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Did you know that 43 percent of all cyber attacks in the US are targeted at small businesses? For many attorneys, the topic of cyber security can seem pretty complex. But taking the time to understand your digital security needs is vital for properly protecting your firm, your clients, and your bottom line. Even the smallest company can be vulnerable to cyber attacks. From email attacks to SMS and voice phishing scams and even attacks against your law firm’s reputation, it’s up to you to come up with a cyber security plan that will protect your business from the unexpected. Luckily, when you enlist the help of an experienced and reputable IT services company, you can rest easy in knowing that your client’s sensitive information is safe against a potential data breach. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of protecting your law firm against the threat of cyber attacks.
How to Create a Cyber Security Plan
Cyber security is an issue that should be on the minds of attorneys in firms of all sizes. As an attorney, you have an ethical obligation to protect the sensitive information of your clients and preserve the confidentiality that you promised them. As more law firms across the country are moving their data to the cloud in digital format, your obligation to protect client information needs to shift to the digital world as well.
Here, we’ve outlined 8 essential cyber security best practices that your firm can start to implement today:
1. Use a Firewall
The first line of defense against data breach should begin with a firewall. Firewalls are great because they essentially set up a barrier between your firm’s sensitive data and cyber attackers. In addition to installing a firewall at your business offices, it’s important for lawyers who take their work home to include firewall protection outside of the office as well. So, take the time to make sure that your home networks are supported by firewall software as well.
2. Document Cyber Security Policies
It’s very easy for smaller law firms to get in the habit of providing sensitive information by word of mouth. But cyber security is one sector where it is absolutely essential to document all protocols. Unsure of where to start? You can utilize free resources available from the FCC or the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) cyber security portal. If you already have a knowledgeable IT services team in place, they can help you to determine cyber security best practices for your firm.
3. Invest in Employee Training
It’s common for law firm employees to wear a variety of different hats, making mandatory cyber security training essential for anyone who has access to your in-house network. Work with your IT services team to come up with a training plan that will educate your employees on your firm’s security policies and cyber security best practices.
4. Always Use Safe Password Practices
Everyone knows that it’s a total pain in the neck to have to change your computer password every few months. However, according to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, 81 percent of data breaches were the result of lost, stolen or weak passwords. So, changing those passwords every few weeks can mean the difference between protecting your client’s sensitive information and dealing with an expensive lawsuit of your own.
One great way to make sure that your passwords are unique enough to fool would be cyber attackers and keep track of necessary changes, is to invest in a password manager for your firm. With these simple tools, you can require employees to use more difficult passwords and enforce a rule to change them every 60 to 90 days as well.
5. Regularly Back Up Data
Even with the best and most advanced security precautions in place, there is still a chance that your firm could be affected by a data breach. That’s why every law firm, big or small, should be backing up their data regularly. The SBA recommends that businesses back up everything from word processing documents to electronic spreadsheets, financial files, databases, human resources, and accounts receivable files. Once this information is successfully backed up, it should be stored off-site in a secure location.
6. Use Anti-Malware Software
While you may be familiar with phishing email scams, there’s a chance that some of your employees are not. Don’t take a risk in assuming that your employees are familiar with all of the different ways that a cyber attacker could try to infiltrate your system. Instead, install anti-malware software that works against phishing attacks and include phishing scams as part of your employee cyber security training.
7. Hire a Reputable IT Services Company
While there are many aspects of cyber security that you may be able to handle on your own, nothing beats working with a professional IT services team. Your IT technician works hard behind the scenes to ensure that your business is protected from outside threats and to keep your law firm’s operations running smoothly. From network security to disaster recovery and cloud hosting solutions, an experienced IT company can handle it all.
Learn More About SemTech IT Solutions
SemTech IT Solutions proudly offers advanced IT services throughout the greater Orlando, FL area. Our services include technical helpdesk support, PC and server support, backup & disaster recovery services, network security, email, and spam services, virtual CIO consulting and so much more.