How to Secure Your Las Vegas Law Firm’s IT Infrastructure
Answering key questions to boost IT security at your Las Vegas law firm
There’s no doubt that technology is helping legal professionals streamline and optimize their operational tasks. With the help of strategic virtualization tools, lawyers are able to collect data and serve clients more efficiently. For lawyers who count on getting the most out of billable hours, there’s no doubt that streamlining technology is a huge asset.
However, while these advances in technology indeed hold productive power, there are serious cyber risks that come along with them. In fact, legal practices are known to be goldmines for cyber criminals because law firms collect a great deal of financial and medical data, among a variety of other personal information. Simply put, lawyers who collect and store data electronically have a huge target on their backs.
Further, the potential repercussions for unprepared and unsecured legal practices can be downright devastating. If practices fail to implement deliberate and strategic IT security strategies, a breach could end up costing millions of dollars, damage to reputation, loss of trust from clients, and even lead to the outright failure of the firm.
So, we thought it was a good idea to go over the top ways that Las Vegas legal professionals can secure the IT infrastructure at their firms. Although most Las Vegas law firms have at least some form of data security infrastructure in-house, data breaches are inherently unpredictable. This means even the most secure organizations could benefit from reviewing these questions on network security.
- Do you have detailed cybersecurity policies in place and on paper?
One of the best ways to combat security threats in your Las Vegas law firm, is to get concrete data security policies on paper. These policies should outline who has access to what data and where it is to be accessed from. Further, access control policies should be reviewed regularly and if and when someone leaves the firm, their access permissions should be removed swiftly.
Among basic access control protocols, your data security policies should include:
- Concrete password policies that detail schedules for password changes, suggestions for strong password choices, and multi-factor authentication tools.
- Special protocols for mobile devices or Bring Your Own Device programs to make sure that on-the-go devices are properly secured for data access.
- Monitoring and maintenance schedules that clearly outline how your network is being handled and by who.
- Information on data backup procedures.
- Disaster recovery and business continuity plans.
- A clear description of roles and responsibilities to make sure every team member is supporting your cybersecurity effort.
- A cybersecurity inventory that details all the tech resources you’re deploying to remain secure, as well as potential ideas for new and innovative network security strategies.
Regardless of what kind of data your firm collects or how you store it electronically, having detailed policies and procedures in place is the backbone of your entire data security effort. With this foundation in place, your team is more likely to know what’s expected and your firm will be more prepared to mitigate risks.
- Is your technology maintained, patched, and up-to-date?
Simply put, if your hardware or software isn’t kept up-to-date, you’re leaving your firm exposed to serious risk. Outdated technology can leave your firm vulnerable and can seriously impact regulatory compliance. Therefore, it’s critical that your firm has concrete strategies for keeping technology well-maintained, patched and up-to-date.
In order to keep your risk level low, you should be sure to regularly update and maintain your entire network infrastructure including:
- All devices, including computers, tablets, and mobile units
- Internet browsers
- Physical or Cloud server platforms
- Operating systems
To ensure a regular and reliable update and patching schedule, assign someone internally or from your Las Vegas IT support team to be in charge of hardware and software maintenance. You can also make use of automatic Cloud options that will deploy updates and patches like clockwork. Also, remember to keep a finger on the pulse of software and hardware patches so you can apply them as soon as they’re readily available.
The moral of the story is, Las Vegas law firms need to prioritize keeping their tech resources as current as possible. There really is nothing riskier than relying on old or outdated equipment or applications, because many of them simply can’t be patched in the case of disaster. While you don’t need to be rushing out to buy the latest and greatest solutions on the market, you need to make sure you’re not falling behind either.
- Is your business data backed-up effectively?
Data backups are absolutely critical, especially for legal practices. Working to keep data safe and secure is one thing – but preparing for the worst-case scenario is another can of worms entirely. For Las Vegas law firms, backing-up data and preparing to recover from the potential disaster is absolutely critical. Without thinking about and proactively preparing for the worst-case scenario, the continuity of your firm and the success of your casework is in serious jeopardy.
