The 2013 International Legal Technology Association’s conference placed a heavy emphasis on IT security for law firms of every size. And rightfully so. A recent technology survey sponsored by the ILTA identified security as a major concern and hackers – whether foreign or home-grown – have set their beady eyes on law firms as not only direct targets themselves, but also as a way to access sensitive information belonging to the firms’ clients.
The FBI and other experts have identified hundreds of recent incidents in which law firm systems have been infiltrated, providing unauthorized access by outsiders to clients’ personal legal records, intellectual property, employee and customer details, confidential business plans, and other proprietary information. Needless to say, such breaches of security leave the legal industry wide-open to liability claims, government and industry scrutiny, and damaged public image and relations.
Risk mitigation must include analysis of information governance practices, user behavior, BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) policies, hardware and software vulnerabilities (local, mobile, cloud), event alerting and reporting and more. Additionally, employees – whether lawyers or supporting staff – must be educated on ways to avoid posing risk to themselves, their firms and their clients.
Those charged with quantifying, managing and securing the IT structure of a law firm face a significant and critically important task not just on the technology side of things, but the challenge can be compounded if they are in-house employees who must interact with principals, attorneys and others who might view “computer stuff” as nothing more than the job of back-room geeks keeping their word processors and email working.
Obviously, nothing could be further from the truth. The very life of the law firm can hang in the balance if IT considerations are not taken seriously and handled properly and professionally.
If you’re ready to take a serious look at your IT security, contact us…we’re experts on legal industry IT solutions and would love to partner with you to protect your firm and your clients by stopping those beady-eyed hackers right in their tracks.