Law firms today are increasingly relying on digital tools to provide lawyers and other staff with more flexible access to information, deliver on-demand law information to clients and reduce reliance on paralegals and other administrative staff.
These technological advances have allowed law firms to innovate, develop new revenue-generating services and reduce operating expenses. However, with those advances comes an added risk. With the use of more digital solutions, law firms are exposing their data to greater exposure to cyber attack. The impact of a data breach could be devastating to a law firm, resulting in the loss of clients and reputation.
The growing reliance on technology is why data security for law firms has become more essential than ever. Finding the right legal IT provider that understands law firm needs and can develop comprehensive security solutions is a critical step for law firms.
What Threats Are Law Firms Likely to Face?
Hackers know all too well how critical it is to keep client data safe. That’s why law firms are such a likely target. The American Bar Association’s 2018 annual meeting included a panel discussion to address the risks and the need for active defense. “The consensus of the panel was that cyber attacks are inevitable, and that preparation for law firms was necessary to avoid not only the hardware issues but also post-attack consequences,” the ABA wrote.
Ransomware is a significant risk. A hacker who gains access to sensitive systems can lock out users, cripple a website and demand payment in cryptocurrency before functions are released.
While anti-virus and anti-phishing software have long been a part of a corporate defense against such attacks, hackers are finding new weapons. Cryptoworms are one such example. These invasive programs act similarly to malware and ransomware with one significant distinction. Cryptoworms, once embedded, do not need manual instructions from a hacker to identify and steal personally identifiable information.
As long as hacking remains a lucrative option, hackers will continue to develop new destructive weapons. That’s why data security services for law offices are still needed.
What Solutions Do Law Firms Need to Deploy?
Preventative measures are the first line of defense for law firms. The problem is that like other small- and medium-sized businesses, many law firms do not create a comprehensive layer of securities. Anti-virus software alone is not enough. Here are the main components of a thorough strategy:
What Structure Is Necessary for Cybersecurity?
Policies and procedures need to be in place that guides your law firm’s technical solutions.
Explicit, clear policies about cybersecurity need to focus on keeping client data and employee information secure. These policies need to be distributed to all employees and discussed not just in new-employee orientation sessions but as part of annual mandatory training.
Employees need to understand that most cyber attacks start with an unknowing employee clicking on an email link or visiting a damaging website. Effective training raises employee awareness and gives them tips on what to look for to prevent attacks. Some organizations even issue phony phishing emails to test how well employees understand company policy.
Policies should focus on the following:
How Do I Prepare to Respond to an Attack?
Law firms need to have an incident response plan that’s a core part of your business continuity plan.
Your incident response plan should include well-defined roles for staff responsibilities during and after an attack, including:
Who Can Help Our Law Firm with Cybersecurity?
Parkway Tech specializes in helping law firms with their IT needs. We understand the importance of keeping sensitive law firm information protected and secure.
At Parkway Tech, we have a relationship-driven approach, taking time to learn about your firm’s needs and goals. In addition to robust cybersecurity solutions, we offer data backup and recovery, business continuity planning, IT consulting, cloud computing and remote help-desk support. To learn how we can help keep your law firm protected, contact us.
Parkway Tech offers technology management, help desk services, and strategic IT consulting to law firms and legal practices across North Carolina.
We offer a completely customized technology support services for large and small law firms, law offices and law practices.