According to the American Bar Association, one of the top vulnerabilities for law firms is the cybersecurity of their vendors. They see firms “increasingly writing language into contracts that require suppliers and vendors to take minimum specific measures to protect data.”
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Cybersecurity has never been more important to law firms. After all, you deal with clients’ sensitive personal and financial information as well as details regarding their legal cases that those who mean them harm would love to know.
The problem is that most lawyers aren’t IT experts. Sure, you’re great in a courtroom or negotiating a settlement on behalf of your client, but few good attorneys have the expertise or the time and energy at the end of the day to make sure that their computer files are impervious to increasingly savvy cybercriminals.
That’s why using a knowledgeable IT services company is so important.
Keeping your computer files safe is an ongoing process; it’s not something that you do once and then move on to the next task.
But, how much attention to cybersecurity is enough to be deemed a reasonable effort? It might be useful to see what other small firms are doing.
According to a recent study by the American Bar Association (ABA):
Some firms, particularly those that use Macintosh computers, admitted to not using any measures to protect their digital files.
Of those that did spend resources last year to beef up their cybersecurity, the majority (55%) said they did so to meet their fiduciary responsibilities.
1. Vendor security. According to the American Bar Association, one of the top vulnerabilities for law firms is the cybersecurity of their vendors.
They see firms “increasingly writing language into contracts that require suppliers and vendors to take minimum specific measures to protect data.” This is in response to some massive industry hacks that have been linked to poor cybersecurity in suppliers with links into the attacked company.
2. Email security. Email correspondence continues to be an Achilles heel for most law firms. An entry-level staff member opening an attachment with a virus or other malicious code can potentially infect the entire firm’s database.
Interestingly, while 75 percent of respondents in the ABA survey viewed emails as a potential threat, only 58 percent have a program in place to protect against such a threat.
The ABA ranked the average small law firm’s cybersecurity procedures, and protocols are at 3.5 out of 10. More effort is needed in this area to protect your sensitive data adequately.
It’s not overly dramatic to say that a data breach could threaten the very existence of your firm.
No lawyer should be expected to be an IT expert. You have clients and employees to concentrate on, not to mention spending time with your family.
So, what should you do?
That’s where a knowledgeable IT services company can be invaluable. One that is more than just computer technicians, but a team of IT professionals who know and understand the unique security concerns of law firms.
Cybercriminals are always upping their game and developing new ways to compromise your data. You need a diligent company that can match this challenge and stops such threats before they even develop.
Every law firm is unique. That’s why it’s important for your IT support company to know you, your firm and your hope and dreams for the future. They shouldn’t recommend any product or course of action until they’ve taken the time to learn about your specific needs.
Once they do, they can help you develop a cybersecurity package that is virtually impenetrable to hackers. It should include not just your office computers, but also your mobile devices, your cloud apps and storage, and your contracts with those potentially vulnerable third-party vendors. They should understand that leaving anyone spot vulnerable puts your entire system at risk.
Look for an IT company that provides a relationship-driven approach to IT solutions.
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