How to Protect Your Firm from a Data Breach

In February 2021, a high-profile law firm with brand-name clients was hit by an especially aggressive piece of ransomware. In a statement on its website, the firm said that hackers had gotten into a system containing sensitive personal information, although it did not specify how much of the actual data was accessed or taken.

This is every firm’s worst nightmare. A data breach can damage your reputation, erode client trust, and create a PR nightmare that it can take months or even years to recover from. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect confidential client data and reduce the likelihood of a cyber-disaster.

1. Monitor all Devices on Your Network

In recent years, BYOD (bring your own device) has become the norm for employees. Staff members bring their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones to the office and connect to the company network. Unless monitored and controlled, this can leave your network extremely vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

According to this study, nearly 90% of organizations rely on staff to use personal devices, but not all of them have a strong BYOD policy in place. Several apps allow your law firm to monitor devices on your network and provide additional benefits such as remotely wiping data in case a device is lost or stolen. 

2. Look into Managed Security Providers

There are many benefits to working with a reliable security services provider, namely:

  • A cost-effective solution for your data security needs
  • Access to a team of experts
  • No need to worry about adopting the latest security technology

Your firm’s security budget is not going to compare to that of a fully protected and monitored facility with layers of physical and digital security, encryption, and redundancy. While data centers offer a premium level of security, they remain affordable because you only pay for what you use.

3. Be Aware of the Latest Threats

Knowing the threats that are out there can help you protect the confidential information at your law firm from cyber attacks. Even if your cybersecurity system is secure right now, it may no longer be the case a week, a month, or a year from now. Hackers are becoming increasingly adept at bypassing security systems, which is all the more reason to regularly reevaluate security and awareness strategies.

The resources below can help you stay current on new and evolving threats.

4. Create an Informed Workforce

Although you are aware of the importance of security, your colleagues may not be as informed. Data protection for an entire firm isn’t a one-person job: good cybersecurity and privacy policies result from the collective efforts of all employees at a company.

Many security and privacy breaches are unintentional and the result of employee error. Creating a security culture in the workplace is an excellent way to reduce the likelihood of breaches. By adopting solid cybersecurity practices, you’ll be ready when someone tries their luck and, in all likelihood, thwart their efforts, keeping the integrity of your data intact.

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