Like businesses in all industries, legal firms are at risk of attack from cybercriminals. But there is an added layer of responsibility that comes with providing legal advice to clients — and that is ensuring that they understand how to keep their data safe as well. In many cases, law firms provide targeted guidance to clients such as boards of directors, C-suite professionals, and others on cyber risk and how to minimize it.
To help your clients establish protocols that provide a high level of regulatory compliance while balancing both governance and control, modern legal teams must have a firm understanding of the evolving threat landscape and how to navigate it. For many, it will be important to determine which employees have access to sensitive data — data that is personally identifiable — and what procedures should be followed in the event of accidental or malicious theft or loss.
This partnership between legal teams and their corporate counterparts can help position businesses for success in the event of digital disruption — but only if your firm follows, and fully understands, cyber security best practices in the daily management of your own business.
3 Critical Cyber Security Best Practices for Law Firms
Law firms are appealing targets for cybercriminals, as they handle or process extremely sensitive data for clients ranging from high-profile individuals to wide-ranging business interests and enterprises. Gaining access to law firm data can help hackers access the data of multiple targets in one breach. To stay safe, ensure your law firm adheres to the following best practices:
- Deploy a Policy That Clarifies Acceptable use
A fair use or acceptable use policy helps law firm employees understand which rules to follow when using infrastructure — including software and endpoints such as laptops or mobile phones — belonging to the firm. This type of policy is critical, especially when you consider that 75% of breaches can be traced to employee actions.
An acceptable use policy will also help educate staff on evolving threats and help them identify potential issues such as malicious emails, phishing, and other social engineering techniques.
- Create a Plan to Handle Incident Response
More and more law firms, even small and mid-sized ones, are becoming the victim of data breaches. So, the question is more “when” than “if” your firm experiences an incident related to cybercrime. How your firm reacts when you discover a breach has happened makes all the difference in the extent of the damage. Steps to include in an incident response plan include:
- Having a designated response team
- Preparing an initial report
- Outlining the type of incident and its extent
- Escalate to proper authorities where appropriate
- Inform any organization or individual affected
- Collect evidence and conduct further investigations
- Make plans to reduce further risk
- Begin recovery measures
This plan should be a document that evolves alongside the threat landscape and proactively includes new technologies or protections as they become available.
- Adopt the Cloud
Moving your platforms to a cloud-based environment can help you keep data more secure than hosted software or on-premises solutions. Cloud providers have team members dedicated to keeping their IT infrastructure on the leading edge of safety, security, and technology. Most in-house IT teams may be able to check security on a periodic basis, but they have other daily and mission-critical tasks to attend to, so security will not be their sole focus.
Plus, security updates and patches for cloud-based platforms are automatically deployed, ensuring you are always protected from the latest known vulnerabilities. Cloud solutions can also be easier on the budget than on-premises infrastructure, bringing added value and benefit to the firm.
Lock Down Your Data with Targeted Help from Blue Technologies
Your in-house IT team — if you have one — is busy taking care of business. To keep the flood of sensitive data your firm handles safe from outside or inside predation, turn to a team that is dedicated to data security.
At Blue Technologies, we have a dedicated team of cyber security professionals that can help you implement these best practices at your firm. From infrastructure assessment and cloud computing to disaster recovery, our Managed IT solutions offer even small firms access to cutting-edge knowledge and technology.
Start to build your arsenal of cyber security best practices today. Contact a Blue Technologies consultant and learn how our team of Managed IT professionals can help keep your — and your clients’ — data safer.