Law Firm Cybersecurity
The legal industry is facing its most challenging obstacle to date and it’s not from the opposition – these attacks against law firms are coming from hackers. Once viewed as impenetrable to hackers, today’s law firm is just about as likely to be hacked as any other type of business.
Unfortunately, not everyone is developing effective law firm cybersecurity. According to a recent study by the American Bar Association, law firm cybersecurity standards vary considerably from firm to firm:
- 75% are using some anti-virus software.
- 58% of responding firms are using a firewall or anti-phishing software.
- 33% are using email encryption software.
- 25% are using device encryption software.
- 17% have some directory security in place.
- 25% have an employee training program involving cybersecurity.
This is why cybersecurity can’t be ignored – none of this is meant to scare you into buying overpriced firewalls or paying huge consultation fees with cybersecurity firms. It’s simply about making sure you know the reality of cybercrime in the legal industry.
What Should Your Law Firm Cybersecurity Look Like?
Two-Factor Authentication is a great way to add an extra layer of protection to the existing system and account logins. 45% of polled businesses began using 2FA in 2018, compared to 25% the year prior.
By requiring a second piece of information, you’re better able to make sure that the person using your logging in is actually who they say they are. Biometrics like fingerprints, voice, or even iris scans are also options, as are physical objects like keycards.
In layman’s terms, encrypted data is formatted in a secret code that would be meaningless if intercepted. It is one of the most efficient ways to secure a database given that decryption can only occur through a key, which is essentially a “secret password”.
Update Software Continuously.
You can’t afford to ignore software update notifications – but depending on your workload, you may have to. That’s where an IT company and managed services can help.
Software updates are not only to improve the functionality of the software; they also serve as a patch for recently identified vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. Your IT company can handle the management of these updates to make sure that not a single one is ever skipped or delayed.
Monitor Your Systems.
Also known as host-intrusion protection (HIP), this type of monitoring software will detect and report specially-developed malware that would otherwise make it past conventional antivirus and antimalware software. Your law firm cybersecurity should include a monitoring solution to keep an eye on your systems.
Verify And Test Your Backups
If you want your desktop files backed up, it’s your responsibility to make sure your cloud is doing so automatically. You must have a backup copy of your data if it’s stolen or accidentally deleted.
Develop a Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery policy that specifies…
- What data is backed up
- How often it’s backed up
- Where it’s stored
- Who has access to the backups
Backup to both an external drive in your office and a remote, secure, online data center. Set backups to occur automatically. And make sure your backup systems are encrypted.
Double Check Before You Click
No matter who the email is from or what it’s about, always exercise caution when it comes to clicking on a link or downloading an attachment:
- Be wary of malicious attachments in email messages. They may contain malware that can infect your computer.
- Check to see who the real sender of the message is. The company name in the “From” field should match the address. Also, watch for addresses that contain typographical errors like email@example.com.
- Hover over the URL in the email to view the full address. If you don’t recognize it, or if all the URLs in the email are the same, this is probably a phishing threat. Also, make sure that you and your employees know that all reputable URLs now start with https rather than http.
- Use an email client that scans attachments for malware, and never autorun an .exe file you’re unsure about.
This is a lot to handle on your own right? You’ve got a caseload, after all, so you likely don’t have the time to see to all this, and it’s not necessarily something you should trust to a paralegal that doesn’t have any experience with law firm cybersecurity.
That’s where a knowledgeable law firm cybersecurity company can be invaluable. One that is more than just computer technicians, but a team of IT professionals (like those from Network Heroes) who know and understand the unique security concerns of law firms. We can help you develop a cybersecurity defense that is virtually impenetrable to hackers.
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