“I’m not a cat.”
You don’t have to be a lawyer or even employed in the legal field to know the reference. While it gained many laughs at the expense of a non-tech-savvy attorney, it brought up a more important issue.
In this April 2021 National Law Review article, the author asked what many wonder, “If lawyers can’t competently use a video conferencing tool, what else can’t they do?”
However, many people who work in law will be quick to argue that an attorney’s decades of experience supersedes their ability to catch on to the ever-evolving tech world around them. After all, who hasn’t had to help their parents with a computer issue at some point?
The bigger issue at hand is that legal dealings incorporate more advanced technology each year. So how can we be sure that clients’ confidential information is, in fact, remaining confidential?
It comes down to each law firm’s cyber security measures. Because law firm cyber security is the first and last defense against the many nefarious hackers out in the world.
Why Law Firm Cyber Security Is Crucial To Your Practice’s Success
Better Call Saul has provided an entertaining and cringe-worthy glimpse into a fictional legal world. But Saul Goodman’s antics shouldn’t entirely be blown off. You never know anyone’s real agenda. So protecting yourself, your law firm, and your clients against potential bad actors isn’t just a good move – it’s crucial.
1. Protect Your Law Firm’s & Clients’ Reputation & Civil Right To Privacy
As an attorney, you have a moral and legal obligation to act in your clients’ best interest. Furthermore, your reputation is crucial to working with clients so that your business can be (or continue to be) successful.
If your law firm were to be the reason behind the destruction of your client’s reputation, it would 100% reflect poorly on your ability to do your job.
Protecting the reputation of your clients and your law firm with strong cyber security solutions is the modern age of reputation defense. And no, this doesn’t mean asking your youngest colleague to ensure every device’s anti-virus software is up to date. Because, your colleagues, like you, have dedicated their professional lives to being an attorney.
Furthermore, the skill set of your managed service provider (MSP) must be up to par with the advanced skills of hackers around the globe. While they may be notorious, they are also highly intelligent. And it only takes one small mistake for your entire law firm to fall victim.
For example, after noticing unusual activity, an investigation discovered that Boston-based law firm Campbell Conroy & O’Neil P.C. experienced a ransomware attack in 2021. Not only did the attack prevent the law firm from accessing critical files, but it is also speculated that clients’ names, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, birthdays, and more were exposed.
As a response, the law firm offered its clients 2 years of free services related to credit monitoring and fraud consultation. If a law firm that services Fortune 500 and Global 500 companies can fall victim to hackers, then your unprotected firm needs to beef up its security.
2. Mitigate Risk From Bad Actors
As the owner of a law firm, you can probably think of a few people who may be out to get you and/or your firm. Opposing counsel’s clients that lost? A client of your own who didn’t get their desired results? Maybe someone that you participated in their incarceration?
Yes, all of that adds up. But did you know your biggest risk may be total strangers who know nothing about your practice…other than its lack of cyber security?
It’s important to realize that members of the hackersphere are literally everywhere. Do they go after specific targets? Sure. But does that mean if you keep your head down and play by the rules, you will avoid a bullseye on your business? Nope.
In fact, there are hackers looking to siphon money from your accounts, notoriety in the hacker community, and some are just plain old sadists who enjoy watching others’ misfortune.
Rather than cross your fingers and attempt to be smart about your online activity, you need a long-lasting cyber security solution. That includes protocols that regulate your firm’s password security, using only secure and private WiFi connections, strong BCDR plans, and so much more.
Curious about what your law firm could be doing to protect against hackers? Reach out to BITS for a cyber security assessment.
3. Protect Your Law Firm From The Most Common Cyber Attacks
A good MSP will help you remain secure from new and common, well-known threats. However, to do this, they must dedicate time to staying abreast of the latest in cybercrime. Some of the most common cyber threats include:
- Phishing attacks
- Data breach
- Hacked email accounts
- Malpractice allegations
To combat phishing attacks, every employee must know how to look out for red flags. Typically, phishing attempts are emails that trick the recipient into clicking on a link. In many cases, malware immediately downloads onto the device and infiltrates the entire network.
This is why your law firm should work with a team of IT experts, like Brooks IT Services, who will educate you and your entire staff. Moreover, your MSP can send test emails to your entire team to see who reports the suspicious email, ignores it, and who clicks on the link. Scenario testing like this provides insight into who needs further cyber security training.
No person, business, or organization wants to be on the wrong end of a ransomware attack.
Remember the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack? It was traced back to an exposed VPN password. The aftermath disrupted airlines, caused havoc at gas stations, and even warranted President Joe Biden to declare a state of emergency.
The ransomware trend has been that hackers hold their victims’ data for ransom. Usually, they ask for an untraceable crypto payment with promises to release the data afterward. However, there is no telling if they will actually return the data and/or release it to their friends on the dark web.
Among many defenses an MSP can implement, one of the most important is backing up your data. With your data securely backed up, you can move forward and ignore their demands.
Wouldn’t it be cool to land a client as big as Lady Gaga?
I’m sure that’s what Grubman Shire Meisalas & Sacks thought when she signed on as a client. However, due to a ransomware attack demanding $42 Million, the Poker Face singer’s information was leaked.
Celebrity or not, all clients have a right to privacy, especially when attorney-client privilege is at play.
Hacked Email Accounts
It’s incredibly important that everyone in your law firm change their passwords regularly. Moreover, passwords should never be easy to guess and should include upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters. For example, 3ro0kS!T is a nice mix, but we would never use this because it too closely resembles the name of our business!
Yes, without proper cyber security measures in place, you run the risk of malpractice allegations. Not only could this tie up your valuable time in court defending your own law firm, but it’s not a good look to your current and potential clients.
4. Optimize Your Law Firm’s Network For Successful Results
Hackers are coming up with innovative techniques every day to stay ahead in their evil little game.
With a trustworthy MSP in your corner, you can do more than just mitigate risk. Instead, you can fully optimize your network. Some of the latest and greatest online tools for lawyers can remain secure. This allows your law firm to streamline processes and save time and money in the long run.
However, every network requires constant monitoring to ensure any and all weak spots are patched immediately. While tech savvy, your young lawyers have too busy of a schedule to dedicate time to becoming a fully fledged IT expert.
Keep Your Law Firm Secure With Brooks IT Services
As the leader of your law firm, you’ve invested too much time, money, and energy to allow a bad actor to interfere with your business.
Brooks IT Services works with small Houston businesses to provide comprehensive IT services at an affordable price. We can work with you to ensure your network is fully optimized and secure at all times. Furthermore, we will protect your online reputation so that your clients remain confident in your ability to always defend their best interests.
Ready to put your mind at ease and stop worrying about becoming a hacker’s next victim? Contact Brooks IT Services today.