In 2017, it’s become increasingly clear that for lawyers, understanding technology is imperative (with 26 states now requiring it) and they can no longer ignore the steady march of advancement. Nevertheless, some lawyers continue to express reticence about embracing technology, often expressing concerns about cybersecurity risks. The truth is, the benefits of adopting new technologies into your solo or small firm law practice far outweigh the risks, as evidenced by the data from the latest American Bar Association Legal Technology Survey Report.

Solo and small firm lawyers have the best cybersecurity practices

According to the Report, solo and small firm lawyers were the least likely to experience a breach in the past year, with only 8% of solo and small firm lawyers reporting a breach, followed by 11% of firms with 2-9 lawyers. Larger firms, on the other hand, were much more likely to experience a breach, with 26% of firms with 500 or more lawyers reporting security breaches in the past year, up 15% compared to 2012. Next in line were firms with 10-49 attorneys (25%), followed by firms with 100-499 lawyers (20%).

Larger firms were also far more likely to report that third parties had attempted to access their firm’s data. There were no reports of this type in 2016 for smaller firms with less than 49 attorneys. However, for firms with 50-99 attorneys, 25% reported unauthorized access to client data, followed by 11% of firms with 100-499 lawyers.

Solo and small firm lawyers are the most likely to use cloud computing software

Interestingly, while solo and small firm lawyers the least likely to experience a breach or unauthorized attempts to access law firm data, they were the most likely to use cloud computing in their law practices compared to their larger counterparts. According to the Report, 35% of solos used cloud computing software in their practices in 2016, as did 35% of firms with 2-9 attorneys, 29% of firms with 10-49 attorneys, and 19% of firms of 100 or more lawyers.

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