Legal Data Security 101 – Assessing Your Immediate Risk

June 5, 2018
Law firms are the weakest link in their clients’ data security landscape. With amplifying cybersecurity attacks, compliance needs and intensifying client pressure, law firms are facing the perfect storm of data security pressures. Effective data security has quickly become the chief driver in differentiation, determining which firms lead as others are left behind. The undertaking remains steep — building a comprehensive data governance strategy to mitigate the risk to law firm environments and client data requires firms to balance a number of considerations:What are your highest data security threats? Determine what your biggest vulnerabilities are and where they lie. There are a number of evolving threats, internal and external, that law firms need to evaluate. Email systems, vast unstructured data, employees and human error, cross-border exchanges of personal data, ransomware, malware, and wiperware are just some of the highest threats facing law firms today. You won’t have a bottomless well of resources to protect against every potential threat, so you need to take stock of your biggest vulnerabilities and make realistic prioritizations of what you can protect against.

What does the cybersecurity landscape look like for multinational law firms? The legal industry as a whole faces relatively high risk for data breaches. Even in the face of these threats, firms have been unable or unwilling to invest in the proper data governance framework required to secure sensitive data and meet increasingly demanding compliance requirements. A plurality of firms — as high as 80% — fail at basic security protocol, such as two-factor authentication, USB, email and laptop encryption, as well as intrusion detection and prevention systems. Are you taking the baseline precautions to protect your firm? Are you taking the appropriate steps to address your biggest vulnerabilities? Stray away from the reactive approach and focus on avoiding data security breaches before they are able to arise.

What technologies and/or processes are in place to protect your clients’ sensitive information? Assess your current unstructured data and overall network environments. Your data governance program should be minimizing the risk associated with data breaches and internal threats. Do you have a program in place that meets the unique needs of your network environment? Are you meeting the compliance requirements for you and your clients? Do you have the appropriate file share and access management protocol in place to protect valuable case data? Strict security and compliance policies should dictate your framework.

Need more help accessing your firm’s data security risk? We’re servicing top 100 law firms like you — download our latest whitepaper to understand your immediate risk and learn how to build a holistic data governance program that meets and exceeds the security compliance needs of your law firm and its clients.

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