For the first time, a mid-sized Chicago law firm has been named in a class action data security suit. Two of the firm’s clients claim lax data security practices have put confidential client information at risk of exposure. According to a survey done last year, 95 percent of law firms are not following their own cyber security policies. This means that of the two hundred law firms polled, 190 law firms are not following their own procedures. The harsh reality here is that no matter how many policies law firms put into place, they are actively disregarded due to the ignorance of the heavy consequences a breach could carry. This statistic leads one to believe that no matter how many policies are written, a breach is still likely to occur unless the following of these policies is properly enforced.
In 2016, 40 percent of the law firms that experienced a breach were not aware it occurred. This means that powerful intrusion prevention systems were either not implemented, or were configured incorrectly. While there are arguments to be made for making the most reasonable effort to ensure a law firm’s network is secure, surely most would prefer a breach not to happen at all.
The reality of cyber security is that no matter how strict the policies are, without proper training a law firm’s staff is going to be the weakest point of entry. In today’s age, almost everyone has seen or heard of a phishing email—an email that disguises itself to be a legitimate message, but is a fraudulent attempt to obtain personal data. These emails range in topic from fake Apple password resets, to Nigerian prince inheritance scams.
What can companies do to secure their network and assure clients that their data is secure in the firm’s hands? Network Solutions Group recommends that law firms follow three principles to keep their networks as secure as possible:
- Educate your employees on best practices
- Enforce security policies across all levels of leadership and staff
- Conduct quarterly security reviews to maintain your firm’s policies
While the three points above seem simple in nature, they are revolutionary if implemented. If a firm follows these steps and carries them through to their security policies, data management policies and compliance requirements, then they will see far fewer breaches in their lifetime.
If your firm’s data security is not up to scratch, you may be wondering where to start. There are several security platforms that can be installed in a law firm’s network. These platforms will prevent most of all security breaches, but if every employee isn’t on board, then a breach is bound to happen.
Network Solutions Group prides itself on transparency. There is no such thing as being 100 percent secure when operating on the Internet, but we help our clients make their databases as close to impregnable as possible. Cyber security is no different than home security; each additional layer implemented will delay and deter a criminal that much more. Technology will only continue to change, and we urge law firms to begin strengthening their security now. Do you feel confident your security policies would stand up in court?