Securing that client data is protected is a top priority for law firms, and with the industry shifting toward digital workflows and leveraging legal technology, security is becoming a major concern. The cost of a data breach is staggering, with the average consolidated cost growing from $3.8M to $4.3M from 2015 to 2016. And take for example, DLA Piper’s recent ransomware attack that shuttered the firm’s day-to-day functionality…
Included in the cost of a data breach, for law firms in particular (from Logikcull’s September 2016 research), are "crisis management services, communications plans, forensic investigations, legal counsel, and fulfillment of state and credit monitoring, among others." Logikcull’s research continued to share how law firms can implement preventative measures to secure their data and prevent these major costs that are associated with a breach.
Firms that do not have measures like a disaster recovery plan or certified network security in place to protect their data put themselves at risk.
The first thing to know about the risks of a data breach is that organizations are always at a high-risk. There is always an element of inevitability when it comes to a data breach, because in the digital age we live in data is always at risk. It’s up to businesses, or law firms in this case, to take the responsibility of making sure they’re implementing the appropriate measures to prevent a breach from ever happening. While there is the element of inevitability, the severity of a breach is something that can and should be prevented with the proper measures in place.
When it comes to legal technology, the security protocols that come with may seem overwhelming; however, the costs included in the aftermath of a data breach come at a much higher cost. Not only do these crisis management services, forensic investigations, and more spiral into your firm’s budget, they make it more difficult for firms to re-establish trust with clients and organizations in the industry.
Take a look at how legal technology can help secure your data and create a deeper layer of trust with clients.
Knowing & Understanding Client Data is Protected With Approved and Certified Methods
Secure legal technology will come with approved security measures that affirm clients’ data is protected. Verified encryption, enterprise network security, storage, routine maintenance, backups, and disaster recovery should all be included in due diligence when selecting a technology tool for your firm.
Digital resources should provide specifics on how data is protected, like confirming that data centers where your information is stored are ISO 27001 and SSAE Type II certified and comply with the U.S.-EU and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Frameworks in place by the U.S. Department of Commerce. These certifications are a essential to ensuring your firm and clients that data is secure.
Educating Staff On Risks and Preventative Measures
One of the greatest risks to securing data is lack of awareness. Implementing legal technology as a firm’s resource comes with the benefit of educating staff on the risks associated with not protecting client data, why it’s important to implement security measures, and how they can contribute to a secure work environment with daily best practices. Email, for example, is one of the most vulnerable areas of technology and is the last place important client data should be stored. Technology built for the legal industry has client data top of mind, prioritizing security measures that eliminate the vulnerabilities associated with email and educates staff on how to identify risks.
Assuring Clients That Their Data is Protected
Eliminate the possibility of failing security audits performed by clients by assuring them that their data is secure with the highest industry certifications. Firms have suffered from failing these audits from clients in the past, because they’ve had paper documents in their firm’s office containing client information left out on employee desks or stored in an unsecure location. Valuable legal technology is built with the understanding of meeting specific security requirements so firms can protect their clients’ data appropriately.
Control Who Has Access to Information
In addition to enterprise network security, secure legal technology comes with the ability to set roles and permissions to control access to specific information. For both internal and external parties, firms can be assured that their clients’ data is accessed only by those permitted to do so.
Haley Altman is chief executive officer of Doxly.