Legal practices hold masses of sensitive, confidential information. If you aren’t utilizing the correct data security software, you may be putting your law firm information security at risk. This could make you a target for cyberattacks or security breaches.
If your company falls victim to a data breach, you can face a loss of finances, reputational damage, and be in violation of the law. Your clients need to know that they can trust you with their information. We’ve outlined some steps below that you can take to keep data secure.
The Importance of Law Firm Information Security
According to the 2021 American Bar Association(ABA) Cybersecurity Tech Report, 25% of law firms reported that they experienced a data breach during the year. Don’t let your practice be a part of this statistic.
The main aim of data security is to prevent unauthorized access to information that your firm collects and stores. All devices used to access the company’s data need to be secured.
Every law firm can secure its data by implementing the necessary best practices. If you deploy the right tools and technology, you can prevent your company from becoming the next victim of malicious cyber attacks.
What are Your Obligations to Clients?
A firm’s responsibilities to its clients include safeguarding their information. It is contractually and ethically obligated to take appropriate measures to keep the information confidential.
When you have a client sign on or communicate online with you, it’s important to mention the measures you will take to protect their data. This includes how you will store it, what you will do to prevent outside breaches and your use of technology.
Your law firm clients should always provide you with written consent to handle their information. This can prevent any misunderstandings should an unfortunate event happen in the future.
What are the Potential Risks to Your Practice?
Law practices hold sensitive information, not just personal client data but also business-critical information. This can make them vulnerable to different types of attacks, including:
Hackers criminally gain access to a practice’s data that contain clients’ sensitive info, which they then sell to third parties. Cyber attacks can bring down a company’s entire computer system.
Ransomware attacks happen when hackers gain access to a computer and encrypt the data stored on it. The hackers then hold the law practice’s data hostage and prevent the owner from accessing anything until they make a ransom payment.
How to Use Data Security Software To Secure Your Law Practice
Security software plays a crucial part in securing your company’s data. Through it, only authorized users can access the firm’s information.
A few essential types of data security software to implement within your practice include:
Spam filters detect and prevent unwanted and often virus-infected emails from reaching a user’s inbox. Malicious emails are sent to attempt to steal information from users or even plant malware. Filters are the first line of defence against these attacks.
Encryption is a security measure that uses algorithms to convert standard text into an unreadable format. In the event of a cyberattack, the criminals cannot decipher the data.
Firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic and decide whether to allow it to continue or block it. Attackers are prevented from gaining access to your computer and data due to the security rules set out on your firewall software.
You can prevent data loss by backing up your data to the cloud. This allows a company to back up its data and applications to a remote server. In the event of system failures or cyber attacks, the data is readily available in the cloud.
How to Recover from Cyberattacks
Unfortunately, cyberattacks happen when you least expect them. Here are two steps you can take to ensure a smooth recovery should something happen.
1. Implement a Law Practice Security Program
Every law firm should put together a security program to cover policies and procedures for its staff and technology. These policies must address every staff member and not just the IT personnel.
Policies will need to outline the recovery process should the practice come under attack.
2. Take Out Insurance for Cyber Attacks
Insurance companies offer cover for these types of threats to your business. Coverage for cyber liability and legal professional liability is available to cover most law firms.
Law firms are under constant threats of cybercrime due to the sensitive information passing through their devices. Thanks to economies of scale, cloud computing vendors can invest aggressively in industry-leading security infrastructure. That’s why cloud-based legal software vendors’ security infrastructure tends to far exceed the quality standards of on-premise servers. However, you have a great responsibility to uphold your law firm’s information security and protect your client’s data.
A few simple steps to include a data security program into your practice will prevent the undesirable consequences of a cyber attack. You should also use secure and specialized legal software like Amberlo, which employs advanced measures to guarantee protection. Not only is Amberlo ISO certified, but it also uses advanced cloud infrastructure by Amazon to ensure maximum data security.
The faster you begin to master specialized tools and implement processes at your firm, the faster you’ll start reaping benefits, whether that’s by driving cost efficiencies or delivering a better experience to your clients.