The two prior years had seen much more dramatic progress—as 26% of responses reported such coverage in 2017 and 17% in 2016. The 2019 Survey response indicates attorney progress on the topic of developing incident response plans. The well-known NIST âframeworkâ provides excellent context for many points that should be included in an incident response plan. The two prior years had seen much more dramatic progressâas 26% of responses reported such coverage in 2017 and 17% in 2016. Overall, 33% of respondents in 2019 report their firms have cyber liability insurance (compared with 34% in 2018). Executive Summary. The 2019 Survey results show that, while some progress has been made in some areas, law firms have further to go to in designing and implementing appropriate solutions. Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1 provides, âA lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Further, when a data breach occurs involving, or having a substantial likelihood of involving, material client information, lawyers have a duty to notify clients of the breach and to take other reasonable steps consistent with their obligations under these Model Rules.â ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility Formal Opinion 483 âLawyersâ Obligations After an Electronic Data Breach or Cyberattackâ (October 17, 2018). As noted in last yearâs âCybersecurityâ report on the 2018 Survey results, all attorneys should have security programs tailored to the size of the firm and the data and systems to be protected. Other consequences resulting from a virus, spyware, or malware infection include costs incurred for consulting fees for repair (40%), downtime/loss of billable hours (32%), temporary loss of network access (23%), temporary loss of web site access (17%), and replacement of hardware/software (15%). 2019 Cyber Security Risk Report Aon report reveals 2019’s biggest cyber threats to business. Of course, the news is replete with stories of significant data breaches causing economic and reputational harm. With these standards in mind, set forth below is a summary of the 2019 cybersecurity survey results in the areas of incident awareness, incident response plans, encryption, and cyber insurance. Many smaller breaches occur, of course, which do not make national headlines but nevertheless pose significant damage to those affected. This article focuses on results in the following four critical areas: incident awareness, incident response plans, encryption, and cyber insurance. Last yearâs report on the 2018 Survey concluded by noting that, âAll attorneys and law firms should have appropriate comprehensive, risk-based security programs that include appropriate safeguards, training, periodic review and updating, and constant security awareness.â Those words remain true today. The 2019 Survey asked cybersecurity questions related to technology policies, security tools, security breaches, viruses/spyware/malware, physical security measures, and backup. Incident response plans should be drafted to company with all applicable laws and professional obligations and be informed by standards such as those set out by The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Although the 26% figure is notable, also eye-catching is the 19% of respondents who reported that they do not know whether their firm has ever experienced a security breach. As the results show, the profession continues to make progress in adopting risk management practices necessary for improving security and resilience. Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6(c) provides, âA lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.â Comment 18 sets forth factors to be âconsidered in determining the reasonableness of the lawyerâs efforts include, but are not limited to, the sensitivity of the information, the likelihood of disclosure if additional safeguards are not employed, the cost of employing additional safeguards, the difficulty of implementing the safeguards, and the extent to which the safeguards adversely affect the lawyerâs ability to represent clients (e.g., by making a device or important piece of software excessively difficult to use).â. A law firm developing an incident response plan should review Opinion 483 carefully for consideration of ethical issues that could be implicated in a cyber incident. As with security incidents discussed above, the size of a firm impacts the respondents reporting that they do not know: solo respondents (7%), firms of 2-9 attorneys (15%), firms of 10-49 attorneys (30%), and firms of 100+ attorneys (58%). Consequences of infection have included the destruction or loss of files (14%), unauthorized access to (non-client) sensitive data (3%), and taking steps to report to law enforcement and clients (1% each). Attorneys must implement when ârequired by an agreement with the client or by law, or when the nature of the information requires a higher degree of security.â. Even for attorneys that responded affirmatively, work remains to be done in regularly evaluating and improving existing plans. This result is a material positive change from the prior year in the use of email encryption (29% in 2018) while the number for file encryption and whole/full disk encryption (46% and 24%, respectively in 2018) are slightly up.
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