More and more law firms are starting to realize the importance of cybersecurity for protecting their client information and other confidential communication.
It’s critical in 2020 and beyond that lawyers use the technology available to keep valuable data out of the hands of cyber hackers.
In this article, we’re explaining why lawyers and law firms need adequate cybersecurity and what can happen without it.
Why Law Firms Need Cybersecurity
When a client hands private information over to a law firm, it’s their job to protect it. This information could be financial reports, healthcare information, and other confidential data that can get used against the client or law firm in the event of a cyber attack.
Since there aren’t any regulations regarding the amount of protection necessary, this puts the responsibility in the hands of the law firms.
A recent study reported by Canadian Lawyer Mag found that 34 percent of law firms plan to improve the way they handle cybersecurity dramatically. This means improved tools, services, and protection measures.
In some instances, clients may even demand that your law firm takes these steps to protect their personal information.
Standards to Keep Confidential Information Protected
These are voluntary standards and not something that every law firm needs to abide by, but it’s essential to follow these to ensure client privacy is protected and secure.
Here are some examples of the standards:
Segregate sensitive data from non-sensitive - All information mustn’t be stored in the same place. All law firms should have a means of keeping the critically sensitive data separate.
Reduce access to sensitive data - We see more and more businesses implementing this type of standard. It’s crucial that law firms only allow access to the people who need the information to perform their job duties. All information shouldn’t be available to everyone because a large portion of data breaches happen from within.
Encrypt all data - All information should have encryption measures to prevent outside forces from accessing it. Law firms should not be using standard email communication to send sensitive information from one place to another; you need a stronger and more secure method of communication.
Track the information - Lawyers and law firms need a way to track down information that was sent in the event of a cyber attack. If you can retrace your steps, it will be easier to find out where the breach occurred.
Proper training - Most cyber attacks occur due to misinformation and lack of education on the subject. All lawyers and anyone handling sensitive data should understand the importance of cybersecurity and the repercussions of poor policies.
How to Prepare For a Cyber Attack
The best way to prepare for a breach is to look at the current vulnerable areas. If your law firm has an IT provider or even a person in-house, they should look into your existing process to see how it can improve.
Once you’ve determined possible loopholes in your system, you’ll want to prepare an action plan in the event of a cyber attack. How do you plan to keep your sensitive information safe during a breach? How do you plan on communicating your concerns to other lawyers and members of staff during a breach?
It’s crucial for your reputation as a firm to protect client data. Here are some examples of the types of attacks that may occur:
Malware : This attack breaches your information system and usually happens from clicking on a link or opening an attachment to an email. Malware breaks into your network and can prevent you from getting in. Sometimes the hacker may even require a monetary ransom to re-access your information.
Phishing : Another popular method is pretending to be involved in something at the law firm and sending you a link or attachment. When the other “lawyer” or professional sends you this, and you open it, the result is a logging device that steals personal information and login data. This reason is why it’s so important to train lawyers and other office members on cybersecurity.
The Protection You Need
Based on the standards we outlined above, there’s a lot of necessary steps you need to take to protect you and your clients. Cybersecurity isn’t an option, and you need a safe and secure platform to help you protect their sensitive information.
Zebu is a completely secure, cloud-based business platform that enhances the way businesses communicate all over the world.
With Zebu, we help you protect your most valuable information using private and secure communication, cloud storage, and military-grade encryption.
You get all of this built into an all in one encrypted and secure application.
What does this mean for your law firm?
It means that you won’t have to worry about any of your client information escaping in the event of an attack because it’s all protected and encrypted. Even if a cyber attack occurs, they won’t be able to access anything.
Protect yourself and your clients with Zebu. Learn more here.