Law firms have access to vast amounts of confidential data from their clients, making law firm data security crucial. Unfortunately, some law firms are operated by more traditional, less tech-savvy individuals who lack the knowledge of modern security requirements and threats.
Fortunately, law firms can take some simple steps that will help them better protect their data without overhauling their entire process.
Consider the following five methods for protecting confidential data.
1. Train Employees to Counter Threats
Law firms’ employees are the first line of defense against security threats. Yet, your law firm’s security is only as good as the training workers have received to counter threats to your systems. A frequent means of ingress for hackers and malware is through phishing emails.
Your workers must learn basic office security measures like how to identify a phishing attempt, how to secure their workstation before leaving, and to avoid plugging in random USB or other storage devices they find around the office. Along with additional training, your employees can prevent themselves from becoming victims to the most common threats.
2. Make Sure You’re Using Multifactor Authentication for Apps and Emails
Damage mitigation is an essential aspect of law firm security, too. Essentially, you want to limit what someone can do with small yet valuable bits of data that are relatively easy to obtain. For example, if someone gets access to an email address, they could try to access your company’s applications with it.
By enabling multifactor authentication on your systems, you can thwart most attempts at gaining access in this manner. After all, even if they have an email and a password, they’ll still need access to the user’s phone or biometrics to access an adequately secured program in your office.
3. Limit Your Guest WiFi
Most law firms with a waiting room for clients offer to share their WiFi by providing a password to their clients. Although WiFi is a nice amenity to offer, it also puts you at risk.
If you allow guests onto your law firm’s WiFi, they could access other devices on the network or create and exploit vulnerabilities for malware. Limit your guest WiFi systems and separate them from the WiFi used by your employees to be safe.
4. Consider Implementing Managed Security Services
Not all law firms have IT services on staff, which can leave them vulnerable if they don’t perform timely system updates or have someone available to counter an incursion. Some firms are too small to keep IT workers on the payroll. Sadly, that does not mean that they are less likely to be attacked by hackers than larger law firms.
An excellent approach to this situation is to get a managed services provider (MSP) to implement IT security, provide training, and update your law firm’s systems without having to employ them long-term. MSPs can implement protections that will make a law firm more secure and a less-likely target for criminals.
5. Follow a Proper Data Storage Plan
Although it may feel like modern computers are infallible compared to the systems of the past, hard drives failures, ransomware, and simple storage devices losses are still vulnerabilities for law firms that keep a single copy of valuable data.
A better storage philosophy to abide by is the 3-2-1 policy. Essentially an employee will:
- Create three copies of important data
- Use two different forms of media to store the data (Hard drive, USB, external hard drive, cloud)
- Keep one copy of the data off-site for data recovery (safes or shadow)
This storage plan can ensure a law firm has much better protection for its data and a means to bounce back in the event of a disaster.
Law firms have too much important data to lack a necessary form of security in their offices. Each of the methods mentioned here should be considered or implemented depending upon the existing security state within one’s law offices.
Remember, your business is never too small to benefit from the help of security professionals, and in the case of security, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Learn more about law firm data security and determine if your data is truly secure with a free risk assessment from WheelHouse IT!