Almost 80% of Big Law Concerned about Cybersecurity Threats, ALM’s Legaltech News Tech Survey Finds

Annual study addresses key trends within the Am Law 200

New York, NY – December 1, 2015 – ALM’s annual Am Law-LTN Tech Survey has revealed that an overwhelming majority of law firms are concerned about cybersecurity threats, elevating the issue to the top concern among the technology directors and chief technology officers polled. Some 77% of respondents cited threats to cybersecurity as a concern, and almost a quarter say outsiders attempting to break into the data network is their biggest worry. The results of the 19th annual survey are featured in the December issue of Legaltech News and available online at: http://www.legaltechnews.com.

“Based on our most current research, as well as our ongoing dialogue with law firm IT leaders, it's clear there is a continued emphasis on shoring up security for the valuable client data collected and managed within law firms,” said Erin E. Harrison, editor-in-chief of Legaltech News. “This year’s findings confirm security and privacy concerns are prevalent throughout the Am Law 200. In future iterations of our research, we will more deeply explore the cyber risks at play for law firms, as well as examine the tools and techniques they’re deploying to defend themselves and clients from data theft.”

The survey, which includes responses from almost half of the Am Law 200, addresses key trends including cybersecurity, e-discovery, software and technology budgets, and is the result of detailed analysis by ALM Legal Intelligence. As in previous years, the Bring Your Own Device debate emerged as a key issue. While most firms have embraced the mobile model, a staggering 86% of respondents identified data security as their biggest BYOD concern. That is unsurprising given that the survey found that 71% of partners, 80% of executives and managers and 67% of non-partner attorneys were issued a mobile device by their firm in the last year. In addition, some 83% have implemented mobile device management in the last year.

“ALM’s Legal Intelligence team has been conducting this survey for the past 18 years.  We engage in a deep examination of the technology resources and solutions utilized by the largest U.S. law firms as well as examining the measures employed by firms’ IT departments to mitigate the latest technology risks,” said Erick Burchfield, Managing Director of Research at ALM.  “The research, analysis and industry expertise of ALM’s Legal Intelligence team allows us to stay tuned into the technology trends and issues law firms have encountered over nearly two decades.”

Top findings of the Am Law Tech Survey:
• 77% of law firms are concerned about cybersecurity threats with 23% perceiving outsiders trying to break into the data network as the biggest threat. 

• Cloud investments have increased, with 62% of respondents investing in SaaS-based e-discovery/litigation support.

• Regarding spending, 27% of respondents anticipate a more than 10% increase in their IT department's capital budget compared to 2014. Although IT spending is forecast to increase, 59% said staffing levels within IT have been adversely affected by budget cuts.

About ALM
ALM is a global leader in specialized industry news and information. Trusted reporting delivered through innovative technology is the hallmark of ALM’s award-winning media properties. Headquartered in New York City with 18 offices worldwide, ALM brands have been serving their markets since 1843. ALM was named among Folio: Magazine’s Top Places to Work in Media in 2014. For more information, visit www.alm.com.

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