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Solicitors often contact us for IT support. And, when they do, the first things they ask are, “How are you going to protect our legal practice? What tools will you use? How successful is your security solution for law firms?”
The reason so many are searching for a better level of cybersecurity is pretty simple; they have read the news online about ransomware. They’ve seen the stories emblazoned across the TV screen about costly data breaches.
Even though businesses all over the world are getting hit with these cyber attacks, people expect law firms to be better. They expect perfection from the legal world. So, how do you keep your law firm secure?
Look for a technology services provider who specializes in IT security solutions for law firms. This gives you an edge over using ordinary run-of-the-mill managed IT services company. They should understand the regulations that practices that your firm must comply with. When you work with an IT company that specializes in your field, you can expect more thorough solutions, along with services that are customized.
Make sure your IT service company uses a multi-layered IT security process. Their process for securing your data should evolve as the world of cybercrime evolves. Your IT services company should stay on top of the latest cyber threats and adapt their security process to reflect these changes. In addition, they should provide:
Ask your IT company about daily onsite and cloud-based encrypted backups of your computer systems. You must have a backup copy of your data if it’s stolen or accidentally deleted. Your policy should specify:
Backup to both an external drive in your office and a remote, secure, online data center. Set backups to occur automatically, and test them regularly for recoverability.
Ask your IT support company if they conduct Security Awareness Training. Your employees are the most significant vulnerability in your firm. This training helps your employees know how to recognize and avoid being victimized by phishing emails and scam websites.
They learn how to handle security incidents when they occur. If your employees and are informed about what to watch for, how to block attempts and where they can turn for help, this alone is worth the investment.
A comprehensive cybersecurity training program will teach your staff how to handle a range of potential situations:
Passwords remain a go-to tool for protecting your data, applications, and computer devices. They also remain a common cybersecurity weakness because of the careless way employees go about trying to remember their login information. Weak passwords are easy to compromise, and if that’s all that stands between your data in the Cloud and in applications, you could be at serious risk for a catastrophic breach.
One of the best ways to maintain complex passwords is with a password manager. Password managers are the key to keeping your passwords secure.
A password manager generates, keeps track of and retrieves complex and long passwords for you to protect your vital online information. It also remembers your PINS, credit card numbers and three-digit CVV codes if you choose this option.
Plus, it provides answers to security questions for you. All of this is done with strong encryption that makes it difficult for hackers to decipher.
A Deep Scan IT Audit determines how your data is handled and protected. It defines who has access to your data and under what circumstances. It will create a list of the employees or business associates who have access to specific data and how those access privileges are managed and tracked. It helps you know precisely what data you have, where it’s kept, and who has rights to access it.
Deep Scan IT Audits can also ensure that your IT provider’s remote management and monitoring (RMM) systems are working effectively (which you also need for ongoing monitoring of cyber threats). For instance, if you add a new computer to your network, a network assessment scan will flag the latest addition so the RMM tool will monitor it.
This annual or quarterly analysis includes deep-level scans, vulnerability testing, and reporting to accurately identify what is working and to locate any security gaps. Based on the Audit’s findings, cybersecurity experts will provide recommendations and help to create a customized IT security roadmap for your business.
Reports are generated and provided so you can see if there are any gaps in your protection. This provides a higher level of assurance that you are doing everything possible to protect the security of your IT assets. You’ll have an excellent overview of exactly what’s going on in your network and what exposure you may have sustained. It pinpoints things like active directories that have been compromised or unauthorized users lingering on the system.
Limit your employees’ authorization with role-based access controls prevents network intrusions and suspicious activities. Define user permissions based on the access required for their particular job.
For example, your receptionist might not need access to client data. Also, know who has access to your data, and enforce a “need-to-know” policy. Restrict access to data to only those who need it to do their jobs.
Ensure that your employees don’t download software into your system. Hackers trick unsuspecting staff members into downloading malicious software. It then embeds viruses into your system that can lock up or steal your data.
Ask your IT support company to assess the Wi-Fi in your office for security. No wireless network is entirely safe from the talented hackers out there today. And, without a properly configured wireless infrastructure, your law firm will be vulnerable.
Your IT provider will examine the wireless security measures that you have in place and determine if upgrades must be made to ensure their effectiveness. The older your wireless network hardware, the easier it can be hacked.
If your wireless isn’t constantly updated to combat the latest cyber threats, your data is at risk. Data losses will cost you so much more than keeping your wireless up to date.
And be alert when using public Wi-Fi. Did you know that hackers set up fake clones of public Wi-Fi access points to try and get you to connect to their systems? A fake wireless Internet hot spot looks like a legitimate service. When you connect to the wireless network, a hacker can launch a spying attack on your transactions on the Internet.
Before connecting, always check with an authorized representative of the store or facility to ensure you’re accessing their Wi-Fi. Never use your credit cards or work on confidential information when using public Wi-Fi.
One of the top vulnerabilities for law firms is the cybersecurity of their vendors. Increasingly we’re seeing firms write contracts that require suppliers and vendors to take minimum specific measures to protect data. This is in response to some massive industry hacks that have been linked to poor cybersecurity in suppliers with links into the attacked company.
We hope you found this helpful. Check out the following blogs to learn more:
Password Management: What Solicitors Must Know
Password Management For Law Firms (Questions/Answers)
A Law Firm’s Guide To Managed IT Services