Legal firms today have plenty of industry challenges to worry about. Like everyone else, there’s an ongoing pandemic to worry about, plus a constant shortage of talent – not forgettingever-present, ever-changing regulatory and compliance frameworks to contend with.
But ask your average legal firm number one what they’re most concerned with today, and chances are they’ll tell you one thing: cybersecurity.
A recent report from PwC found that the top 100 UK law firms are more likely to see cyber-attacks as a threat to their progress than Covid-19. Across the board, cyber-attacks against law firms are increasing, as criminals target the vast amount of money, information and client data retained within the industry.
With the average cost of a data breach in the UK comfortably in the millions, legal firms have prioritised cybersecurity initiatives to protect themselves. If your business handles sensitive legal data, what should you be doing to protect it?
Good cybersecurity foundations start with something as simple as account passwords. Creating complex passwords remains one of the most effective ways to protect online accounts, and the bigger stream of non-sensical letters and numbers you can come up with, the better.
Sure, you’ve got no chance of remembering it, but that’s where installing a password manager comes in, which will securely log all of your ‘enigma code’ level entry keys for you.
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Two- or multi- factor authentication has become the norm in many account protection processes to offer that additional security blanket. 2FA means that even if someone gets hold of your password, it’s unlikely they’ll have the additional information to complete the log in process.
In a GDPR-heavy world, businesses have been forced to take action to ensure their organisation is storing and sharing data appropriately.
Proper, secure data sharing should also be considered a big part of your cybersecurity protocols, and you should always access sensitive data via an encrypted cloud platform like Google Drive, Dropbox or OwnCloud.
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You must be careful with bring your own device (BYOD) policies within your organisation. While advantageous from an accessibility standpoint, BYOD poses a number of security risks that you need to regulate – not least how those devices are used and what control they have.
If you are running BYOD in your legal firm, it’s essential you have strict company protocols in place and ensure all data is both encrypted and password protected.
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Increasingly for mid-sized to larger organisations, the technology lawyer is becoming less of a novelty and more of a necessity.
Across most industries, organisations have the challenge of dealing with exponential technological growth that typically outpaces the law supporting it, meaning high tech firms (including law firms) need to have a tech lawyer in place to anticipate changes, navigate tech-related changes and ensure cybersecurity elements are up to scratch.
Heading into 2022, cybersecurity remains a major concern for a variety of industries, but it’s perhaps the legal sector where the heaviest focus lies.
With data security absolutely paramount for every organization, installing high-end cybersecurity initiatives sits as a top priority for legal firms in the new year.
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