Internet, which was developed as a privilege to help us grow, has so well secured the position of being the necessity. Moreover, the virtual world has become a reality and a much acceptable form. Not being able to use the World Wide Web for competitive advantage, is in itself a disadvantage. When everything becomes so easily accessible, so is the confidential data and information which another way should have been protected. When a client shares any confidential information with the lawyer, whose obligation is to keep it the same? We know the answer, but what are you as a lawyer and receiver of the data doing for it? Are the lawyers doing enough to protect the data? Naturally, with the ongoing data security concerns doing the round, law firm cybersecurity is a major concern for the client and the lawyers as well.
The budding concern of law firm cybersecurity
A law firm collects and processes a large amount of data, which cannot be released in public. Any unauthorized access to data is illegal and liable to punishment as per laws of various countries. There are various ways in which data breach can occur; in terms of theft, forgery, infecting system with malware, etc. Cybersecurity measures help in data protection by blocking unnecessary and unauthorized personnel.
No matter how big or small your law firm is, or even for an individual practitioner, the concern is growing for everyone. Being vested with such information, protection becomes crucial. When the world is going digital, and a larger amount of data being stored online, the issue of law firm cybersecurity should not be neglected. Law firms act as custodians of sensitive data and constantly face cybersecurity threats. Contrary to popular belief, password-protecting the devices is a mere solution to this threat.
How important it is to be at par
Law firms should always be prepared to respond to the inevitable cyber incidents. The preparation can only be complete, and if the risk mitigation techniques are planned, data is protected, etc. the Law firm and lawyers are often reluctant to spend on these measures, because of their firm belief, that they are safe and it will not happen with them. The assets, as well as the reputation of the law firm, shall be protected with cybersecurity measures. Furthermore, the finance that you invest in these measures must bring the necessary value to your practice.
1. Safeguard the data as well as maintain the standard
This was the most recommended step by the American Bar Association in its 2018 survey. It is professionally very important to maintain the standard data practice to get a competitive edge and also be legally compliant as per the scenario ongoing. At the same time, when vested with the crucial data, safeguarding it also is the obligation of the law firm and in its breach can face serious repercussions.
2. Securing data through the cloud
The most important and primary step taken by law firms these days is securing the data through the cloud. By using cloud storage, you can access all the relevant documents and your firm’s data directly from the device of your choice. With secure passwords and multi-factor authentication, you can allow access to only those whom you trust.
3. Security assessment
One of the latest developing trends is to hire outside experts to conduct assessments on the security features and then if non-compliant, to adapt to the latest trends. These independent third party hired for conducting the assessment, check upon the existing security system, find the lacunae’s, and suggest the measure for correction.
4. Continuous monitoring
Continuous monitoring is a technique that can never grow old, no matter what the problem is. So this age-old technique can be adopted here by developing a policy that clearly states how data flows in the firm, who has the authority, what is the duty, the liability of the officers, and the data security measures necessary.
Strict access points and authentication measures have also helped a lot to curb the breach of data. Encryption is a very strong security measure that prevents access from any third party. National security and encryption are of primary importance, as evident with the battle between Apple and the FBI. Encryption of data, communication, and all information, is a very important measure.
5. Data tracking software
Data tracking software helps the firm understand data usage. However, Less than 10% of law firms use this software; as it cannot be counted as the only security measure. It can be complimentary with authentication and encryption.
6. Chief Information Security officer
This trend is for the firms which are bigger in size, have operations overseas with many national and international branches. The hiring of this officer minimizes the risk, mitigates the risk, and also fight for in case of any breach. The Chief Information Security Office is in charge of ensuring coordination between the entire system. Moreover, they are in charge of ensuring all the necessary precautions and preventions necessary to mitigate the rish of cybersecurity threats.
7. Cyber insurance:
With data breach and cyber threat continuing to top the headlines, the need for cyber insurance is also developed. Cyber insurance shall be a part of the risk assessment process. Many policies do not cover in its data breaches, so choose wisely for yourself.
There is always scope for improvement and you can do better. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts cybercrime will continue. Moreover, these threat trends keep on changing as new methods of a breach are coming to picture regularly. Moreover, the identification of protective measures is comparitely slower and resource-backed process; which costs businesses globally more than $6 trillion annually. Moreover, as saying goes, prevention is always better.
Thankfully, there are many cloud-based legal case management platforms that take advantage of technology to aid law firms strengthen their cybersecurity measures. We suggest adopting these technologies and staying updated with the latest trends. Law firms can only stay protected with constant and continuous review of their security measures, updating whenever necessary, and focusing on a risk-based approach.