Your law firm is a likely target of cyberthreats due to the value and sensitivity of your clientele’s information. You keep all sorts of records like legal documents, business transactions, divorce proceedings, and financial records. This is exactly why you should take cybersecurity more seriously.
Since technology has never been law firms’ greatest suit, more law firms have fallen victim to cyberattacks, causing downtime, loss of billable hours, loss of important client information, and an erosion of the clients’ trust .
Hiring a managed services provider (MSP) and letting the professionals handle your company’s IT infrastructure is still the best option, but here are some tips that can help you improve your business’s security on your own.
#1 Lay down your security policies
To better protect your data, you should establish security policy guidelines. They have to outline the reasons and steps for security and sanctions in case someone breaks a policy. Assessing your adherence to security objectives and resilience to breaches will be much easier if policies are clearly laid down.
#2 Encrypt data backups
Having backups is simply not enough. If hackers happen to gain physical access to one of your computers, or if an employee commits an error, your data can still get lost, corrupted, or hacked. Encrypt your data backups to add a layer of protection.
Configure your systems to create shadow copies — backups of your files even while they are in use — at least once or twice a day to ensure that your data is backed up while running operations nonstop at full capacity. Also, check backup logs to ensure that they are complete and accessible.
#3 Conduct security training for your employees
Your staff should be familiar with law firm cybersecurity threats such as ransomware, hacktivists, and rogue employees, among others. Your firm’s annual customer premises equipment (CPE) curriculum must include regular security training for your employees, if you want to have an effective cybersecurity plan.
Even with cutting-edge technology, there’s no substitute for competent staff when it comes to protecting client data.
#4 Have planned operating system and antivirus updates
Most software programs come with automatic updates to prevent malware from taking advantage of their glitches. Installing these updates, however, can interfere with your employees’ daily tasks if done during business hours, so it’s best if these have a preset schedule of installation outside working hours.
#5 Only use a virtual private network (VPN) during collaborative work
Connecting with colleagues while in the workplace is easy because you have a secured office network, but how do you contact them on the go? According to a 2016 CNBC survey, 87% of US consumers have used public internet at a cafe, airport, or hotel. This is very risky because any hacker can easily intercept connections using a public network.
To avoid this problem, use a VPN. It encrypts all data in transit so you can safely connect with anyone using any device without putting your sensitive information in jeopardy.
#6 Limit your network access
Firms must screen users first before providing access to company data or allowing connection to their IT resources. This can be achieved by registering each workstation, tablet, and smartphone connected to the firm’s network to minimize the risk of unauthorized access from other devices.
#7 Lock computer screens automatically
Even during work hours, your sensitive company and client information may be at risk. Employees sometimes leave their workstation without turning off their computer, which is why computers should be set to lock screen after 5–20 minutes of being idle.
#8 Check your cyber insurance policies
Reviewi and understand the extent of your insurance policies to see if there are gaps that open your firm up to liability. In case of a cyber-related security breach, your cyber liability insurance coverage (CLIC) will help you offset costs for your organization’s recovery.
You also need to update your policy whenever a new law regarding data protection is passed so that your firm always has ample coverage.
#9 Hire an MSP
MSPs make sure that every application and software is up to date, and systems are backed up according to schedule. They regularly test your systems and audit your regulatory compliance. MSPs work proactively to monitor and manage your business IT around the clock.
Cyberattacks on and data loss in law firms have become more common. With state-of-the-art security tools, your MSP can protect your private data, ensure that your files are backed up, and recover data in case of disaster.
Still not sure if your Miami-based law firm needs managed IT services? Download our free ebook to find out. Netcom Solutions works with top law firms to keep their network and data safe from cybersecurity threats. We take pride in our expert technicians who are available around the clock. Call us now to get the most out of your technology investment.