All of your firm’s data should be backed-up consistently and on a regular schedule. Back up all of the information your firm relies on upon be sure to conduct regular tests to ensure your backups are operating as designed. Furthermore, your backups should be encrypted whether they’re stored on-site, off-site or in the Cloud.
In addition to dynamic backup solutions, your firm should have a detailed business continuity plan on hand and accessible to the entire team. Your business continuity plan should have detailed instructions on how to efficiently and securely restore data and operations in the face of cyber attack or technology failure.
- Are you making use of encryption technologies?
Now, encryption might sound like it is beyond your technical scope, but deploying encryption technology doesn’t have to be impossible. Further, encrypting your firm’s data is absolutely critical in protecting it from prying eyes and malicious cybercriminals.
Simply put, encryption makes it impossible for unauthorized users to read or make sense of your data. Basically, you can consider encryption a type of disguise for your data that ensures even stolen data can’t be deciphered.
Your law firm should be deploying encryption wherever you can, including on:
- All computers, laptops, and tablets
- All your mobile devices including employee smartphones
- Your stored data and data backups
- Any and all transmitted or shared data
- All work-related internet sessions
There are a variety of absolutely free encryption tools available for both Mac and Windows users. Most encryption tools can be set up using a simple password or pin-code. Additionally, you can often implement an additional layer of biometric security like fingerprint swipes. The premise is simple – without the correct passcode or biometric validation, your data stays encrypted, secure and undecipherable.
- Have you trained your staff appropriately?
At the end of the day, your firm’s biggest ally in the battle against IT security threats is your internal team. Most security breaches occur due to avoidable mistakes like poor password choices or convincing phishing attacks. Cybercriminals love nothing more than preying on uninformed users, so your best bet is to invest in continuous and comprehensive security awareness training for your team.
However, end-user cybersecurity training for law firms is often overlooked. Don’t leave your team uninformed and vulnerable. By incorporating security awareness training regularly, your team will be connected with the information they need on data security threats and trends as well as strategies for mitigation and protection.
The security awareness training you provide to your team should include:
- Regular updates on the latest security threats they may encounter
- Regular updates on changes to your internal IT security policies
- Basic strategies for threat mitigation including password and encryption policies
- Simulated social engineering attacks to provide real-time readiness
- Question and answer sessions with Las Vegas IT professionals as required
The more education and practice your team receives, the more informed and secure users you’ll have in your corner. Make security awareness training part of your annual training requirements and implement incentive programs to encourage participation and some competitive fun. Committing to regular and comprehensive security awareness training is the best way to keep your team vigilant and spotlight potential problem areas or employees who made need extra practice. Best of all? It’s your best defense against sophisticated and malicious cybercriminals.
Calling in the Pros: Finding Reliable and Strategic IT Support in Las Vegas
No matter the size of your practice or the kind of work you do, Las Vegas law firms should prioritize data security and shouldn’t be afraid to consult with Las Vegas IT professionals for guidance. While we’ve tried to include all the data security essentials in this guide, there really is nothing better than talking with a Las Vegas IT support provider in person.
When it comes to searching for IT services for Las Vegas law firms, go with your gut. Look for Las Vegas IT support that can be customized to meet the unique security needs of your firm. Really, you’re looking for an IT provider in Las Vegas who specializes in network infrastructure for law firms. You want a partner who will work alongside you to batten down the hatches and ensure that due diligence has been paid.
Simply put, cybersecurity is a moving target – especially for legal professionals. As threats continue to evolve, so will the defenses and your firm needs to stay in tune with how things develop. Having a reliable Las Vegas IT company in your corner can make all the difference. Reach out to Las Vegas IT providers for consultation and don’t settle for anything less than optimal IT security solutions, customized for law firms.
Did you find this article informative? As always, we’re happy to help! If you liked this, check out these other articles we think you’ll love: