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Email Encryption for Lawyers and Legal Consulting Agencies


Table of Content:



Encryption in the Legal Space


The legal sector is an area where confidentiality and privacy are paramount. Legal counsel and their clients discuss some of the most sensitive topics. This can involve crimes, cheating on their spouses, financial fraud, and other sensitive issues. If this information is accidentally leaked to the public, it can harm the client and the legal practitioner involved. This is why professionals in the legal space need to implement proper file encryption. This way, even if the communications or files are leaked, they will be in a form where the adversary cannot read the information.



What is Encryption?


Encryption is the action of encoding information so that someone cannot read it without the means to decrypt the information. The method of encryption begins with the original message (plaintext). The message is encoded using an encryption key into ciphertext (scrambled message) and sent to its recipient. Then once the recipient receives the ciphertext, they can use the decryption text to revert the message to its plaintext form and read the message. This way, if anyone intercepts the message along the way, it cannot be read. 



Why is Encryption Important in the Legal Sector?


In the legal sector, client confidentiality is vital. For example, imagine you're a defense attorney representing a murdered client. If the wrong information is leaked regarding your case, it could compromise your ability to defend your client. In a less severe example, you may be a divorce attorney. If the wrong information is leaked regarding your case, it could result in your client not getting child custody, paying more in alimony, or receiving an unfavorable court result. Encryption is crucial in the legal sector for protecting highly confidential information from being exposed to the public. 



How to Implement Encryption Across Your Organization?


When it comes to encryption, there are two main use cases that you want to be covered. Firstly, you want the ability to encrypt electronic communications such as email. This helps ensure that the information will be secure from prying eyes no matter where you are and where you are sending that information. Especially if you're using public Wi-Fi such as a library or internet cafe, it's important to use encryption to protect your confidential information. Encryption is called encryption in transit when you send information from one point to another. Secondly, you want proper file encryption, also known as encryption at rest. This means that data sitting on your computer or a client's computer will be encrypted and can only be accessed and read by authorized users. Data isn't vulnerable only when being transported. You must protect your data when it is being stored as well.



The Dangers of Phishing and Ransomware in the Legal Sector


Regarding cyberattacks, the two most dangerous cyber risks to the legal sector are phishing attacks and ransomware. Phishing attacks are social engineering attacks that look to manipulate people into performing an action that will allow the attacker to hack into the company. The action could be downloading a file attachment that is malware in disguise or clicking on a link that will redirect the user to a fake website and steal their login information. Phishing attacks are a commonly used tactic for a hacker to target a company. Once a hacker has decided to target a company, ransomware is a popular option that hackers use to deliver via phishing. This type of malware is used to encrypt company data and extort a company to get them to pay a ransom. This is a common way for hackers to profit from hacking into a company. 



How to Prevent Phishing and Ransomware Attacks?


If you're a legal company and you are concerned about potential phishing and ransomware attacks, here are some things you can do to defend yourself:


Invest in email security: One of the best investments for preventing ransomware attacks is to have an email security solution that filters emails with suspicious links or attachments. This helps to limit how many emails your employees will receive that are malicious and reduce the chances of them falling for the scam.


Security Awareness: This means educating your employees on identifying phishing emails and other security risks and the proper responses for those situations. Security awareness training is a great way to limit your chances of employees falling for phishing emails.


Have good data backups: To prevent being affected by ransomware, you must have good data backups. If your network becomes compromised, you can recover your data using the latest data backups rather than paying the ransom.


Endpoint Security Solutions: Lastly, you need to invest in endpoint security solutions that can detect and prevent the download and execution of malware on your computer systems. This way, even if someone tries to download a malicious file from an email or another source, they will be warned, and the program will be prevented from executing. 





Email encryption is essential for lawyers and legal consulting agencies. In the legal sector, client confidentiality and data protection are paramount and to do so requires encryption in transit and at rest. In addition to confidentiality issues, legal firms must be mindful of phishing and ransomware attacks. Both are dangerous threats to a business and need to be defended against. To do so, we suggest investing in email security solutions, security awareness training, and good backups and endpoint security solutions to protect your business. To fulfill your encryption needs, look at Sealit's encryption services for the legal sector.