What Law Firms Can (and Should) Do to Keep Client Data Safe

As the world continues to become more connected, information security grows in importance. Unfortunately, as cybersecurity defences improve, hackers grow more adept at finding ways to steal information. Hackers can then sell that information to the highest bidder or hold it ransom until you pay to get the data back. Either way, it’s bad.

So what is a law firm to do? While there is no silver bullet to protect information, there are some best practices that law firms can follow to lower the chance of a data breach involving client data.

Practice Proper Cyber Hygiene

The first step is to practice proper cyber hygiene—a popular term for following the basic cybersecurity essentials every day. That includes activities such as updating computers with new software releases, routinely changing passwords, and training employees to report any suspicious behaviour they encounter on their computers.

Hackers typically prefer the path of least resistance. If your law firm’s employees practice smart cyber behaviours, your firm will be less of a target. Hackers would rather turn to another firm that doesn’t follow these kinds of practices, simply as a way to maximize profits in a shorter period of time.

Avoid Phishing Attacks

A phishing attack is the most popular way for hackers to gain access. They send an email that looks legitimate, and once a person clicks on a link inside of the email, the hacker gains access to the recipient’s system.

Phishing attacks continue to grow in intricacy. Hackers may download company logos, use the names of top company officials, and send emails at peak business times to convince employees to click. It’s important that employees are educated so they can recognize phishing attempts, flag these types of emails, and alert IT staff.

Some organizations have taken phishing avoidance to the next level. The organization will send its own phishing email and any employee who clicks on it must take a mandatory class on data security. This type of thinking can help protect confidential information.

Research Cloud Service Providers

It used to be that IT infrastructure was housed on-premises, but because of cost efficiencies and the ease of cloud computing, that is no longer the case. Now, IT infrastructure is housed in the cloud and there are literally thousands of companies around the world offering cloud services. While it is tempting to pick the cheapest option, all of these providers are not the same.

Before picking a cloud service provider, law firms need to check the company’s security record and ask for references.

By selecting an experienced and reliable cloud service provider, law firms can rest assured, that they are taking the necessary steps to protect their clients’ confidential information. With breaches at large corporations, such as Target, Home Depot, and Yahoo, the reality is that hackers can still steal information. Law firms contain lots of valuable data, making them prime targets for hackers. While no one can remain completely safe, following these steps will make it more difficult for hackers to steal your clients’ information.