Just a few short years ago, a study (International Legal Technology Association) indicated approximately 60-70% of law firms had not implemented simple precautions such as encrypted jump drives, laptops, and emails. I’m pleased to report that in the same version of the report released just a year ago, encryption software, individual device oversight, and training systems had been put in place for a majority of law firms. It’s becoming clear that small businesses (law firms in particular) are becoming more aware of the dangers and liabilities associated with the failure to accept responsibility for the basic protection of confidential information. Whether it’s because they’re being proactive, or had to learn their lesson the hard way, the fact remains: Steps are being taken to protect their information when it comes to cyber security.
To ensure your legal firm or business isn’t the next target for hackers, you can take a few simple actions that will decrease your chances of cyber-attacks.
- A business should start by assessing what information it has and prioritize all information according to what is most important and what might be targeted. These assets can be confidential emails or other communications, client information, privileged company information, or more tangible assets like IT programs or hardware. Once an inventory is taken and priorities set, a business can then determine what assets they have that are critical to protect.
- Next, a security risk analysis can be undertaken to determine any weaknesses such as laptops being taken home to do work after hours or the need for some employees to travel. An evaluation of the work and document flow would be useful to determine any vulnerabilities.
- The final step to protecting your business from breaches would be to develop a plan to implement procedures and training that will minimize or manage the risks. The plan should be reviewed and updated regularly and also include a clear process of how to respond immediately if a breach occurs to minimize any losses or damage. Involvement, participation and commitment from everyone in the company is necessary to create a security conscious culture, therefore “buy in” from the boss to the front line employee is paramount.
Here’s the bottom line: the reality of sophisticated hackers is real, especially for businesses such as legal firms that store large amounts of sensitive information. However a business that is aware and prepared will be in a better position to protect itself, its employees, and clients.
Call PalmTech Computer Solutions at (561)969-1616 or email us at [email protected] by August 1st, 2016 for a *FREE security assessment to determine your network vulnerabilities and what steps need to be taken in order to lower the security risks.