The modern world is neck deep in cybersecurity threats and data breaches, and it’s only a matter of time before a law firm such as yours is faced with a cybersecurity threat. It’s vital that your firm knows the gravity of these attacks and the importance of cybersecurity measures.
In this article, we give a checklist of policies and programs you can adopt to prevent a cyberattack or properly respond to one. Read on.
Why is your law firm a target of hackers?
The American Bar Association (ABA) reports that about 25% of law firms with 100–500+ employees have been breached. For law firms with around 2–99 employees, the range is about 14%. No matter the size of a firm, the average cost of a single data breach is hefty, around $200,000. Question is, why are law firms being hacked??
Firstly, clients’ financial records, Social Security numbers, banking information, and other personally identifiable information (PII) are stored and used by a law office in serving their clients. This data is what cybercriminals use to commit identity theft, i.e., they pose as account holders and transfer funds, make purchases, and take out loans in the latter's names. Secondly, there's an existing cybersecurity deficit among law firms, as many small to mid-sized ones have yet to adopt truly effective cybersecurity policies. These two make for an inviting cocktail for hackers to mess with the IT systems and data of law firms.
How can your law firm protect itself?
The checklist below features cost-effective tips that even a lone legal professional can do to fulfill the minimum requirements for cybersecurity. See if your law firm is taking these precautions to keep client data secure.
☑ Implement multilayered data protection
Keeping data confidential and secure requires multiple layers of security measures. There should at least be data encryption, strong password policies, and multifactor authentication. A managed IT services provider (MSP) can take the complication out of the process and provide your law firm with many options in expert cybersecurity.
☑ Conduct security training
Most cyberattacks such as data breaches and ransomware are caused by human error or carelessness, oftentimes because of the lack of strong passwords or the failure to recognize an email phishing attack. These can be avoided by regular security training, so that staff is accustomed to following security regulations and procedures and becomes acquainted with red flags in email and websites. An MSP can help your firm conduct regular security training such as phishing simulations and other cost-effective security training guidelines.
☑ Run tests
With cybersecurity measures in place, make sure they are working properly. Conduct regular testing and monitoring of these systems. Whether it’s for network security or data backups, readiness drills can be a great way of knowing if your systems are working, as well as evaluating its strengths and weaknesses. Drills will also make your staff ready at the onset of a disaster like a data breach. An MSP can help with simulation drills and monitor your systems 24/7.
☑ Learn from clients
Your firm may have clients with their own cybersecurity requirements when working with you. They are highly invested in making sure that their data will be safe with you. Tailor your security measures to meet their requirements. This will to fulfill the minimum requirements for cybersecurity improve your law office’s security as well.
☑ Software Updates
If you’re like most people, then you would rather not be bothered with software updates. However, as a business entity that handles sensitive and valuable data, you can’t afford to. Updates often contain security patches that address the latest cyberthreats and vulnerabilities. Sometimes, an update can mean the difference between a data breach and protecting your client’s data.
☑ Cyber risk insurance
With cyberattacks virtually inevitable, organizations are preparing for breaches not only with security measures and data recovery strategies. Preparing for a breach means anticipating the damage and disruption it may cause to your law firm. Consider investing in cyber risk insurance.
Consider your technology partner wisely
An MSP can protect your law firm’s data and systems with a host of cybersecurity options. With the many security packages out there, you want one that is able to deliver all of the above requirements as well as 24/7 monitoring and maintenance of your IT infrastructure, all at a cost-effective rate. Find out about Spectrumwise today.
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