By Daniel Hunter

A new study from ComXo, the specialist provider of bespoke telephony services, uncovers that UK law firms and their multi-billion pound clients could be directly under threat from corporate phone hacking.

The research, carried out across representatives from the top 200 firms in the UK and US, revealed that teleconferencing is rapidly playing a larger part of the way law firms work with clients. As many as 50 per cent claim the service is used on a daily basis, and 47 per cent cite the majority of these calls are client-facing, clearly showing the potential risk involved. Additionally, internal calls will naturally involve the discussion of sensitive client matters, adding to the risk of security breaches of confidential information.

With complete confidentiality being of obvious and paramount importance, law firms need a secure, robust service to provide this at all times. It comes as a huge surprise, and will be of grave concern to clients, that when asked what was considered as most important in teleconferencing, security came third behind reliability and call quality/clarity.

Furthermore, over a third of firms (35 per cent) were unaware of any security measures available for client conference calls putting themselves in the SRA’s sights for potential non-compliance and subsequently high penalty charges.

Whilst security breaches put reputations at risk, it also impacts heavily on revenue, resulting in loss of client trust and custom. A particularly vulnerable conferencing method is reservation-less conferencing using ‘wallet cards’, which exposes the call to outside intrusion. Worryingly, over a fifth of law firms surveyed (22 per cent) still use this method giving hackers and corporate spies easy but unauthorised access into potentially huge deals and global information.

Andrew Try, CEO, ComXo, said “Due to a lack of best practice in respect to conference call security, law firms are leaving themselves wide open to phone tapping, corporate espionage and a breach of compliance. It only takes one disgruntled employee to pass on the details of a wallet card PIN number that could potentially lead to the leakage of vital information with huge ramifications.

“It is surprising to see that conferencing security, at even the largest firms, is being overlooked. Law firms need to start working with their providers to ensure that features and best practice are in place to maintain the confidentiality needed within their business. Given that the legal industry should be a bastion of compliance their attitudes to this are lax. If this is what is happening in the legal sector it is worrying to think what is also going on in other sectors.”

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