How to secure your legal business

Wednesday 29th November 2017
by Simon Golding

Simon Golding

How to secure your legal business

A data breach is a huge problem for all companies, but the fallout of a breach can be particularly severe for solicitors. In the legal world, keeping client information confidential and client funds secure are paramount, so the consequences of not having cybersecurity and disaster recovery plans in place is extremely severe. There is the obvious data and subsequent financial loss, but also it can have a profound effect on a firm’s reputation.

The majority of data breaches start with an innocent click on a malicious email attachment or website link.

So how do you secure your legal business?

There are three key areas that need to be examined. Obviously technology is going to be the most vital.

1.    Technology

Companies will, of course, need a number of difference pieces of security software to help support and protect your business. These range from network auditing, firewalls, two factor authentication and endpoint protection to larger backup and disaster recovery solutions.

Backup as a Service provides companies with an encrypted, off-site backup on a separate authenticated domain so that it is further protected in the event of a cyber-attack. It protects organisations against:

  • Cybercrime/ransomware
  • Hardware failure
  • Security breach
  • Theft
  • Natural disaster
  • User or software errors

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) uses the cloud or a second physical location to act as the target site for replication and recovery of your company’s critical data and applications. It minimises downtime and disruption to customers and employees in the event of an outage.

Like in Blue Peter, here’s a post we prepared earlier explaining the differences between the two and guidance as to how you might decide which to choose.

2.    People

People play a crucial element in the prevention of a cyber-attack. So it’s important to promote a security-aware culture. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Provide data security training to end users and use real life examples. The training should cover:
  • Overview of what data security means and how it affects employees
  • How to create and keep passwords safe
  • Importance of using passcodes on portable devices
  • What to do if you receive a suspicious email
  • What to do if you think you have a virus or malware on your device
  • What do if they notice something strange happening on their computer
  • What is a secure Wi-Fi spot?

2.  Remind your staff regularly through email or internal newsletters. You can even put up posters.

3.    Personal IT devices

Personal IT equipment is increasingly used for work purposes, especially for the mobile workforce. But it also offers an easy way for hackers to gain access to your business data. Bring your own device (BYOD) is one of the most complex developments nowadays because whilst it can save a company money, it introduces huge data protection risks.

Here’s another post we prepared earlier about BYOD security implications and how to overcome them.

Cyber security is one of the top priorities for law firms to ensure data, finances and reputation is protected. But if you follow these pieces of advice and ensure you have a reliable technology partner, you will be a safe as is humanly possible.

Further information

The Law Society of Scotland has produced a Guide to Cybersecurity. The Irish Law Society recently added a cybersecurity section to its website providing guidance for solicitors running a practice. The UK Law Society also has a cybersecurity and scam prevention section on its website.

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