The healthcare industry was ravaged by digital attacks in 2017. Law firms are not immune to such attacks. In fact, most law firms are just as vulnerable as healthcare organizations, primarily because they have highly sensitive data of considerable value. Merely clicking a seemingly harmless link in an email is all that is necessary to provide a hacker with unauthorized access to client information. If your client data is breached, it will prove difficult to maintain the all-important rapport necessary for continued business, client referrals and a sterling reputation.
How to Combat Digital Security Threats: Lean on the Experts
The average law firm does not have a full-fledged team of IT security experts working in-house as employing such professionals would prove quite costly. It is best to lean on a proven third-party system for document encryption and management. The group you select should have provide top-notch security and employee cybersecurity education. A well-educated team will be able to identify shady-looking emails and websites, refrain from clicking them and ultimately preserve the integrity of your firm’s data.
Your law firm will be vulnerable to data theft if your staff does not change their passwords with regularity. Passwords should be changed at least once every couple months. Furthermore, any old password will not suffice. Passwords should have at least 12 characters along with a combination of lower case letters, upper case letters, symbols and numbers. These numbers and letters should not be commonly used words or related to the computer user’s personal life in any way. As an example, using one’s date of birth, child’s name or pet’s name is a monumental mistake. Hackers really will go as far as studying targeted employees to find out personal information most likely to be used for passwords.
Limit Employee Access
There is no reason for employees to have full access to all of the firm’s files and folders. Particularly sensitive data should be stored in locked folders. It is also possible to implement procedures so certain employees can enjoy temporary access to specific files. Do not rule out the possibility of an attorney or another employee copying data, selling it or using it to his or her advantage after leaving to work for another employer. Limit access to files as necessary and your firm will prove that much less susceptible to attacks.
Focus on Secure Storage
Do not assume storing files in a digital manner will prove safe just because it is no longer possible for a thief to break into your law firm’s brick-and-mortar office and steal tangible files. Your firm needs a completely secure system for file storage. Law firms handle massive amounts of documents and data, much of which is highly confidential. Do your research before committing to a third-party data storage provider to ensure full protection and easy access.