Solicitors Firm fined £100,000 for security leak
Posted on 14th March 2022
Our specialist solicitors discuss the worrying security leak, and what steps solicitors can take to ensure the safety of their clients.
In recent days, a nationwide solicitors’ firm, Tuckers Solicitors, has been fined a total of £98,000 after they failed to ensure the security of sensitive court bundles that were later published on the Dark Web. Looking at the case, the information commissioner found that a cyber attack on the national firm resulted in the encryption of a huge 972,191 files belonging to the firm, of which 24,712 related to court bundles.
It is thought that around 60 of these court bundle documents, containing sensitive and private client information were then posted in dark-web underground data marketplaces. These leaked bundles included a comprehensive set of personal data with medical files, witness statements and names and addresses of witnesses and victims relating to crimes such as rape and murder. Some clients whose details were shared were vulnerable in terms of their mental or physical wellbeing.
This is a story that our solicitors were concerned to hear about, and disheartened to hear that solicitors firms are not taking all possible steps to ensure the safety and confidentiality of their clients’ information and data. The firm had not used multi-factor authentication for remote access to its systems, despite this being recommended since 2018. In their investigations the ICO found that the firm had given the hackers a ‘weakness to exploit’ and was responsible for the protection of personal data. It was also found that the firm had not used multi-factor authentication for remote access to its online systems and data, despite this being recommended since 2018.
The ICO said this extra protection was a ‘comparably low-cost preventative measure which Tuckers should have implemented’, which would have substantially increased the difficulty of an attacker entering its network.
Here at MG Legal, the safety of our clients is at the forefront of what we do. Our solicitors go above and beyond to ensure that our clients’ data and information that we do need as part of our personal injury, conveyancing, family law, and will and probate services is stored safely and securely. We have stringent safety measures in place, both in our offices and on our online systems, to prevent any data breaches or security issues ever being possible. It is because of this level of security, and the way in which our team operate, that many of our wills and probate clients choose to have their Wills and property deeds stored with our team, relaxed in the knowledge that their information is in safe hands.
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