With the rapid advancement in technology more and more business is getting digitalized, and the legal profession is no different. Data is increasingly being stored online, and the protection of data from being stolen is the biggest issue of our time. With law firms managing an increasing amount of sensitive client data, the threat of hackers is greater than ever before.
The legal profession is highly dependent on knowledge and information, and protecting sensitive client data and maintaining confidentiality is paramount. To protect sensitive information and confidential communication, the best corporate law firms in India use the latest cybersecurity tools to shield themselves from the threat of cyber criminals.
In a recent survey, it was found that an increasing number of clients are now insisting on cybersecurity requirements to be included in their client agreements. Many law firms have also reported that corporate clients insist on having access to the cybersecurity measures and preventive mechanisms employed by them.
It should now be clear how important cybersecurity is in today’s increasingly digital world. Lawyers and law firms should understand and employ appropriate cybersecurity standards to protect sensitive information and maintain privacy and confidentiality.
Why Law Firms Need to Invest in Cyber Security
The threat of email hacking and malware is growing by the day. Between 2014 and 2015 new malware grew almost 36% to 341 million. Web attacks more than doubled to 1.1 million in the same period. This relentless growth in malware and cyber-attacks is a real threat to society. The privacy of every individual and business is at risk of being infringed upon. Law firms that maintain a substantial amount of sensitive information and confidential client data face an uphill task to protect the secrecy of information.
The enormity of the threat became evident with the Panama Papers scandal, which rocked the entire world. The alleged leaking of more than 11 million documents containing sensitive client information from the Panama based law firm Mossack Fonseca shocked the whole world, and particularly the legal community.
Confidential and classified information became public and suddenly the affected people became vulnerable to various threats. This was a serious wake-up call for the lawyers and law firms, and they have now started to take cybersecurity very seriously.
The implications of such lapses could be far-reaching. Besides the possibility of facing legal action, the reputation of the law firm is irreparably dented. It is, therefore, vital that you keep your cybersecurity mechanism updated with the latest technology.
Ways to Protect Client Data for Law Firms
Now that the threat posed by the ever-increasing numbers of malware, email hacking, and other forms of cyber-attacks, have become evidently clear, it is up to the law firms to take appropriate steps to protect sensitive data from being stolen or misused. The best corporate law firms in India have already started to strengthen data security by employing the latest cybersecurity tools. Discussed below are some ways in which law firms can improve their online safety.
Use Password Managers
Securing your username and password is crucial for the safety and security of your data. Password managers help you secure your username and password information. It assists you in generating and recovering complex passwords by storing them in encrypted form. There are different types of password managers, such as locally installed software applications, online services, and locally accessible hardware devices.
The encrypted database can be stored locally on the user’s device, or online through file hosting service. It helps you avoid using the same password across different devices, which otherwise could severely deplete your online security. It makes it difficult for hackers to access your personal and client information. Even if one account is hacked, the damage can be limited.
Keep your Computer Software Updated
Regularly updating the operating system of your computer as well as the software you use is vital for online security. Companies provide an updated version of their software to plug any holes that might have existed in the previous version and could have been vulnerable to hacking. By updating the software regularly you will be strengthening your online security, thereby minimizing the chances of sensitive information being compromised.
Whenever an updated version of the software is released, you are automatically prompted to update. If you have switched on the automatic update on your device, be it a computer or a smartphone, it will be automatically installed, typically overnight. The same is true for anti-virus software.
Use Encryption Software
Encryption application is very effective in protecting data even your device falls into someone else’s hand. The encryption software can be easily installed in any device. It uses cryptography to block unauthorized access to digital information stored on your device. It also protects information sent through the internet. Some smartphones come with built-in encryption software that has a wipe feature that erases or corrupts all stored data if the device is reported to be stolen.
Use Online Encryption
Besides storing data in one’s device, a huge amount of data is also stored in the cloud. There is various legal management software that offers encryption of every form of data storage, including cloud storage. Since a lot of sensitive information is shared and transferred online, online encryption is vital for the protection of confidential data.
Use Two-Step Authentication
A two-step authentication process provides double protection to your data. When you log in from an unknown device, just using your password can be a risky proposition. Instead, use a two-step authentication process in which security code is sent to your email address and your mobile number if your account is being logged into from an unknown device.
Thus, any unauthorized attempt to access your account is thwarted. As it is, the threat of malware, email hacking and other forms of cyber-attacks on the legal profession is enormous, and clearly underlines the importance of cyber security in the law firm.