A report from Law Path has identified six key business trends that are set to become prevalent as we move through the COVID-19 pandemic, with cybersecurity concerns topping the list.
The report took in data from 130,000 businesses that have used their legal platform in the past, and have concluded that six trends are set to transform the landscape as we move further into the pandemic’s recovery phase.
Law Path says that businesses and individuals alike have become more distressed about current cybersecurity threats in the landscape, particularly when dealing with highly sensitive legal documents or information datasets that include personally identifiable information on their customers. Since the start of the pandemic, it’s estimated that around $700,000 has been lost to phishing campaigns and ransomware attacks. We’ve been reporting over the past week on a law firm that was compromised by hackers who requested a $21 million ransom in exchange for the return of their files. When the law firm refused, the hackers then doubled the ransom and began leaking sensitive client documents to back up their claims.
Cybercriminals often look to small and medium sized companies that lack the adequate protections on their website and email domains for an easy payday, and judging by Law Path’s report, organisations are becoming increasingly aware of this and have begun to implement information security management systems like ISO 27001 to keep their systems secure.
There’s been a dramatic increase in the number of people and organisations organising their affairs. According to Law Path, there’s been a 725% increase in wills being finalised in the last month, and a 281% rise in the number of trust variation documents being submitted.
On a similar note, there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of companies downloading redundancy letters - up 185% - over the same time last year. With unemployment numbers jumping 6% in recent weeks, and a projected 10% unemployment figure released by the Reserve Bank, there’s little surprise that companies are getting their affairs - and finances - in order, too.
Small and medium-sized companies are moving to online means of selling products as brick-and-mortar locations lockdown. In the wake of social distancing, stay-at-home orders and a vast number of companies closing their doors, there’s been a notable rise in the number of businesses moving to an online-only means of operating and serving their customers. Law Path noted an increase in the number of documents for website terms and conditions, which they say correlates to businesses moving online en masse. This claim has been backed up by Australia Post reporting an 80% increase in the total number of packages being delivered to households around the country.
Flexible work arrangements and part-time work are becoming increasingly normalised, with Law Path observing a stratospheric 243% rise in the number of part-time employee arrangements being submitted, alongside a rise in the number of work from home policies. If you’ve had an eye on our blog recently, you would have seen an article detailing Twitter’s move to allow its employees to work from home for as long as they’d like. The company has canceled any in-person events for the remainder of the year, and a number of businesses unrelated to the tech industry have made similar moves. Companies are no doubt witnessing first-hand that their workforce can be just as productive whilst working from home. Law Path did, however, note that there is a sad possibility that the rise in the number of part-time contracts being filed represents businesses decreasing their staff’s hours due to resource restrictions.
Companies Maintain Social Distancing Concerns. Law Path has noted a 100% increase in the number of businesses searching for waivers related to customers entering premises, signaling the business’ intention to re-open, but protecting themselves legally while allowing customers into their physical location. It’s an extremely tough equation for managers and small business owners who desperately need to re-open, but are living in fear of being legally held to account if someone were to contract the virus in their premises.