Top 7 Cybersecurity Risks of Remote Work in Law Firms & How to Address Them

by | Jul 31, 2023

Since 2020, the number of companies adopting remote work has steadily risen, marking the solidification of a new work dynamic in many offices. Several workers have full access to their work equipment and systems in the comfort of their homes, collaborating from miles apart to complete various tasks and achieve business goals.

However, as the workforce has earned greater flexibility, business IT systems have endured increased attacks by cybercriminals seeking to steal and confiscate company data and IT systems. Research shows that adopting remote work has led to a 238% increase in cyberattacks targeted at companies with remote workers.

Here’s what you need to know about cybersecurity risks associated with remote work in your law firm and how your firm can mitigate them.

What’s the Impact of Remote Work on Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity was an ongoing concern among businesses even before the rapid adoption of remote work. So, what has changed since employees started working from home?

According to a report, remote work has expanded the attack surface on organizations, increasing the risks of running public clouds and other business IT systems.

As you scale remote work in your law firm, you also inevitably scale the risks associated with your remote workforce, making you more vulnerable to attacks from cybercriminals. These attacks are targeted at vulnerabilities in your existing IT systems and vulnerabilities your remote workforce exposes due to how they handle data, use devices, or answer emails.

For instance, with remote work, shadow IT has become a growing concern among several businesses. Remote workers are buying work devices not sanctioned by the IT team to access the organization’s network and perform their duties.

Since IT has little control over these technologies and devices used to access the business IT systems, your law firm finds itself in more cybersecurity risks exposed by a growing attack surface.

Cyber threats posed by remote work cannot be fully addressed by conventional defenses such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Law firms must invest significantly in employee education to teach proper cybersecurity practices that will reduce the vulnerabilities your workforce exposes.

Moreover, you need to consider getting cybersecurity services for law firms to tighten your grip on cybersecurity and reduce the risks and attacks you face.

The 7 Most Common Security Risks of Remote Work in Law Firms

Here are the seven most common cybersecurity risks of remote work in a law firm and how you can address them.

Email Scams

Phishing and email scams are among the most common cybersecurity risks in organizations. Email and phishing scams involve sending an employee within the organization an email masquerading as a trusted entity or personnel to source private and confidential information that can be used to steal data or compromise IT systems.

This information can be used to break into accounts, steal additional information, or perform identity fraud.

Email and phishing scams are becoming more complicated daily, with attackers using advanced social engineering to masquerade as trusted persons or entities and get the information they want. Therefore, besides encouraging employees to use filters to fish out scam emails, you should also invest in ongoing education to ensure your remote workforce is aware of evolving phishing tactics.

Weak Security Controls

Most companies have multiple layers of conventional security controls, such as firewall rules and email policies. However, these don’t apply effectively to remote workers since they use their devices at home, not the corporate network.

Therefore, weaker monitoring and security controls for remote workers make your law firm more vulnerable. Remote workers can access insecure endpoints and have their devices attacked, which can compromise your firm’s data or personal information, such as employee login credentials.

You can encourage employees to use VPNs and trusted firewall applications for their home networks to protect their work devices and data.

Use of Personal Devices for Work

Most remote workers use their personal devices when working from home. This policy, called “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD), allows employees to access corporate data and networks using their personal devices, which IT has not scrutinized and approved as safe.

For some law firms, forbidding employees from using personal devices for work and only buying approved devices from approved vendors is a viable option. For others, the best mitigation is to ensure all employees are running the latest updates and software patches for their devices, ensuring maximum security against an attack.

Use of Home Wi-Fi

Apart from grappling with potentially insecure personal devices, law firms also have to grapple with the risks of remote workers using their home Wi-Fi to access the corporate network, which expands the attack surface for cybercriminals.

Most home networks are not well-configured to be very secure, making your employees, their devices, and your law firm’s network vulnerable to attacks. You can encourage such employees to ensure their home Wi-Fi is not open and is protected by a strong password and a firewall, and their router software is always updated for maximum security.

Weak Passwords

Despite having the best firewall, using approved and protected devices, and using VPN to access the company’s network, remote employees can still pose a cybersecurity risk if they use weak passwords to access their work accounts.

You should enforce a strong password policy that ensures employees don’t repeat passwords, have the right length and special characters to form a complex password, and use two-factor authentication to access the corporate network and data.

Unencrypted Data and File Sharing

Most companies encrypt the data stored in their systems, but few take the extra step to encrypt it when in transit to another location. For remote workers, sending unencrypted company files and data exposes them to cyberattacks from attackers who may be eavesdropping over the network.

Your law firm should ensure that all data and file transmission to and from the corporate network is encrypted to avoid identity theft, fraud, and ransomware attacks.


Ransomware attacks are among the leading cyberattacks on organizations with a remote workforce. Remote workers are the perfect target for ransomware attacks because IT teams have less visibility, making it more challenging to detect an attack.

Since most remote employees use their personal devices as work devices, they can be easily targeted through social media, SMS, and other third-party messaging apps. Law firms must offer ongoing education on ransomware threats, ensuring remote employees are more aware of such attacks and how they’re orchestrated.

Let an Expert Help You Protect Your Business

Remote work is here to stay. Consequently, organizations must invest in more robust cybersecurity to ensure their systems are not left vulnerable to threat actors targeting confidential data and information. Contact a top Managed IT services company for law firms today and learn how you can protect your business.

Outsource your IT management to us, so you can focus on what you do best: running your law firm.

Ready to get started? Schedule a call to see how we can help you grow, modernize, and stay out of trouble.

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