We’ve all heard that law firms are targeted by hackers. According to the American Bar Association, hundreds of law firms experience a cybersecurity breach every year – and that number continues to rise.
The answer is not to panic, but take proactive measures to protect your business. Law firms can reduce the likelihood of a cyberattack by implementing these five simple tips.
1. Educate Your Employees on Cybersecurity
When attorneys think about a data breach, it’s easy to imagine “hackers” somewhere far away. However, your own employees contribute heavily to your law firm’s security – or lack thereof. Phishing scams, for example, are one of the most common threats to law firms and other business.
“Phishing” scammers pose as a legitimate company, usually in the form of an email. Untrained or less knowledgeable employees may not be able to recognize these scams, and click on links or unwittingly divulge sensitive information that can allow hackers into your law firm’s network. A good rule is not to click any link from an unknown sender, without first consulting with your IT person or technical advisor.
Phishing isn’t the only scam you and your employees can fall victim to. Ask your IT staff, or enlist the help of a security expert, to train your employees on cybersecurity to mitigate risk.
2. Protect Devices and Apps With Strong Passwords
Passwords are one of the first lines of defense against a cyberattack. All devices and applications associated with your law firm should be password protected. A password alone is not enough, however. Set password parameters for everyone at your law firm, otherwise staff will often choose what is easiest.
A strong password doesn’t have to be complex or hard to remember. Experts recommend long passwords, which you can develop using phrases. This guide will lead you through the process of creating a secure password. Remember, a password is by definition meant to be discreet. Take a walk around your office and make sure no one has their passwords on a sticky note at their desk.
3. Secure Your Law Firm’s Wi-Fi
You may have heard not to log in to public Wi-Fi networks, like those at Starbucks. Many phones will actually warn you whenever you connect to an unsecured network. This is important advice, and should be heeded. It’s fine for reading the news, but not for accessing your bank’s website.
But did you know that your law firm’s Wi-Fi may be putting you at risk? Not having a separate guest Wi-Fi network, for example, could create a backdoor for hackers.
Talk to your IT specialist, or whomever deals with the Wi-Fi at your law firm, and ensure that precautions are in place to protect your firm’s internet connection.
4. Invest in Secure Legal Case Management Software
One of the most effective ways to improve your law firm’s cybersecurity is to invest in a secure legal case management solution. Cloud-based solutions like CASEpeer not only improve your law firm’s security, they also improve its overall efficiency.
Modern legal technologies in the cloud are generally more secure and reliable than those hosted on local servers, and back up your data more often. They can also help move your law firm away from paper files, which are a classic example of unsecured data. The best case management solutions will have built-in security features that law firms without software may not have otherwise.
5. Case Management Software Built in the USA
When you choose to invest in a case management solution, consider where it is made. Some case management solutions outsource development of their product to other countries, like India or Russia.
It’s likely your software will continue to be developed after your initial purchase. Do you trust outsourced, offshore programmers with your law firm’s data?
In today’s world, it’s not a matter of if cybercriminals will target you – it’s a matter of when. While you can’t completely eliminate your law firm’s risk of a security breach, implementing these changes will dramatically lower your chances of experiencing one.
CASEpeer is secure a case management solution designed for personal injury attorneys. From intake to settlement, our robust features help law firms become more proactive and powerful. Our goal is to help your law firm grow. For more cybersecurity insights and practice management tips, visit our blog.