News: Practice Management
The last time I checked, 986 practicing lawyers in Alabama have an “@gmail.com” address registered with the bar and published in the bar’s online database as their office email address. Many more…Read More
As seems to be happening more and more frequently, my credit card company recently cancelled my current card and sent me one with a new number because the old one had been compromised in a data breach. Hackers had gained access to the computer system of one of the merchants I charged something with and, suddenly, my account number was out in the wild and available for sale to the highest bidder.
In this case, it’s just an annoyance; I’ll have to update my information with a couple of online vendors and memorize a new set of numbers, but at the rate I charge things that won’t take long. I’m not out anything and neither is the credit card company. The merchant, on the other hand, has, to put it politely, more than a little egg on its face. I’ll have to think twice before I buy anything there again.
This incident, the second one I’ve experienced in three years, points up how prevalent hacking into what are supposed to be secure computer networks has become. Law firms should not assume that they and the confidential information their networks house are not already targets, too. In some instances confidential legal information can be equally as valuable, to the right purchaser, as a large block of credit card numbers.
Although Alabama currently remains one of only 4 states which does not have a law requiring notification in the event of a loss or theft of personal information, there are lots of good reasons why lawyers in Alabama should tighten up security for their computer networks and consider obtaining cybersecurity insurance to protect themselves in the event that their computers are lost or stolen or their computer networks are breached.