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If robust cybersecurity was simple everyone would be doing it, no firms would be hacked, no client data would be compromised, and no malpractice suits would be filed. Read this article to find out what your firm should be doing now to secure client data and to protect your reputation.

Protect Client Data

How Many Of These 23 Critical Cybersecurity Steps Has Your Las Vegas Law Firm Taken?

Before we begin this important list, a disclaimer is in order.

No matter what size your law firm is, no cybersecurity expert recommends a D.I.Y. approach to securing client data and intellectual property. Even large firms with internal IT staff are wise to outsource their cybersecurity and data protection to companies that specialize in tracking and confronting online threats.

Having said that, it’s useful for you to have a list like this to ensure that you are hiring the right outsourced IT security team for your law firm and to put your mind at ease that they are implementing the right steps and strategies for your organization.

While we are calling these elements of cybersecurity strategy “steps”, the order in which your Las Vegas IT support personnel will tackle the steps will vary depending on what you already have in place and what areas are viewed to represent the greatest vulnerability.

  1. Learn how to create good passwords or invest in software that will generate and manage secure passwords for your firm. It’s important to change passwords on a regular basis and essential that you change passwords when an employee has left.
  2. Only use secure WiFi. Don’t transmit documents or emails over public-access WiFi.
  3. Use a secure file share system. Disable access to file-share sites and disable the ability of staff to use USB flash drives for file sharing.
  4. Set up a policy for media destruction and hardware destruction when hardware has hit the end of its life cycle.
  5. Put together a cybersecurity policy that includes the topics of:
    1. Social Networking
    2. Cloud Computing
    3. Email
    4. Voicemail
    5. Faxes
    6. Texting
    7. Instant Messaging
    8. Remote Access
    9. Personal Devices at Work
    10. Software
    11. Cell Phones
    12. Computers
    13. Internet
  6. Put together a way to provide transparency to clients and other stakeholders regarding your cybersecurity plan and posture.
  7. Have actionable cybersecurity crisis management strategies in place and ensure that partners and staff know what those strategies entail.
  8. Set up your compliance protocols, so they cover the legislative compliance and the industry standards compliance of your current clients and the clients that your firm is trying to attract.
  9. Write and enact an email retention policy and plan.
  10. Put two-factor authentication in place.
  11. Assess your vendors’ cybersecurity. All third-party and often fourth-party vendors need to be screened for vulnerabilities that may impact your clients’ data security.
  12. Build a culture of data protection. By emphasizing your firm’s role in protecting your clients’ privacy, you can help integrate an element of vigilance into your firm’s existing company culture.
  13. Have a cybersecurity roadmap. You don’t want to be reactionary. Having an idea of where threats are coming from today and where likely attempts to breach your defenses are emanating from tomorrow will help you put together a strategy that avoids stagnation.
  14. Be prepared for cybersecurity strategy evolution. Because technology and the corresponding threats are emerging so quickly, your firm must have the cybersecurity professionals on your side that are able to tweak your security roadmap when necessary.
  15. Delete personal information – such as social security numbers – from electronic filings before storing the documents electronically. This step ensures that if a breach occurs, less information is allowed into the hands of the bad guys.
  16. Secure your fax machine. Don’t have your fax machine in a part of the office where many people have access to it. Lock it away so incoming faxes cannot be viewed by anyone that does not have authority to do so.
  17. Set up secure, encrypted email accounts. Don’t use free email accounts (like Gmail and Hotmail) to do business!
  18. Do regular cybersecurity training with your staff and instruct your IT security professionals to test your employees regularly to ensure compliance with instruction.
  19. Take these steps regarding your incoming internet traffic.
    1. Inspect Traffic
    2. Classify Traffic – Is it malicious, questionable, or benign?
    3. Analyze Any Questionable Traffic
    4. Stop Any Malicious Traffic
  20. Use role-based access restrictions so only individuals with the need for access to documents can access, share, and edit those documents.
  21. Remove all client data from unsecured devices.
  22. Utilize offsite, encrypted data storage instead of onsite servers. This step provides you with the latest in compliant data security with scalability and avoids the data loss dangers associated with potential localized fire, flood, or criminal activity at your facility.
  23. Hire professionals and put your data in their hands. Trying to run a firm, keep clients happy, AND stay ahead of cybersecurity threats is too much for any organization.

 

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