If you compare how law firms operated a decade ago with the way things work today, you will be served with a reminder of how swiftly technological change has swept through the legal industry.
However, it appears that the legal industry as a whole has not fully embraced the power of technology, especially to mitigate cyber-threats. From email phishing to data theft over public Wi-Fi networks, the complexity of modern technological risks has made it imperative for law firms to invest in updated I.T. solutions.
Not only do advanced I.T. solutions act as a deterrent to dangerous data theft attempts, they also help ensure clients and business partners that you are a socially aware law practice.
Let’s dive into some of the ways law firms can use technology to mitigate modern risks.
3 Ways Law Firms Can Use Technology to Diminish Risks
As tech and cyber based threats continue to evolve, law firms need to protect sensitive data at their disposal—hence, the necessity for modern solutions to mitigate such risks.
Here are 3 ways law firms can use technology to thwart cyber attacks on their operations and data:
1. Invest in a Security Management Plan
Let’s start with the most obvious—cybersecurity.
How strong is your defense against modern cyberattacks that are directed at you using the latest tricks that hackers and criminals have learned?
According to an industry survey, 80% of the largest law firms in the United States have experienced a data breach in the last few years. Moreover, a survey by the American Bar Association in 2018 highlights how 23% of law practices have experienced a security breach at some point.
Hence, cybersecurity is no longer a choice, but a necessity—and the best solution is a security management plan, which should ideally headline the agenda for a law firm looking to protect its data and clients.
Without a structured security plan, firms don’t stand a chance against modern hackers. For an industry that operates on the principles of confidentiality and secrecy of clients’ data, negligence towards cybersecurity could be disastrous.
Often, small and mid-sized law firms believe that only large firms are vulnerable to cyberattacks or data theft attempts—and this naivety is exactly what hackers look to capitalize on. This false sense of protection can be potentially devastating for any law firm.
Hence, no law firm, whether big or small, should compromise on cybersecurity. With outsourced solutions readily available from managed service providers who can tailor their services to fit any practice’s need, budgetary constraints and lack of awareness are a thing of the past.
2. Secure Your Mobile Devices
The smartphone revolution that started roughly a decade ago is still sending shockwaves through the modern economy. As the power and capability of this hand-held device increase, so does the amount of data stored in it and subsequently, the risks associated with sensitive data.
When the BYOD trend started gaining foothold across law firms, the idea was embraced throughout the industry. While employees get to use devices they are comfortable with, law firms also save a small fortune on device and maintenance costs.
Hence, modern lawyers are downloading client data, shifting through the firm’s files, and collecting evidence on their smartphones. As smartphones are now indispensable, they are also major targets for data theft.
This places an irrefutable responsibility on the shoulders of law firms to protect their clients’ data, while ensuring that their employees can continue using their smartphones for convenience.
The solution to this problem is a mobile device management plan. Such plans help ensure that every device is connected and managed centrally by the firm. Additionally, firms can keep tabs on third-party applications that could potentially be used to gain access to a device, and sensitive information stored on it.
Whether you need client attachments to be backed up to the cloud or want to encourage the use of tablets into your law firm—a mobile device management plan has you covered.
3. Ensure Up-to-Date Backups
Data theft is one of the main risks that law firms face today. This is exactly why firms need to invest in keeping their data safe. Unlike other industries, the hallmark of a competent legal attorney or law firm remains their ability to safeguard their client’s data.
In addition to external threats, there is the ever-present threat of human error. It only takes one single click to delete essential evidence, billing information, or other files. A small mistake can have long-reaching implications for your law firm.
Furthermore, such losses aren’t only restricted to financial information—it is essentially the reputation of your firm on the line. For an industry governed by reputation and past performance, loss of sensitive data can impact your ability to attract new clients or repeat business.
This is where data backup proves to be a life-saver. While data backup is not a new concept, the legal industry has yet to embrace the concept in full. This negligence leaves a big gap that can be exploited.
The solution? A well-strategized data backup and recovery system that ensures data protection, safeguards against any possible loss in billable hours, and easy retrieval of files, even if they have been deleted.
From an on-site and off-site data repository, to minimal downtime with instant local virtualization and a hybrid cloud backup—a solid backup and data recovery plan can prove to be the difference between a successful counter to a hacking attempt, or loss and damage sustained from one.
With over thirty years of experience providing I.T. solutions to the legal industry, we have gained a deep understanding of the modern threats that law firms face. Regardless of your firm’s size or nature of work, using technology to mitigate certain risks is the best way to protect yourself today.
As one of the leading I.T. security providers in the world, JMARK provides law firms with custom I.T. solutions designed to combat tech and cyber based threats effectively.