Four Ways To Protect Your Law Firm’s Data (Part 1)
Photo by Carlos Muza on Unsplash
Data breaches impact millions of small businesses each year, many of which are law firms. In fact, a recent report found that “more than 750,000 Americans had personal information compromised in law firm hacks since 2020.”
Law firms’ client and financial data are vital to the success and longer-term resiliency of your business. As such, it’s clear that law firms need to take data protection seriously, especially when you consider the consequences of data breaches. Not only could clients pursue legal action if sensitive biographical or financial data is leaked, but this could also cost your firm thousands of dollars while also damaging your reputation.
Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can better protect your firm’s data.
1. Understand the threat.
One of the most effective ways to protect your firm’s data is to understand the threats you may face, as this will allow you to put the appropriate preventive measures in place.
For example, it’s important to understand why you are being targeted. The answer is often simple: by “targeting law firms, hackers can quickly access such information as technical secrets, business strategies, and financial data for numerous clients.”
The most common causes of data leaks within small businesses include:
- Phishing scams
- Malware and viruses
- Insider threats
- Weak or leaked passwords
2 . Invest in Cybersecurity Software.
Investing in cybersecurity software is the best way to protect your firm from a targeted digital attack or viruses that could destroy client and financial data. This is because this software “uses an integrated set of technologies, controls, and processes to identify potential risks to network and application security and prevent them from contaminating organization systems.” This means that threats are identified and blocked immediately before a breach occurs.
As such, business owners should be willing to invest heavily in cybersecurity software. While you may be keen to keep costs low, the decision to avoid paying for cybersecurity software could become costly in itself.
3. Require Two-Factor Authentication.
As mentioned above, weak or stolen passwords can also make it easy for hackers to access your data. In fact, this was the reason that the NYPD Law Department was attacked in 2021 after a hacker gained access to an employee’s credentials.
However, this could have been prevented if they had used a 2-factor authentication process. That is a system that requires two pieces of information from the user before they can gain access to sensitive data. This could include a password and a short number sent to their phone.
You should also ensure that you encourage each member of your team to change their passwords regularly, ideally every three months.
4. Take employee training seriously.
While the bulk of your employee training will be focused on preparing them for their role within your company, it is also crucial that you bring them up to speed with your security measures and protocols. After all, this can reduce the chances of them making a mistake that results in a data leak.
This becomes particularly important when you consider the fact that “88% of all data breaches are caused by an employee mistake.”
In short, there are many ways in which law firm owners can protect their data, even in a world where cyberattacks are increasing day by day.
However, this is not something that must be carried out internally, especially when protecting financial data. At FinOp Group, we have years of experience working with legal professionals, helping them to better understand and manage their financial data.
If you’d like to learn more, please do not hesitate to get in touch today.