Every business needs (and hopefully already has) cybersecurity, but not all cybersecurity strategies are created equal. Depending on the industry, how comprehensive the strategy is, and the expertise of those implementing it, a company’s IT could be in danger of some serious threats.
And while any type of business can be a target for cybercriminals, legal firms are especially vulnerable. Legal firms are dealing with very sensitive client data, which can be incredibly valuable to criminals. In addition, legal firms often have large networks of employees and partners, and this gives criminals many more opportunities to penetrate the organization.
How to Tell If Your Cybersecurity Needs Help
If you’re not sure whether or not your legal firm’s cybersecurity is up to par, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to find out.
1. Does your firm have a dedicated IT security team or budget?
If yes, you’re on a great track! If not, your infrastructure could be patched together, facing risks of siloed data, legacy equipment, or lack of maintenance.
2. Are your employees using personal devices for work?
If they are, your business faces greater risk if they aren’t managed properly. Without device management and BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, you could be vulnerable.
3. When was the last time your software was updated? Does it feel old or out-of-date?
If you can’t remember the last time you had a software update, it’s been too long. Software updates usually include security patches for newly discovered vulnerabilities.
4. Does your firm have a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery plan?
A cyberattack could wipe out all your data, and without a backup, you would be starting from scratch. So, if you answered yes to any of the above, it’s time to start working on your cybersecurity.
7 Strategies for Improving Your Cyber Resiliency
Because law firms are such big targets for hackers, they need unique strategies to keep their data safe. There are many ways to improve the cyber resiliency of your law firm—we’ll cover 7 different methods that you can mix and match for maximum security.
1. Invest in employee training and education.
One of the best ways to keep your firm safe is to educate your employees on cybersecurity risks and best practices. Teach them how to spot phishing emails, social engineering attacks, and other common threats. An online course or a trusted managed IT provider can guide you through this.
2. Create a dedicated IT security team or budget.
This is especially important for larger firms. Having a team of experts to design, implement, and oversee your cybersecurity strategy will make it much more effective. This can be through an in-house team or an outsourced team.
Budget is also an important factor in the reliability of your cybersecurity—that’s not to say that more expensive is always better, but rather it’s critical that you regularly revisit your budget and determine how best to allocate funds and resources to advancing your cybersecurity.
3. Implement two-factor authentication (2FA or MFA).
Two-factor authentication (2FA or MFA) is an extra layer of security that requires two pieces of information to log in. This could be something like a password and a code that is sent to your phone through text or email. With 2FA, even if a hacker gets your password, they won’t be able to log in without the second piece of information.
4. Encrypt your files.
Encryption is a process of transforming readable data into an unreadable format. This makes it much harder for hackers to access your data if they manage to penetrate your network. You can encrypt data at rest (when it’s stored on devices or servers) and in transit (when it’s being sent between devices).
5. Implement BYOD (bring your own device) policies and procedures
If your employees are using their own devices for work, make sure they understand the security risks and what they need to do to mitigate them. Require them to use strong passwords, install security updates, and only connect to trusted networks. You should also have a process for remotely wiping data from lost or stolen devices.
6. Invest in comprehensive backup and disaster recovery
No matter how strong your cybersecurity defenses are, there’s always a chance that something could slip through the cracks. That’s why it’s so important to have a backup of your data in case of an attack. You should also have a disaster recovery plan to get your systems up and running as quickly as possible after an incident.
7. Upgrade to newer, more secure software
One of the best ways to improve your cybersecurity is to keep your software up-to-date. Newer versions of software usually include security patches for newly discovered vulnerabilities. So, if you’re still using an old version of Windows or Office, it’s time for an upgrade.
By taking these steps, legal firms can make it much harder for criminals to target them and increase their chances of bouncing back if they do experience a breach.
As you can see, there are many different ways to improve the cyber resiliency of your law firm. By taking a comprehensive approach and implementing multiple strategies, you can easily improve your cybersecurity posture and protect your firm from the ever-growing threat of cybercrime.
If you’re looking to beef up your firm’s cybersecurity, contact Innovative Network Solutions today. We have years of experience helping legal firms implement the perfect security solutions for their needs.