal threat report, more than £11 million of law firms’ client money was stolen in the UK in the past year as a result of cyber crime.
In addition to the financial impact, the reputational damage caused by cyber attacks is also significant. Those practising in the sector have client confidentiality as a core value, so the loss of client data can have a devastating impact. If professional services firms don’t protect their highly-sensitive client information, their entire practice may be put at risk.
The EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requires organisations to report certain types of personal data breach to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office). You are required to do this within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach, where feasible.
Identifying the breach, who has been affected, how extensive it is and how it happened – all within 72 hours – is not easy, especially when firms want to use this time to mitigate the damage caused by the breach. However, with the right planning, preparation and resources in place, your firm will be well placed to follow best practice in responding to a breach.
Keep calm and prepare for a data breach
When an organisation has been breached, there is often an air of panic and urgency. Without a proper plan in place, it’s a potential PR disaster. Firms should be preparing now to ensure that they have the roles, responsibilities and processes in place for reporting a data breach.
Three solutions to beat the cyber attackers
To help you develop a roadmap for a successful and secure organisation, Vigilant Software has developed three solutions to align with your firm’s business requirements and budget.
Suitable for organisations of all sizes, vsRisk is a leading information security risk assessment tool that delivers fast, accurate, auditable and hassle-free risk assessments year after year. Fully aligned with ISO 27001, it significantly cuts the consultancy costs typically associated with information security risk assessments.
You need to protect your organisation from the financial penalties and losses associated with data breaches. The Data Flow Mapping Tool simplifies the process of creating data flow maps, giving you a thorough understanding of the personal data your organisation processes and why, where it is held and how it is transferred.
Finally, avoid spending significant time and money researching relevant laws and regulations for your business by having access to Compliance Manager. Compliance Manager makes it easy to identify your legal and regulatory information security requirements.
Find out more about protecting your organisation from a data breach
For further information and to sign up for a demo, please click here.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Vigilant Software Blog authored by Ingrid Then-Guiraut. Read the original post at: https://www.vigilantsoftware.co.uk/blog/lifes-a-breach-the-harsh-cost-of-a-data-breach-for-professional-services-firms/