Data security has become one of the main concerns for the legal sector. The vulnerability rate is likely to rise for data-reliant companies like law firms as COVID-19 pushes the workplace into a virtual bubble. Now more than ever, law firms need to understand several cyber threats and adopt best practices for data management. On that note, here is a guide to data security for law firms?
Data Security Defined
Data security is the safeguarding of databases from corruption and unauthorized access. Cybersecurity professionals deploy several measures, including tokenization, encryption, etc., to ward off hackers and ensure information security. Hackers may use different varieties of coding skills in their operations. But data security requires more than knowing just zeros and ones. Companies need their data security experts to have undergone extensive cyber security training and have certificates to prove.
Importance of Data Security
The world is fast becoming a digital bubble, especially due to the COVID-19. However, this bubble has become increasingly hostile for law firms. They’ve become a hotspot for hackers who seek to steal money and client data. It’s even more so as lawyers have had to work from their homes in response to the pandemic.
Recent surveys by PWC have it that U.K. Law firms have labeled cybersecurity as one of their greatest challenges. According to them, the only issue more threatening to their business is the fatal coronavirus pandemic.
Grubman Shire Meiselas and Sacks, which represents stars like Drake and Elton John, was hit by ransomware last year. The hackers stole 756 gigabytes of data and demanded millions of dollars. Now more than ever, law firms need to improve their data and information systems. Opting for a beginner instead of a certified information systems security professional is not advisable.
In strengthening your data security, the first stage is to hire right. The next stage is improving the technical knowledge of all staff. Start from those running an internship to your network administrators all through to the top.
Data Security Best Practices
1. Always be cautious with the cloud.
As much as 64% of lawyers use the cloud to make their operations more convenient. But it takes only an ad click for you to lose your whole career. Law firms need to be careful with their cloud-based efforts and, more essentially, their choice of a service provider. For this reason, it’s best to deal with providers who can give a guaranteed assurance of cloud security.
2. Remember to always encrypt your files.
Even though lawyers are increasingly adopting digital file-sharing, many of them have no form of encryption for these files. There are about three types of encryption: e-mail, file, and full-disk. Even the most basic encryption efforts can provide some amount of data security. For some staff members, encryption might appear as a necessary evil they would like to stay away from. But you can encourage them to enroll in a cybersecurity program. Give them room to take the whole journey at their own pace.
3. Always be strict with your password policy.
It’s essential that staff don’t downplay the importance of password protection. For all channels and platforms, using a two-factor authentication might help a great deal.
4. Be prepared just in case everything fails.
If there’s one thing we have learned from history, it’s that you can’t be prepared enough for a security breach. Hackers only need familiarity. Even if you upgrade a dozen times, it doesn’t free you from malware infestation or other attacks. It helps to know the strings to pull if the unexpected happens. For highly sensitive information, create backups stored in other formats on different servers. A cyber liability insurance policy can also help your company in surviving a data breach.