As a lawyer, you know it’s your responsibility to make a reasonable effort to safeguard client information—including by staying current on data security best practices.
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to better protect your firm’s data.
Make a security policy
Every law firm should have a security policy—and it should be reviewed and updated regularly.
Policies will vary by firm, but in general, they should include:
- Encryption: From sensitive client communications to storing firm data, encryption prevents unauthorized viewing of your information. One potential solution? Use a secure client portal for document sharing and messaging.
- Passcodes: Use strong passcodes and multi-factor authentication. If you use a password manager, be sure to follow the same good habits there, too.
- Security audits: Regular security reviews can help you identify issues before cybercriminals do.
- Mitigation plan: Hopefully, you’ll never need to use the mitigation plan, but it’s good to know how you would handle problems if they arise.
Train your staff—and yourself
Education is a valuable tool—and an ongoing process—when it comes to protecting firm data.
Especially if you or other members of your team are working remotely or using personal devices for work, it’s good to know the steps you can take to stay secure. This can be part of your firm-wide security policy, but plan to address issues such as VPNs, phishing, and lost or stolen devices.
Recommended security measures are always evolving, so aim for security policy review and training at least once a year.
Vet your cloud vendor
Cloud-based storage is a key part of how many businesses, including law firms, operate efficiently and with flexibility. It can be a very secure method for storing data—just make sure your vendor meets your firm’s security standards.
For instance, using a cloud-based practice management system offers a level of streamlined convenience not found with on-premise software, but you may want to double-check that data is encrypted and stored on servers in the United States.
Ultimately, you can protect your firm’s data by implementing a security policy, keeping the whole staff trained on best practices for cybersecurity, and taking time to double-check the standards of the cloud-based platforms you use.
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