The space necessary to store law firm client data just keeps on growing.  From legal documents to records of client communications, case data and beyond, there is a seemingly endless amount of information to store as we transition to the next chapter of the digital age.  Even if your law firm can store all this data, it is imperative you take the next step by implementing the proper protections.  Digitization will certainly help yet going digital with all of your client data also create some issues in terms of privacy and cyber-security.

 

Honor Your Duty to Protect Client Data or Face the Consequences

The professional code of conduct issued by the American Bar Association mandates attorneys make reasonable efforts to prevent improper access to data as well as unauthorized disclosure of client data.  If a data breach occurs, the nightmare that follows has the potential to put your firm out of business.  Data breaches are a public relations nightmare yet they also have the potential to lead to harsh fines and even a malpractice lawsuit.  Unfortunately, plenty of law firms still rely on outdated data protection methods ranging from antiquated firewalls to weakly patched network/operating systems and outdated infrastructure.

There is also the matter of vulnerabilities stemming from employees.  Internal employees are vulnerable to malware and phishing attacks even though the proper security infrastructure might be in place.  Compromised client data will damage the firm’s reputation, force employee turnover and possibly yield a costly lawsuit.  Add in the expenses associated with downtime, subsequent repairs and restoring data and the breach of client data just might upend your law firm.  Let’s take a quick look at ways to safeguard data.

 

Manged Security Solutions

Establish updated firewalls, anti-virus protection and spam filters.  Such solutions monitor the network and tip you off to nasty vectors as well as already-compromised devices.  The bottom line is you need a way to regularly scan for threats.  Managed security solutions are the answer.

 

Plan the Response

You will also need the proper response in the event of a data breach.  Work with your tech and digital security teams to generate data protection/recovery strategies.  Develop a detailed response plan and you will not have to spend nearly as much time remedying a breach.  The best response plans incorporate a public relations angle that reduces the public fallout of the breach to preserve your law firm’s reputation.

 

Provide Employees With Digital Security Training

Employees should be assets as opposed to liabilities.  You can turn your team into diligent digital shields with the proper cyber security training.  The alternative is to hope and pray your team is at least somewhat tech savvy.  Be proactive, provide digital security training to your firm’s employees and you will minimize the chances of a data breach.