Interception of email poses a real threat to UK law firms, placing the integrity of their communications at risk, according to an industry survey. The survey, commissioned by Securecoms, highlighted a widespread and mistaken belief that existing antivirus and spam prevention solutions provide sufficient email protection and as a result, the possibility of interception is being overlooked. While email interception poses a threat to all businesses, the often sensitive nature of a law firms’ communications increases the importance of security.
The risk posed by an e-mail security breach was further highlighted by a related survey finding indicating that although most respondents believe email is the least secure method of communication, more than half of a law firm’s daily email traffic contains confidential information. Interestingly, 82 per cent of respondents were aware that external emails pass through many places before reaching the intended recipient.
There appears to be a widespread misguided view that the most commonly used anti-virus and anti-spam systems also provide protection against interception. In fact, this is just not the case.
The research indicates that despite the recommendations contained in the email security guidelines issued by the Law Society, fewer than 10% of UK law firms encrypt their e-mails.