Law Firm | Technology

7 Important Data Security Practices for Law Firms

Many lawyers handle confidential documents with sensitive personal information, but are they doing enough to protect themselves online? Follow these tips.
Alex Hay
Written by Alex Hay

Each year, law firms have emails, passwords, and other personal data stolen through third-party websites like Dropbox and LinkedIn. This stolen information can be exploited by hackers to access sensitive materials, hold accounts for a ransom, and for other malicious acts.

There's a lot at stake when breaches like this occur: leaked litigation strategies, lost billable hours, and irreparable damage in reputation and client relationships are just a few of the possible outcomes.

It’s even more astonishing that more law firms
haven’t even bothered to carry out a formal assessment of their IT systems, let alone safeguard employees, servers and clients against potential cybercriminals and security breaches.

Mitigating cyber threats doesn't need to be complicated, but it does need to happen in order to protect you and your firm. Here are some ways to stay safe in the digital world.

Harden your networks and databases

IT systems within a law firm should always operate with minimal access permissions, meaning each employee should only have access to information that is absolutely necessary for their work. You should also monitor and test your systems regularly to ensure everything is working as planned.

Use encryption tools

More and more data breaches are carried out through email phishing scams, where unsuspecting individuals click on suspicious links and expose their passwords to cybercriminals. Find out how encrypted storage and communication can help you dodge threats at every turn.

Have data backed up on a secure device

Ransomware is among the most feared, not to mention the fastest-growing types of malware, that allows hackers to get their hands on sensitive data and hold it hostage. Discover how backup services are crucial to fending off ransomware attacks.

Protect employees’ devices

Data security experts’ worst fear has more to do with inside jobs than with outside threats. That’s right, sometimes law firm employees themselves bring malware to work on devices that have been infected at home. Explore how the right management software can put your security team’s mind at ease.

Get secure VPN access

Lawyers need to be able to work on their cases from anywhere in the world. Meaning, it’s high time law firm IT leaders invested in remote access technology that will make lawyers more flexible and less vulnerable.

Use a password manager

Law firm IT security boils down to two essential steps: locking down your systems and educating your employees on security practices. Done with the first one? Put an end to poor password practices before a hastily chosen ‘123456’ causes widespread damage.

Educate your workers

Training on passwords, however, should not be the only training staff are required to attend. All employees at all levels need to be prepared to identify security vulnerabilities and know exactly how to protect themselves

Keeping your law firms' data secure can save you and your team countless hours and headaches, should cybercriminals try to steal your information. 

Originally published Oct 7, 2021, updated October 7, 2021

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