It’s no surprise that in the digital age, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important to every company and individual. Not to mention law firms and legal teams for which privacy and security are top priority. Moving your practice into the digital space means you’ll have to pay more attention to your cybersecurity measures, and make sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid a cyber-attack, hack, leak of client information, or other security threats.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) visited 40 practices in 2022 and found that 75% of these law firms have been victims of a cyber-attack at some time. Of those targeted, half were directly targeted. That said, half of the law firms visited allowed unrestricted use of external data storage media, and 25% of them were not even encrypting their laptops. Law firms have become a popular target for hackers in recent years. This is due to their commonly weak cybersecurity measures, and the value of the confidential information that they hold.
Here are some tips and best practices that your law firm can implement to protect client data and confidential information from cyber threats.
Today, legal teams must have a strong cybersecurity policy in place. Having a clearly defined security plan, and consistently updating or reinforcing your policies and controls is crucial. There are templates available online that can help guide you along the way.
Basically, never allow unrestricted use of your external data storage devices. Hence, it is important for individuals working in your law firm to understand the risks associated with the use of external storage devices. For instance, virus transfer, and compromising client data. Therefore, to avoid any risks, especially while working remotely and in public places, encryption of data is essential.
Moreover, you can opt for cloud-based storage using trusted law office management software, like App4Legal, or another leading case management platform. Choose one that guarantees that all your data and metadata is secure by bank-level standards. Look into law firms and cloud security, and choose a solution provider that complies with the GDPR or other international regulation authorities.
Law firms rarely prioritize this point. Train the individual members of your firm about best practices, common potential threats and how to avoid them. Additionally, it is important to keep a record of this training as proof that your law firm is competent, and acts in the best interests of their clients.
Moreover, you should have a budget dedicated specifically to covering cybersecurity needs and measures. It is crucial in showing your legal team takes the threat of cybercrime seriously.
Generally, it is essential to keep a log of all cybersecurity-related policies, measures, and incidents of security breach or threat. That said, many security regulators require an instant report of all and any of these instances to a specified body.
Finally, the best way to highlight the importance of cybersecurity to your team is to share real-life examples of what happens to law firms, every day, in regard to getting hacked. This, subsequently, makes your team aware of potential threats, common mistakes, and how to avoid them.