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21st January 2024

How Can Legal And Finance Businesses Enhance Their IT Security Beyond Cybersecurity Software?

Steve Hill

The legal and financial sectors are among the industries that require some of the most stringent cybersecurity policies. This is because they are some of the most vulnerable to hacking and cyberattack. They also face some of the most severe consequences of a successful cyber breach.

This is because they handle sensitive, crucial, and very private information. Remember that the finance sector includes all banks.

Luckily, there are options for robust cybersecurity software that this industry can use.

However, traditional cybersecurity software is not the be-all and end-all of comprehensive IT security for these industries. There are other features that should make up a complete IT security policy for businesses in these sectors.

Traditional cybersecurity software works to prevent exterior hacking attempts and malware. Yet, IT security can be compromised in a variety of ways.

In this article, we will be outlining how businesses within legal and finance fields can enhance their IT security even further. But first, let’s dissect why such thorough security is required in these fields of business.

Why Do The Legal And Financial Sectors Require Such Meticulous IT Security Policies?

The finance, legal, and FinTech sectors of business demand stringent cybersecurity measures due to the highly sensitive and valuable nature of the data they handle.

In the finance industry, the constant exchange of financial information, including personal and account details, makes it a prime target for cyberattacks aiming to steal valuable assets or commit fraud.

The financial sector experiences the second-largest share of cyberattacks of any industry, according to the Bank for International Settlements.

Cyberattacks are also regarded as the biggest risk to the UK financial system, according to new research from the Bank of England.

Similarly, the legal sector handles confidential client information, often subject to solicitor-client privilege, making data breaches a severe breach of trust. Legal fields often intertwine with the financial sector in some areas of law.

Unfortunately, cyber-attacks are increasing sharply in the legal sector. The SRA (Solicitors Regulation Authority) reported in 2020 that 75% of the solicitors’ firms they visited for their cyber security thematic review had been the target of a cyber-attack.

FinTech, being technology-driven, deals with online transactions, digital wallets, and innovative financial services, thus attracting cybercriminals seeking vulnerabilities in these emerging technologies.

Moreover, the interconnectedness of these sectors with global financial systems amplifies the potential impact of a security breach. Therefore, adopting robust cybersecurity measures becomes imperative to safeguard both the integrity of these industries and the trust of their clients.

 

What Challenges Do The Legal And Financial Sectors Face When It Comes To IT Security?

The finance, legal, and FinTech sectors encounter an array of complex cybersecurity challenges including:

The rapid pace of technological advancement – With technology evolving at an unprecedented rate in these industries, the challenge lies in implementing security measures that can keep up with the evolving threat. The landscape of tech evolves so swiftly but the corresponding agility of malicious cyberattack evolves quickly as well. Hackers adeptly exploit vulnerabilities in legacy systems, making system modernisation an urgent priority. The tactics of cybercriminals include social engineering, phishing attacks, and malware.

The increasing level of tech integration – Technology is becoming more integrated, which, while it is convenient, creates more vulnerabilities. Mobile apps, online banking, and digital payment platforms introduce potential entry points for cyberattacks, necessitating continuous monitoring and security enhancements.

The balance of convenience vs privacy – In the legal sector, where confidentiality and privileged information are paramount, the challenge is to protect sensitive client data while embracing the convenience of digital communication and data storage. Law firms, often interconnected with global partners, face challenges in establishing consistent security protocols across jurisdictions and managing the diverse technologies employed.

The balance of innovation vs safety – For the FinTech industry, which thrives on innovative financial solutions, the pressure to rapidly develop and deploy cutting-edge technologies is counterbalanced by the need to ensure their resilience against cyber threats. As FinTech platforms handle vast amounts of transactional data and personal information, they are prime targets for cyberattacks ranging from data breaches to ransomware attacks.

Regulatory compliance – Additionally, regulatory compliance poses a challenge in the finance and legal sectors. They are subject to stringent data protection laws and industry-specific regulations. Adhering to these regulations while maintaining operational efficiency can be intricate, demanding a balance between security and seamless customer experience.

WFH – Moreover, the landscape of cybersecurity challenges faced by the finance, legal, and FinTech sectors has been significantly altered by the global pandemic. The sudden shift to remote work and increased reliance on digital platforms has provided cybercriminals with new avenues for exploitation. With employees working from home, often on less secure networks, the attack surface has expanded, making endpoints more vulnerable to breaches. The rapid implementation of remote work solutions, while essential for business continuity, has sometimes led to oversights in security configurations and the hasty deployment of tools without adequate testing.

Insider Threats – While external threats often receive more attention, insider threats, both unintentional and malicious, remain a significant concern. Employees or contractors with access to sensitive data can inadvertently compromise security or intentionally delete files or create security breaches and share valuable information out of spite. Over 88% of data breaches in businesses are caused by employee mistakes and in 2022 over half of organisations experienced an insider threat. This problem is faced by every industry, but the consequences can be far greater for the legal and financial sectors. This is why they must elevate their IT security. 

How Can The Legal And Financial Industries Boost Their IT Security Beyond Traditional Cybersecurity Software?

