Contrary to popular belief, small businesses are more susceptible than ever to cyber attacks. Small law firms are no exception. In fact, many small firms discount the importance of cyber security, and in turn leave themselves open to breaches in security. Here are a few tips your firm can use to stay protected:
1. Have a plan
What happens when there is a breach in your online security? It is extremely important to have an answer to this question. Not every firm has the luxury of a separate IT department. Therefore, in many small and solo practices, some education is necessary. Installing anti-virus programs and firewalls to help identify breaches and encrypting documents are some of the “bare-bones” precautions your firm should take. No matter what your budget, this level of protection is necessary. If there is room in the budget, your firm may want to look into purchasing insurance for your documents and data (which may include security services). No matter what, having a plan when you find a breach is essential to good security, even if it is just a matter of knowing who to call.
2. Security Training
Your employees are on the front line when it comes to protecting documents and data at your firm. Therefore, it is important to educate them on the basics of online security. This includes but is not limited to, how to determine if a link is safe to click on, how to identify spam emails, and how to select a strong password. Although it may seem like common sense to some, it could help avoid problems in the future.
3. Cloud Technology
Many small firms (and large ones alike) have turned to a cloud-based data system, where employees can submit, access, view, and edit documents from anywhere. While it is true that the cloud can save your firm money in the long run, it is important to evaluate your firm’s cyber security before implementing a cloud system. If there are no cyber security measures, or if there are simply the previously mentioned “bare-bones” ones in place, you might end up paying a large price for these services through added security fees. Cloud services are inherently less secure than a physical server. Your data is being held in a sphere that you do not control, and therefore it is up to the cloud service provider to maintain your data and protect it. These companies are relatively young, and constantly tweak their security in order to protect data in the most efficient way, and these tweaks come with their share of “bugs”. Therefore, it is extremely important to do your due diligence when implementing a cloud based system at your firm.
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