How Can Our Law Firm Protect Data on Our Firm’s Phones and Laptops?
Increasingly, the ABA and state Bar Associations have been developing guidelines lawyers should follow to safeguard clients’ personal information.
But law firms actually have a lot of sensitive data that needs to be protected—and there are several steps you can take to protect data on your firm’s phones and laptops.
Multi-factor authentication, or using two methods of verifying identification before providing access, is a solid first step in upping security on devices and apps that access sensitive information.
It may take a little more time, but having that additional layer of protection when accessing your practice management system will bring some peace of mind.
Look for tools that offer encryption services for sensitive information, such as with password managers. Encryption uses a secret code to scramble information and prevent unauthorized access.
Back-up plans help protect your data if something does go wrong. A good back-up plan will provide trusted and secure cloud storage.
User-level access means you are identified by your username when you access information in a file or application.
This level of individualized identification lets you up your security and should be part of your practice management system—particularly because it allows you to restrict user access to certain sensitive data.
Incident response plan
Even if you take recommended precautions to protect your firm’s data, you can’t completely eliminate cybersecurity risks. But you can be prepared.
Create an incident response plan so you know what to do if data is hacked or a security breach is suspected. Having your firm’s data hacked is already stressful enough—the last thing you want is to be running around trying to cobble together a hasty response plan.
Because data security issues can happen in multiple different ways, it’s important to take multiple preventative steps.
Use multi-factor identification, encryption, secure back-ups, and user-level access. And always have an incident response plan in place in case the unexpected happens.
1. ABA Offers Lawyers New Guidance for Dealing with Cyber Attacks
2. Four Steps Law Firms Should Take to Reduce Cybersecurity Risks