On top of implementing traditional cybersecurity software, such as Sophos, Barracuda, Symantec, Avast Business, and Microsoft Defender For Business, legal and finance businesses must look to other methods to enhance IT security.

It is crucial that they protect themselves against hardware failures, human error, and insider threats as well.

The first and best way to protect against human error and insider threats is via control of how your hardware is used. Strategic use of IT asset tracking and management can put power in your business’s hands. MDM software such as Shepherd can deliver this control in abundance, so nothing is left up to trust and chance.

Oversee Your Flock Of Hardware And Control How Devices Are Used With Shepherd Mobile Device Management Software

Shepherd is a sophisticated and user-friendly Mobile Device Management software, better known as an MDM. It allows managers to remotely control how their staff can use their IT hardware. This covers everything from creating passwords and encryptions to specifying allowed networks. Businesses can even set what apps can be downloaded onto devices and when certain apps can be used. It can offer complete control of how business data can be accessed on a device. Companies can even completely data wipe a device and render it blocked (unusable) if a device is suspected lost or stolen. Shepherd is one of the most affordable MDM options for businesses on a budget, and yet it provides a comprehensive array of features, including real-time monitoring and troubleshooting. This not only allows businesses to keep track of all their IT assets and prevent data breaches as risks arise, but it also allows managers to help their staff when they encounter difficulties with hardware. Best of all, it is incredibly intuitive and easy to use. Shepherd is the best defence in enhancing security for your flock of hardware.

The second way to guard against hardware malfunction, human error and insider threats is with cloud data backup.

Protect Your Digital Assets With Squirrel Data Backup Software

Even with plenty of cybersecurity software against malware, and Shepherd in your IT security policy, mistakes can still happen.

These mistakes could be a hardware glitch that deletes precious files and company data. Deletion of data could also happen by employee accident. Worse still it could be a deliberate malicious action by a disgruntled employee. It can happen so quickly before you can take other security steps and a crucial file is lost before you even knew there was a threat.

But with cloud data backup systems, like Squirrel, you can guard your digital nuts even in the face of deletion by accident, error, or malice. Squirrel backs up what most other systems don’t and can ensure the safety of all your business files, Microsoft 365 data and other programmes too.

The third way to guard against human error and insider threats in the form of theft is with more layers of IT asset management. This also prevents overlooking hardware and ensures your firm uses hardware assets in the best places.

squirrel logo, a squirrel using a laptop with an acorn in the background. text reads 'squirrel back up, relax, we've got your digital nuts'

 

Manage, Store & Manoeuvre Your Hardware Fleet With Boomerang IT Asset Management System

IT asset management and security can go even further. Once you have the right software protection from malware, the perfect MDM solution, and data backup, you can start strategically managing your IT hardware fleet. Boomerang is an innovative IT asset management system that allows companies to do more with their IT devices.

Idle, under-utilised, or forgotten IT hardware is a threat to business security. They can be a physical threat when they are idle and malfunction or take up space in an office. They can be a digital threat when their security updates or repair is neglected. They can be a data breach threat when businesses forget precisely what hardware they have in their large arsenal. This can make it easier for ex-staff to keep hardware after leaving a company and retain access to private data.

Boomerang is an ideal support and partner to Shepherd since it provides secure and affordable IT device storage, IT retrieval, full IT lifecycle device management, and the retrieval, repair, repurposing, and redistribution of hardware throughout a company.

This means you can easily store hardware if staff leave, or a department downsizes. You can re-configure and re-deploy that hardware from storage when new hires come into the company.

The Boomerang system will manage the retrieval of hardware from offices and employees’ and ex-workers’ homes, as well as the repair of that hardware. It can re-configure the software and apps on a device to be perfect for new staff members and re-deploy it to new workers when your business is ready. This allows businesses to get the most from their IT investments without compromising security.

It also covers the full life-cycle management of each of your hardware, even up to final retrieval, full data wipe and green recycling of components.

Finally, the fourth line of security is always good insurance. Security comes in many forms, and you need to protect both data and hardware from accidents and natural disasters. If a bank or legal firm is rendered non-operational by flood or fire it has serious consequences and that hardware needs to be replaced fast.

Protect Your Hardware From Unexpected Incidents With SafeGuard Insurance

SafeGuard insurance is a unique approach to insuring your IT hardware since it is developed by IT experts rather than third-party insurance companies. The result is:

  • All your IT services in one place with no delays caused by using multiple third parties
  • Comprehensive protection from exterior and insider theft, flood, fire, electrical disturbances, accidental dropping, spills, falling objects, and vandalism.
  • No weird loopholes to avoid paying out on claims
  • No penalties of rising premiums when you make a claim
  • The most affordable insurance for bulk IT hardware
  • No red tape
  • Fast payouts on claims + swift repairs and rapid replacements of loaner hardware during repairs, all by the same provider
  • Fixed 3-year price to shield you from inflation price rises

The Secure Business IT Collection

Together, cybersecurity software, Shepherd MDM, Squirrel Data Backup, Boomerang and SafeGuard Insurance create the ultimate secure business IT collection. This family of products represent the most complete and foolproof methodology for IT security protection in industries that face high-security risk from inside and outside the business.

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