Over the last year, law firms across the country have shifted to a completely remote working environment. This means that almost everything else has shifted, including technology requirements. One area that may not be getting enough attention for your remote practice is cybersecurity, which is crucial in ensuring that your data and your client's confidential information are always safe and secure, no matter where you’re working from.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has caused significant increases in cyberattacks, as hackers are taking advantage of the greater dependence on the cloud and digital infrastructure. Here’s how to focus more on cybersecurity.
Tips for keeping your data safe
So, where do you begin? You first need to understand the cybersecurity risks for lawyers and what steps will help you minimize them. Here are 10 tips to get you pointed in the right direction:
Take stock of where sensitive information is stored
Assess all systems and locations where sensitive firm and client information is kept. These are the places that will need the most attention as you strengthen your cybersecurity plan.
Make strong passwords mandatory
To log into networks and systems, staff should always have to create strong passwords with complex requirements to be approved, including alpha-numeric structures. Stronger passwords add an important layer of protection against attacks.
Strengthen access control
Pay attention to who has access to what. Only grant access and permissions to people who really need it.
Use multifactor authentication
Multifactor authentication requires users to sign in with their username and password AND confirm their identity on their mobile phone or email. Authenticating this way helps you make sure that users are who they say they are.
Sometimes encryption will be necessary within emails and electronic records so that confidential data is unrecognizable by hackers.
Keep software updated
Another must is updating software and systems as soon as they need it. Out-of-date software can be a big risk for attacks, so always update immediately when you get a notification.
Choose the right cloud service providers
Make sure you’re only using cloud service providers that take security seriously and are trustworthy and reliable companies. Ask them about their policies and approach to get more information about how they protect your data.
Create security policies
Your law firm’s policies should be updated to include cybersecurity best practices, including all of the above. Make sure these policies are distributed to staff, and also let your clients know all the steps you’re taking to secure their information.
Educate on risks of working at home
Your team may not know how big the risks are should a data breach occur. Create educational materials, hold webinars, and keep the conversation going. Another thing you need to tell your staff about is the risks of talking about sensitive client information at home. With family members and virtual assistants always around, make sure that everyone is always taking client calls and discussing cases in secure locations.
Make sure your software is compliant
You also need to have software that is compliant with all of these data safety best practices. Use legal software like NextChapter that is committed to safely storing your sensitive data. Learn more about our cybersecurity approach and how our features help you work better from home by signing up for a free trial.