According to most legal firms, managing cybersecurity is not a problem.
This mindset, unfortunately, is a much bigger problem.
A Law Department Operations (LDO) survey conducted by LegalTech news in 2015 found that only seven percent of respondents believed their law firms’ cybersecurity strategies could not protect their organization’s data. The consensus was that established cybersecurity policies were enough to handle possible breaches, despite reports from the FBI in 2011 that identified law firms as major targets of cybercrime.
One of the survey respondents even laughed at the lack of caution shown by his/her fellow LDOs: “Not only will big law firms be breached, but they have already been breached. They are just not talking about it.”
With cybercrime on the rise and many legal firms feeling overconfident about their cybersecurity policies, how can law firms be sure that they are keeping data safe?
Outsourcing Data Security
If the first step of correcting a problem admits that the problem exists, then legal firms must acknowledge their weaknesses in the areas of cybersecurity and data control. Legal firms are not experts in data security, despite the valuable information sent through legal servers each day. This makes most firms ill-equipped to handle cybersecurity on their own.
Big companies may have dedicated IT security teams, but not all firms enjoy this benefit. If a business lacks in-house expertise, working with third-party security professionals may be necessary. However, not just any security provider will do the trick—the data security team chosen should be able to handle a wide range of issues:
- Compliance with federal guidelines for data security
- Hardware security, including desktop computers, cloud storage, external hard drives, and server infrastructure
- Software security, including updating versions, patching known vulnerabilities, and maintaining malware protection
- Big data management by way of identifying redundancies, controlling user access to sensitive data, and creating incident response plans
All other considerations aside, there are three primary things to look for when selecting a cybersecurity service provider:
- A firm’s ability to monitor a system in real-time to recognize breaches before they happen,
- The ability to stop attempting breaches from occurring,
- Response strategies in place if a breach occurs.
Firms that have established protocols in these three areas will have a comprehensive system for detecting and responding to cybercrime. In addition, with hackers developing new strategies for data theft every day, legal firms, do not have a second to waste in getting their data security frameworks up and running.
Written by Dean Van Dyke, Vice President, Business Process Optimization
Dean Van Dyke is the Vice President of Business Process Optimization for iBridge. He brings more than 18 years of customer relations, business process outsourcing, lean six sigma, program/project management, records management, manufacturing, and vendor management experience to iBridge. Mr. Van Dyke was the former head of Microsoft’s corporate records and information management team and served honorably for over fourteen years in the U.S. Navy and Army National Guard. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota and his Master’s in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University.