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Cybersecurity: safeguarding law firms in the digital age

If there is a place where cybersecurity is required, apart from government institutions, where confidential information is stored, it is in a law firm. Personal data, testimonials, official documents or client banking information are some of the most coveted items and therefore vulnerable to a cyberattack.

The information handled by a law firm, even if it is a small firm, is of great value. Not only for the legal professional, but also for the client and even for the competition. Publishing confidential information for various purposes, extortion or legally harming the defense in a particular legal case, may be some of the reasons that motivate a cyber attack.

Although the digital era facilitates in many cases the work of the professional and allows to store more information in a systematized way in databases, e-mails, or digital clouds, it also proposes risks to be faced.

As we can see, the number of people involved and the serious repercussions that can result from the leakage of information demand an efficient cybersecurity system capable of detecting and stopping any latent threat. In addition to exposing the privacy of clients, compromising the legal cases represented by the law firm and violating the firm's ethics, a data leak can generate fines or consequences that compromise the integrity of the law firm.

Investing in a security system that can be constantly updated is a requirement for the effective and secure operation of a law firm. Likewise, its application must contain the implementation of clear policies for all employees handling confidential data.

Secure cybersecurity steps how to reduce the threat?

Security depends on expert hands. Therefore, the first step to follow is to hire the services of a qualified IT team to install an adequate system and to monitor possible threats that may arise. IT specialists are the only competent professionals to keep the information and the internal network of the law firm safe. This long-term investment will avoid risks and will keep the firm's reputation and reliability safe.

Although perfect security does not exist, it is possible to reduce vulnerability. This depends on the nature of each law firm, i.e. the number of employees, the most appropriate type of information storage, the platform to be used and the security policies that govern the company.

The following recommendations will support the safeguarding of the information handled by the law firm:

Invest in an adequate cybersecurity system adapted to the needs of the firm.. Consult with IT specialists on the advantages and disadvantages of the purchased software in charge of cyber security.

Remember that the safety of the firm depends on the company and its employees.. Law enforcement officials have no role in the prevention of this type of crime and could only intervene later to support the search for the perpetrators of the cyberattack.

If possible, the office should be provided with a local private server. where the information is hosted. Similarly, it is essential that the internal network has all the necessary security and privacy policies to prevent the intrusion and theft of private information about customers or legal cases.

Backing up all confidential information This is a sensitive file, which must be hosted in a separate space on the local private server.

Under no circumstances is it recommended to store this type of information on mobile devices. susceptible to cyber-attacks. Failing that, it is advisable to use encrypted devices (the firm's own) with special protection measures.

In addition to taking care of the use of mobile devices do not forget:

Design with IT professionals an emergency protocol.The software security is not always protected, but it can be used when the security of the software is breached. In this case it is important to designate people in charge of acting, in order to stop the attack. And to restore the system protecting as much as possible all the information.

Frequently evaluate the use and potential of the chosen software. threats. Sometimes these tools require updates or adjustments to increase their capabilities.

Maintain levels of access to confidential informationdepending on the skills of the staff working in the firm. This action allows to limit the access to the data if they do not need to be used by all the professionals.

Inform and train personnel working in the firm on safety measures. to take to safeguard confidential data. When hiring lawyers, the firm must ensure training in this area. In order to reduce the targets through which the cyber-attack can act. Likewise, it is important that constant training updates are made, in case changes are made to the system.

The use of the firm's social networks, if any, must be assigned to experts in the area. They should also be informed of the company's security policies. In addition, it is important that confidential information is not disseminated through these digital channels. Here are some suggestions for the proper management of digital services.


Answer these suggested questions For the article "Cybersecurity and Best Practices for Lawyers". They can be of great use in strengthening system security:

  • How long has the firm been established?
  • What type of platform will host the law firm's data?
  • Who has or should have access to these platforms and how to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to encrypted information?
  • How is the security performance of the system evaluated or audited?
  • If there is a problem in the system, which IT team will provide support to resolve the situation?
  • Is the confidential information safeguarded in the firm backed up?
  • Where are the firm's private servers located and do authorized personnel have access to them?
  • Is there an emergency protocol and who is trained to execute it?

For a complete list of these questions to check the security status of the system, please refer to the following questions directly the article here.

Sources consulted