Why data encryption is crucial for law firms

Why data encryption is crucial for law firms

Cybersecurity is the biggest risk that law firms face because documents pertaining to business deals and legal cases are increasingly being stored and transmitted online. Be it at rest or in transit, data is vulnerable to hackers.

To illustrate, firms might make staff enter usernames and passwords to access electronically stored information (ESI), but hackers can guess weak passwords or steal access credentials via social engineering scams. Furthermore, when data is transmitted, it always traverses public channels at some point. For instance, emails containing settlement agreement attachments go through internet service providers to reach their intended recipients. Hackers can intercept your communiques if such channels are unsecure.

The information that cybercriminals glean from legal documents can be sold on the dark web or used for insider trading and other sinister reasons. In March 2016, hackers broke into the computer networks of two high-profile law firms in the US, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP. The hackers sold the stolen information to three foreign nationals who gained more than $4 million by using the data for insider trading.

These reports show that law firms’ clients are becoming increasingly concerned with data breaches. In fact, ABAJournal — the website of the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association — conducted a survey in 2016 that says 62.8% of firms of more than 500 lawyers reported that their current and potential clients required security measures from them. This reaction from clients will push law firms to take extra measures in securing their client data, which is why law firms should employ strong data encryption to tighten their cybersecurity systems.

What is data encryption?

Encrypting data simply means making it unreadable to unauthorized agents. Whether in storage or during transmission, you can scramble data — emails, documents, audio and video files — and give a decryption key through a separate communication channel to your intended recipients so only they can make sense of the information.

Data encryption is essential to preserve the confidentiality of your client data and keep your reputation intact.

Managed services provider (MSPs) like Netcom Solutions offer data encryption as one of their services to Fort Lauderdale- and Miami-based SMBs. With the help of certified experts, you can optimize your data storage solutions and protect your clients’ information at an affordable fixed monthly fee, which is significantly less costly than expenses incurred due to data breaches and other forms of cyberattacks.

If you own and operate a law firm and you’re looking for ways to safeguard you ESI, contact Netcom Solutions and receive around the clock services and guidance from our experts. We provide high-quality IT solutions and free on-site visits for larger issues. Call us today!