The sheer volume of intellectual property, personally identifiable information (PII), and trade secrets a law firm holds makes it a tempting target for hackers. According to the American Bar Association, around 29 percent of law firms were victims of security breaches in 2020, making a strong case for law firm data protection. A data breach that results in the disclosure of critical information may be a company's undoing, but a few solid security precautions can help prevent it from happening.
7 Ways to Uphold Law Firm Data Protection
The protection of data requires a combination of security practices, including conducting several vulnerability checks by leveraging the latest technology.
1. Have a Data Security Policy in Place
Begin with the basics. Before delving deep into the technicalities of your security systems, create a data security policy that everyone in your organization can follow. Other than that, educate your employees about two-factor authentication and teach them how to activate it on the organization-vetted apps they use for work. This is one of the best practices to maintain law firm data protection.
2. Create a Strong Password
Your passwords are the keys to your precious data, and therefore, they need to be difficult to crack to mitigate any danger or data security risk. Creating a password that matches your personal information like birthdates can be a serious risk to the firm’s data security. Keeping guessable and easy passwords like a straight numerical string also negatively affects security. Create a long and complex password by mixing numbers, symbols, and letters. You can alter the case of alphabets to add to the complexity. And to manage the passwords efficiently, use a password management tool. Also, avoid password reuse.
3. Educate Your Staff
Not everyone knows how to deal with phishing emails or other traps set out by hackers. Some employees are unable to tell the difference between a genuine and fraudulent email. In fact, 30% of data breaches begin when employees fail to handle passwords properly or improperly configure data security settings. As a result, it is critical to educate and train your employees about the different ransomware tactics to ensure law firm data protection.
4. Encrypt Your Entire System
Encryption is the process that converts your data into a code that will need a password or a key if someone wants to access it. Whether the data belongs to an email, hard drive, or internet browser, encryption is a high-end solution for all. It is best only to use applications and software that offer end-to-end encryption.
5. Keep a Close Eye on Communications
Hackers can exploit the data of a legal firm through communications. To strengthen your security, keep a close watch on internal and external communications and encrypt your firm's emails. Take advantage of secure cloud networks like Azure or AWS to ensure your communication stays within your organization.
6. Exercise Access Control
Remember, not everyone needs to know everything, and that's why it is vital to enforce access control. Allow only specific employees to view and access certain information or sensitive data.
7. Regularly Review Your Security System
Even the best security system might have loopholes or the potential to create new vulnerabilities. Hackers can exploit these unseen vulnerabilities if you do not conduct regular reviews of your firm’s data security. Preparing an audit list is a must and ensure your former employees have no access to the data. Check on anti-viruses and firewalls to uphold law firm data protection. You could also choose to get a security audit performed by an experienced penetration testing company. A penetration test uses automated and manual techniques to identify the vulnerabilities in a company’s security system.
In a Nutshell
The sensitive nature of the information that exists in law firms attracts attackers, increasing the need for law firm data protection. Get in touch with Packetlabs to get a detailed penetration testing report of your company’s infrastructure environment.