5 Ways Your at Risk for a Law Firm Information Breach

//5 Ways Your at Risk for a Law Firm Information Breach

Technology may aim to make our lives easier, but it can also present a new set of hardships for users to overcome. While most people know to be wary about what information they give away online, some still don’t quite understand all the ways their digital information can be compromised. As a lawyer, you know your computer and digital accounts house plenty of confidential information and personal records. In the interest of safeguarding it, it’s imperative your small law firm be aware of gaps in technology that can put your clients’ private information at risk.

Have you protected your firm in these five high-risk areas?

Software that Isn’t Secure

When sharing sensitive information in the Cloud or via mobile devices, use programs that store your legal information securely. Smokeball, for example, offers bank-grade security to keep your confidential information safe. Meaning the information logged in Smokeball is guarded by top-notch security programs that monitor for data breaches and “open windows” for hackers.

A data breach could be disastrous for your firm, leading to financial damage and a loss of reputation. To protect your firm’s and your clients’ information, it’s vital to invest in secure software choices before it’s too late.

Personal Devices, Professional Information

Do your employees use personal devices for work purposes? If so, make sure your firm has a strong “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy in place. In this policy, explain the security measures your team must take to ensure their devices are more secure, including the use of complex passwords, virus protection programs, and required software updates. Precautions are necessary because passwords can easily be stolen from a hacked mobile device and used to infiltrate the firm.

Passwords and Authentication

Poor password choices essentially invite hackers into your firm’s network. Educate your team about password security, including the need to periodically update passwords. Consider a password manager to help generate and store secure passwords for your entire firm. Want more information on password security? Read our post from last week.

Client Communications

With numerous client files to manage throughout the day, it’s important your team is careful of how sensitive information is shared. Keep client communications organized to prevent accidentally sharing firm information outside the team. Smokeball helps attorneys manage communications, documents and forms for every client matter in one place, making it easier to keep sensitive information secure.

“Digital Debris”

“Digital debris” is the backlog of outdated files, communications and online accounts that are no longer necessary but still accessible to hackers. While keeping the necessary records is important, your firm should periodically clean up these files by deleting anything you no longer need.

Clearing up your digital debris not only makes your firm more secure, it also saves digital storage space. Moreover, it saves your team time from searching through old files for current information. Use a document management program like Smokeball to keep files organized and up-to-date.

Digital security should be a chief concern for every law firm. Protect your firm and your clients by implementing smart procedures in place to keep things running smoothly and safely.

By |May 19th, 2015|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.