We’ve seen the horror stories in the news. Where you’re watching the 60 minutes episode where hackers use the Stuxnet virus to disable a power station. Or reports of computer intrusions into nuclear plant facilities. The world of law isn’t immune to this either. In June 2017,the DLA Piper law firm — which has branches throughout 30 countries, over 4000 attorneys and annual revenues of 2.4 billion dollars as of 2014 — was hit by a ransomware virus. The law is a deadline driven business where motions have to be filed on time but the lawyers at DLA Piper were told not to turn on their computers and laptops in order to access their network. The terrifying aspect of this kind of hack isn’t just that the law firm is impacted but the sensitive information of all clients could be endangered. Every firm is at risk but if your law firm is hit then your clients are at risk as well. Here are five things you need to do in order to protect yourself now. Your law firm case management software will be key.
Best Law Firm Case Management Software Security Practices
- Cyber Insurance (in case your law firm case management software fails)
- Train Your Staff
- Email Encryption
- Mobile and Wifi Protection
- Compliance with Regulations
One: Cyber Insurance. Let’s just assume that you’re going to do all the right things in order to secure your company. You’re going to train your staffs. You’re going to encrypt your email. You’re going to use two step verification with clients and vendors. But keep in mind that the DLA law firm has security protocols and an IT department and they were still hacked. Think of cyber insurance as a necessity. Since an average hack can cost millions, this is an investment that you should probably make. Insurance protection should really be considered one of the fundamentals of law practice, at least if you want to practice law in the future.
Two. Train Your Staff. A lot of times companies are hacked not because their hardware or software have vulnerabilities but because their people lack basic security knowledge. It does no good to have security for your legal case management software, if your staffers give away the passwords to someone in your IT department who actually doesn’t work in your IT department. Your workers should constantly be trained in security practices and best practices. Everyone on staff should know that you never open up an unknown attachment or plug in a USB stick that you just happened to find on your work premises.
Three: Email Your law firm’s email is the weak link for many firms so the immediate goal should be to encrypt everything within the company, certainly, and you should probably consider encryption for clients as well. There are some law firms that won’t let you open emails unless the lawyer is in a secure environment. There are a number of applications that will protect your email such as Virtual and there are many cell phone applications for Android and iPhones. Encryption should be a first move for effective law firm case management software.
Four: Mobile and WiFi Your firm needs to set up policies concerning mobile and wifi protocols and overall legal case management software. Your law firm probably needs a formal mobile device security policy. Every mobile device that has legal information on it should enable the firm’s IT department to wipe the device remotely and require employees to immediately report a stolen advice. All your training at Harvard Law School case management won’t mean anything if you log into a publicly unsecured wifi spot.
Five: Compliance with Regulations. One of the surprising problems that law firms have is that they may have to adopt the same security procedures as their clients. One analyst, speaking in the New York Times, warned that law firms may have to rely on the same cyber vigilance that its vendors use. For example, if banks have to rely on the very highest of security standards, for obvious reasons, then your law firm and your law firm case management has to match that. Bottom line: the future is here and if your firm doesn’t use best security practices, then good luck retaining or acquiring clients. What good is if you have the best research management and citation if hackers have access to it as well?