Why Cyber Security Is Key In The Legal Field - Cybersec For Law Firms

cyber security legal field cybersec law firms data protection

Cybersecurity is a critical concern for just about every business and startup out there. In the legal field, you have special considerations. You have extremely sensitive data to protect about your firm, your clients, and their cases. There is very private information and attorney-client privilege data.

Hackers understand the value of this information and will specifically target law firms to breach their systems. This can result in downtime for your firm in the legal field or the extraction of sensitive data to be sold on the dark web. 

If you think that your legal firm is immune, think again. About 23% of law firms have reported security breaches and attacks. It’s no longer a matter of if your firm will face a cybersecurity attack, it’s a matter of when. 

Read on to learn what the major cyber security threats are and how you can protect your law firm or legal company. 

Know The Threats To Your Law Firm 

The first step in protecting your law firm is to understand the common security threats that those in the legal field face. There are certain methods that hackers will use to try to get into your systems. 

Malware:  Most forms of computer and IT issues are the result of malware. This is a malicious software program designed to do as much damage as possible. 

Ransomware:  This is a form of malware that will hold your data for ransom. In most cases, you have to pay thousands of dollars in Bitcoin to get it back. 

Phishing:  This is usually in the form of spam emails that hope that you or someone else will click on them. They may be threats or they may be disguised to look like they’re from legitimate sources, like PayPal or from someone in your office. 

Spyware:  This is malware that attempts to track your keystrokes or take over your camera in the hopes of getting passwords or other information. 

How to Protect Your Law Firm Or Legal Business

It can be overwhelming looking at that list of cybersecurity threats in the legal field. Where do you even begin to protect your law firm? Fortunately, there are a few simple things that you can do that can go a long way to protecting your systems. 

Audit Your Software & Security Systems 

You want to have a complete audit of the cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities you face. That entails looking at your IT infrastructure, how data is stored, and how information is handled. 

You also want to know of any compliance issues. You’ll want to work with a leading information technology company in the legal field to understand your IT issues and vulnerabilities. 

Have A Cybersecurity Policy 

During a cybersecurity attack, your first instinct is to panic and try to unplug everything, hoping it will go away. 

That doesn’t always work. Instead, you should have a policy and procedure in place that outlines what to do during a cyber-attack. 

You should have a strict policy that focuses on prevention as much as possible. You should have standards for employees to follow regarding the handling of documents, emails, and devices that belong to your law firm. 

What are the mechanisms in place for reporting such a breach? You have an obligation to notify your clients, the authorities, and possibly your insurance company. 

These are all things that should be addressed in your company cybersec policy. 

Keep Track of All Company Devices 

The world is mobile, and your law firm needs to have access to information from anywhere. It’s common for people in the legal field to be out of the office all day. 

You may be at depositions, negotiations, meeting with clients, jails and prisons, or in court. That leaves you depending on mobile devices in order to access email and other documents.

It is entirely possible to leave these devices anywhere, which can cause a serious security issue. If it can happen, it will happen, and it does happen often enough to pose a security risk. 

The other vulnerability is your internet connection. You may be tempted to use a public WiFi connection to speed up your data connection. 

That leaves your device and information vulnerable to hacking. If you must access the internet from a public connection, use a virtual private network to make your connection secure. 

Employee Education 

Do you know the most common cause of security breaches? You may be surprised to learn that it’s not hackers or exposed data. 

It’s your employees. Human error is the biggest cybersecurity risk of them all, even in the legal field where the average employee is usually more intelligent and tech-savvy. 

Your office paralegals and administrative staff are frequent targets of spoofed emails and they click on them. A click can bring down your entire IT infrastructure. You need to educate your employees on these threats. You also need to get their buy-in to abide by your new cyber security policies. 

Invest In Cybersecurity Insurance 

Most businesses that are hit with a data breach close down within six months. You don’t want your legal business to be one of them. 

One of the ways to protect your business is to purchase cybersecurity insurance. The types of policies will vary, but you can cover your losses as a result of a data breach. Some policies for the legal field will also cover public relations costs to limit the damage to your brand. 

Keep Security Software Up To Date 

Your law firm relies on many software programs to run. Same with your website. These various programs are updated regularly to close up any security issues. 

If you do not keep your software updated to the latest version, that leaves your systems exposed to hackers. 

The easiest thing you can do is update your systems once a week to make sure you are running the latest versions of essential software programs.

Take Cybersecurity In The Legal Field And Law Firms Seriously

Cybersecurity is one of the biggest threats that businesses in the legal field face. Having inadequate data security is one of the biggest mistakes that law offices and legal companies make. It’s difficult to keep up with all of the changes, but the more you can do ahead of time, the easier it is to manage these threats. 

One of the places to start is to know the threats your business faces. Then you can survey your own systems to see where the security holes are. You also want to create a policy and have insurance in case there is an attack. That will limit your losses as much as possible. 

Do you want more tips to help you manage the business side of your law firm? Head over to the legal section of our blog for more helpful tips and articles.

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