Why Cloud-Based Technology Is Necessary to Run a Cyber-Secure Firm
December 14, 2022
Cybersecurity presents one of the most significant threats to your law firm’s future financial security and ongoing stability. Twenty-five percent of all law firms have experienced a data breach at some point, according to an ABA Cybersecurity Report. Despite this, only 53% of firms have policies in place to manage and protect the sensitive and confidential information they routinely handle. Legal cybersecurity is an ever-evolving and highly specialized field, making it challenging for law firms to implement robust protections, mainly if they manage data on their own in-house servers.
Is cybersecurity for your law firm an entirely new consideration to you? Start with Cybersecurity for the Legal Industry 101 >
Legal Industry Trends in Cybersecurity
The cybersecurity approaches for law firms to protect confidential client data and all of their files and information are:
- Create an in-house cybersecurity team. Suppose your firm is determined to continue to store its own data in-house on local servers. In that case, a dedicated team of professionals that constantly assesses and addresses risks, updates software, monitors email spam, and obtains certifications, such as an ISO 27001 certification, is necessary. Cybersecurity insurance is a compulsory component of this, as well as accepting the level of risk created by bearing sole responsibility for protecting and securing client data and firm work. This option is expensive, time-consuming, and risky, positioning you for a data breach or a ransomware attack.
- Utilize cloud-based technology. Law firm practice management, such as Smokeball, places all your files, data, and information in the cloud in secure off-site servers managed by information technology specialists. Your firm handles only data stored on office computers or phones and outsources all legal industry cybersecurity to the 24/7/365 team at Smokeball. This option is the best for legal industry cybersecurity, providing state-of-the-art protection and confidence that sensitive and confidential information is safeguarded and your ethical obligations are fulfilled.
Smokeball Security Benefits
Smokeball provides robust, constantly updated protections for legal cybersecurity. When your firm uses Smokeball, all of your client data, files, and confidential firm information are stored remotely on servers based in the U.S. The servers use the AWS (Amazon Web Services) platform, the gold standard on which Dow Jones and NASA rely.
Multiple layers of protection are in place with data collated in more than one location, so a rare outage in one locale does not impact your workflow. Your information is stored, constantly backed up, and carefully monitored to protect it from viruses, malware, spyware, and ransomware.
When you have Smokeball as your legal case management software, you get crucial security benefits, placing the arduous task of protecting your firm with dedicated and skilled professionals who implement immediate updates, patches, and fixes 24/7/365.
Smokeball’s inherent security protects the client lifecycle:
- Intake of client data
- Confidential communications with clients through a secure online portal, including file transfer
- Document preparation and storage
- Research and planning
- Internal firm communications and collaboration
- Online signatures
- Online filing
- Online billing and payments
Hidden Costs of a Cybersecurity Breach
A cybersecurity breach can prove devastating to your firm. The ABA Cybersecurity Report examined the costs of a data breach and of the firms that experienced breaches:
- 36% reported downtime and loss of billable hours
- 31% had to pay for consulting fees or repairs
- 18% needed to replace hardware and software
- 13% experienced loss or destruction of files
In addition to these expensive and disruptive losses, your firm also faces fines, legal action, and damage to its reputation when confidential information is breached or stolen.
According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach 2022 report, the average cost of a U.S. data breach is $9.44 million. On average, it takes 277 days to identify a data breach. When your client files and confidential information are stored within Smokeball, you no longer have to worry that your data has been hacked from your firm’s computers without your knowledge.
Additional Benefits of Cloud-Based Law Tech
In addition to massively important cybersecurity protection, Smokeball provides a host of additional benefits that take your law practice to the next level:
Automated time-tracking captures all billable time, increasing profit.
Remote collaboration means all firm employees can access files, emails, and information and can participate in the workflow process no matter where they are. In addition, our app means attorneys can work from their phones and easily stay in touch with the office.
Integration of Word and Outlook with Smokeball allows all critical functions to be performed in sync with each other, fully accessible for the entire team.
Organization and practice management software ensures a smooth workflow and allows attorneys to spend less time chasing paper and more time finding new clients and growing your law firm.
Law firm insights are shared on a private dashboard so firm managers can monitor employee performance, client profitability, and practice area efficiency.
Form automation through our customizable form library populates your forms with the correct information, ensuring accuracy and reducing the time spent on rote tasks.
Cost savings emerge when you utilize AI to streamline many workplace functions. This automatic time tracking for law firms captures more billable hours, automates billing, and decreases workflow challenges. Smokeball’s smart technology also allows your employees to reduce time spent on repetitive tasks and work more efficiently.
Getting started with Smokeball is easy. Our law firm management tool is the solution you’ve been looking for to protect your data and take your practice to the next level.
Want to learn more about cybersecurity for the legal industry?
Read our post “What Law Firms Need to Know About Cybersecurity in 2023 & Beyond”
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