Cybersecurity continues to be a growing concern for all industries. According to data, the losses caused by cybercrime are expected to exceed $10 trillion annually by 2025.
Law firms are becoming more digitally enabled. Client meetings can be booked online, client and company data are stored in the cloud, and some cases are partially handled digitally before proceeding to the courts.
With these new digital avenues for law firms to carry out their mandate, cybercriminals are finding new ways to infiltrate law firm IT systems, steal sensitive client information, or cripple crucial systems. Therefore, modern law firms need effective measures to reduce the risk of such cyberattacks.
Threat modeling is one of the most effective strategies to improve cybersecurity and combat cyberattacks. But what is it, how does it benefit your law firm, and what steps can your firm take to create an effective threat model?
Here’s what you need to know.
What is Threat Modeling?
Threat modeling is a process that quantifies, identifies, and addresses security risks associated with an application and protects elements of a company’s IT infrastructure.
The goal of threat modeling is to identify the threats, requirements, risks, and security controls of an IT system or software, quantify the impact of each risk on the IT system or organization, and address the risks using effective security measures and controls.
Threat modeling is a cohesive activity that must perfectly align with an organization’s practices. Typically, you can get threat modeling as part of cybersecurity services for law firms from a managed IT services provider.
The Benefits of Threat Modeling for Law Firms
According to research, 33% of law firms cite cybersecurity as one of their top business challenges. So, what benefits does threat modeling provide in dealing with these cybersecurity challenges?
Reducing the Attack Surface
Law firms are susceptible to powerful cyberattack vectors such as phishing, compromised credentials, and vulnerability exploits. These comprise the attack surface, which refers to an organization’s total number of vulnerabilities across its enterprise environment.
Threat modeling helps reduce the attack surface, thus securing your organization’s IT systems by creating an inventory of vulnerabilities, reducing complexities that create cybersecurity gaps, and lowering risk exposure.
Prioritizing Threats, Budgeting, and Mitigation Efforts
Organizations can only effectively lower cyber security risks by prioritizing their finite resources to deal with cybersecurity issues. Threat modeling allows your law firm to quantify vulnerabilities and risks and ensure areas that need the most attention and resources get it to reduce the attack surface purposefully.
For instance, threat modeling helps organizations evaluate their purchase decisions and decide whether to adopt new tools or systems based on potential security risks that the purchase might introduce or mitigate or stick with upgrading their legacy software or IT systems.
Identifying and Eliminating Single Points of Failure
Most cyberattacks take advantage of single points of failure in an IT system. These areas pose the highest risk for an organization’s cyber security by giving attackers a single vulnerable entry point to the system.
Threat modeling helps identify these points and provides remedies to prevent cyber criminals from exploiting them. Moreover, the IT expert will validate the controls currently in place, whether technical, physical, or administrative, to ensure they’re sufficient to seal these single points of failure and ensure your law firm is secured digitally.
Improve Your Law Firm’s Security Posture
The primary objective of any cybersecurity exercise is to improve an organization’s security posture. With threat modeling, your law firm can quantify its cybersecurity practices and monitor its security program, ensuring it can track its progress against set benchmarks, goals, and compliance standards.
Over time, the threat model becomes a significant and regular facet of your governance and development structures, allowing you to consistently have robust cybersecurity even as your organization evolves and becomes more digitally connected.
Steps a Law Firm Can Follow to Create a Cybersecurity Threat Model
With the help of an IT cybersecurity expert, your law firm will need about four steps to build an effective threat model. These steps include the following:
Planning involves building the framework for your law firm’s threat model. In this stage, the IT cybersecurity expert helps your team define its IT architecture, applications, data classifications, data flow, assets, and other stakeholders or parties involved, such as partners, departments, and customers.
The planning stage allows you to understand the relevant use case of the IT system for all involved parties and understand how the threat model should be structured.
In this stage, the IT cybersecurity expert helps your team identify and classify the most prevalent cyber threats based on the information specified in the first stage. Being detailed in this phase and the previous one is crucial since it allows the IT expert to scope the attack surface accurately.
The IT expert will also go through all possible attack scenarios, whether it’s data exfiltration, ransomware attack, or SQL injection, to determine how critical your IT systems and assets are and identify points of failure to get a better picture of your law firm’s vulnerability.
In this stage, the IT expert, in collaboration with your team, identifies the technology, incident response plans, threat, and risk mitigation tools, controls, and processes available to prevent a cyberattack or reduce its damage.
Several tools, controls, and processes will overlap since you can’t have a one-to-one set of tools for each attack scenario. Ideally, the IT expert will be going for holistic solutions and remedies.
This step ensures that gaps within the threat model are identified and covered to ensure your law firm is not vulnerable to new threats. Therefore, it is a continuous and ongoing step.
Consult a Professional on What Your Law Firm Needs
Cybersecurity will continue to be an ongoing concern for law firms as law services transition to digital platforms. Therefore, you must ensure your law firm is secure from current and new threats as the cybersecurity landscape evolves. Contact a top managed IT services company for law firms and learn what you need to do to remain digitally secured.