Why Law Firms Need To Improve Cybersecurity Urgently

Law Firms Cybersecurity

Law firms exist in a highly competitive industry, with constant battles to secure the best legal talent. Thomson Reuter’s 2022 Report on the State of the Legal Market highlighted the current problems finding legal staff. Another urgent, but overlooked problem the legal industry faces, are dangerous cyber attacks.

There is a growing sense of urgency to make law firms secure, especially in an industry that needs to show trustworthiness. Do you know if your law firm is fully protected? If you can’t answer that question, you need to read this article. Find out why it is essential to be protected and what you can do right now. 

Cybersecurity Can Threaten The Hard Work Of Law Firms

A law firm’s success with clients lies in its ease of communication, responsiveness, and trust. When a law firm has spent years building a stellar reputation, it’s essential to try and retain this position. One aggressive cyber-attack resulting in a data breach can ruin a business. Why put yourself in that position when there are easy solutions?

No Industry is Safe From Hackers

The legal industry might not be the first sector that springs to mind when you think about cyber attacks. However, law firm data breaches in the US are increasing yearly. All information is power. Wherever there is a database of sensitive information, a professional hacker will be close by trying to gain access.

Obligation Of Attorneys To Protect Information

Data protection is an obligation of attorneys and paramount importance for clients. The release of sensitive information can cause a devastating impact on individuals. Attorneys must follow the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules and apply competent and reasonable measures to safeguard information.

So what is out there to help businesses protect data? You want something easy to use that is flexible and gives a high degree of security. Legal technology is the perfect solution to help legal firms stay secure. Legal tech has also had another knock-on effect by assisting lawyers in developing their skills in the last few years.  

Basic Security Tools You Can Use Right Now

You might feel a bit stressed if you don’t have security measures. You can counter this by checking your basic security settings. It’s the first step in protecting your law firm from any cyber attack. Here are some things any attorney or law firm can action right now. These tools don’t take long to set up and can make a huge difference.

  • Spam Filter 
  • Software and hardware firewalls
  • Anti-spyware
  • Mandatory passwords
  • Antivirus for desktops and laptops
  • Intrusion detection and prevention

It’s important to note that authentication and access controls are the “keys to the kingdom.” It would help if you secured these areas correctly, or a hacker could gain access to everything. Multifactor authentications are also good options to tighten security further. Legal tech solutions can provide various tools to help you in these areas. 

Create A Cybersecurity Program For Your Law Firm

The multinational law firm DL Piper was hit with a significant ransomware cyberattack in 2017, with hackers encrypting their files. The IT department worked 15,000 hours of paid overtime to get the company back on track. The best way to protect your law firm from such a devastating attack is to create a cybersecurity program for your business. 

Before you get started with your cybersecurity program, you need to consider three key areas:

  • Appoint a dedicated person or team responsible for maintaining the security in the law firm. These appointments help create a centralized point of contact.
  • All your policies and procedures need to be rigorous to ensure no area is left out. A hacker only needs one little gap to go in and cause havoc.
  • You have to start looking for the right technologies to help you stay secure and stop any cyber attacks.

Assess Your Cybersecurity Position With a Risk Assessment

A risk assessment can give you a clear picture of where your law firm stands. The firm needs to do an inventory and risk assessment to determine what areas need protection. You might have an idea of some areas that need protecting. However, until you do a proper risk assessment, you won’t know what you need to do. 

Here are a few of the areas that your risk assessment should cover:

  • Check that your current security software is up to date.
  • Use the latest versions of software and operating systems and add patches.
  • Ensure you have an effective backup system in place.
  • Train all your staff regularly on security measures.

You can also learn about other steps to put in place from cyber security experts.

Keep Your Clients Happy With Security Assessments

You need to keep your clients happy by showing your business is secure. Anything you can do to show you genuinely care about security will positively impact your company. You could employ an independent security assessment of your law firm. This assessment can determine if you are looking after data correctly. It can give needed reassurances to your clients.

This process will also help you see areas you may have missed as a business. You can then put in the urgent steps to fill in the gaps. It also gives you another layer of security overall. You can use this extra assessment to promote yourself as a trustworthy law firm. It proves to existing and potential clients that you have gone the extra mile to be secure.

Take out Cyber Insurance

Some malpractice policies and general liability insurance do not cover data breaches or security incidents. Cyber liability insurance is on the rise with law firms as a result. As part of your risk assessment, you can look into your current insurance to see where you stand. If necessary, you can immediately look for cyber insurance cover.

Protect Your Law Firm From Future Cyber Attacks

Protecting your law firm from cyber attacks does not have to be complicated. Start by putting basic security measures in place. Then move on to setting up a rigorous security program. Knowing that you are safe from a cyber-attack will give you confidence in your law firm’s security, and your business reputation will remain intact.

Sally Leslie

Sally Leslie is the content editor for Planet Compliance and creates B2B content for businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups. Sally is passionate about motivation, time management, and the changing world of financial technology.

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