Details from a leak of 13.4 million files that expose tax and financial specifics about the world’s largest businesses and corporations, heads of state and global figures in politics, and entertainment and sports celebrities who have sheltered their wealth in secret tax havens. This data leak is being referred to as “The Paradise Papers” and more than 380 journalists have spent a year combing through the data that stretches back over 70 years.
At the center of the leak is Appleby, a law firm with outposts in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. Founded in Bermuda, Appleby sets up companies, trusts and other offshore entities for thousands of clients including high wealth individuals, international banks and accounting firms as well as multinational corporations.
While Appleby maintains their high standards, and insists the breech of such sensitive data will not prove any illegal doing on their part, the data now being released about their clients — and who those clients are linked to – will prove to be the most damaging. Most of the data being revealed will link people and/or corporations to other people/corporations, essentially information that was never intended to be public knowledge.
When a data leak or breach of this magnitude hits, it is a reminder for us all — especially law firms — to ensure that your data is adequately protected. Being proactive (as opposed to reactive) about data security is the best way to protect your sensitive data and business reputation.
In your information security strategy, policies and procedures, determine why cyber-attackers would want to target your firm, what type of information they are hoping to obtain, and how to avoid the exploitation of your data. Assess where your data is physically located, as well as the channels through which it can be accessed. In an age of smartphones, tablets, telecommuting and cloud computing, access points to your data are more numerous and open for exploitation.
Hilltop Consultants offers deep and granular IT security and risk assessments. Our team of certified IT security specialists can help evaluate your risk, and help you strategize, build and deploy solutions to protect your data.