If there’s one thing you could count on over the last several years, it was the escalating rise in criminal cyber activity. This recent and startling escalation of cyberattacks has impacted every industrial economic sector, and the legal profession is hardly immune. From top government agencies and multinational corporations to recent upstarts and legacy small businesses, no organization can leave its digital security posture to chance.
Law firms should pay special attention to their cybersecurity protocol. By nature, law practices amass and store highly sensitive and confidential customer information. Moreover, the legal profession is chief among the droves of industries that, over the last three years, shifted to remote officing. Many lawyers telecommute from unsecured personal devices and open home networks. Nonetheless, just like any other business, your organization is still subject to breach notification laws. Subsequently, operating under a dubious security plan could cost your firm thousands and quite possibly more.
Many law firms stake their reputations on offering expert legal advice on information privacy and data security. Yet they remain grossly unprepared when it comes to safeguarding their own assets from criminal hackers. It begs the question -how should your legal practice start integrating cybersecurity and risk mitigation into the fabric of its digital infrastructure?
While cybersecurity incidents at law firms aren’t widely publicized, the growing threat of an attack is significant enough to warrant immediate attention. The American Bar Association (ABA) reports that 26% of the law firms surveyed have experienced a recent security breach. Perhaps even more unnerving is that nearly 20% of the overall respondents weren’t sure their firm had ever been victimized by a cyber attack at all.
What makes law firms vulnerable to cyber threats?
US law firms are long-standing, traditional institutions that have been force-placed into adapting their operations to an increasingly complex and ever-changing digital security environment. The legal industry has always been required to juggle multiple clients while staffing a diverse range of attorneys.
Nevertheless, conducting confidential business online is a relatively new phenomenon. Exchanging legally protected information over emails and sharing client documents online means that your private law practice must establish additional security protocols to safeguard its client communications.
Of course, the first step to ensuring a secure information environment is to establish procedures for sharing documents over web-based conduits. The predicament is that when your security strategy is less than innovative, threat actors quickly adapt to the most common security strategies before leveraging their insights into an all-out assault on your digital assets and infrastructure.
Criminal hackers work tirelessly to embed malicious code into unsuspecting companies. Threat actors inject malware into everyday online transactions and business documents that would otherwise pass as normal office communications. Of course, the client-attorney relationship is sacrosanct which only increases the probability that your close customers and associates will click on infected files traceable to your organization.
How to maintain proper cyber hygiene
The great paradox of securing your sensitive data is that it often depends on learning from previous mistakes, yet just one misstep can cost you the lion’s share of your business. If you’ve experienced the misfortune of previous attacks and breaches, you’re surely aware that just a few simple strategies can make all the difference in disrupting similar future infringements on your network. Consider the following when establishing cyber-hygiene practices:
- Utilize complex passwords, changing them frequently
- Practice regular security patching
- Hierarchize your data on the need-to-know basis
- Update your software immediately
- Deploy two-factor authentication
Without robust cybersecurity hygiene, you put your legal practice at significant risk for a data breach along with the associated government fines and additional costs of potential client litigation. Fending off today’s sophisticated attacks involves a complex balancing act of meeting regulator demands and anticipating threat actors in cyberspace.
We put your regulatory and privacy requirements at the forefront and can work 24/7/365 to meet your digital security objectives. While no outcome is ever assured, especially in the unpredictable realm of cybersecurity, you can maintain peace in mind knowing that all of our attention is on safeguarding your private data.
Ranked among the top small business computer support services in the nation, PCH Technologies helps law firms like yours meet their information security targets immediately. At the same time, we keep your systems optimally functioning and compliant over the long-term. Learn more about our cybersecurity pricing for law firms by dialing (856) 754-7500 or inquire online now.