You store a lot of valuable data. Lower the risk of getting hacked by knowing how to protect yourself and your clients from cybercrime. Whether you work alone, in a small firm or manage a big team, here is a five-step plan to get you started.
Step 1. Identify your most critical information
Everything is critical when it comes to a law firm’s data, but some information is especially sensitive. Identify where your firm stores its most valuable data and intellectual property and ask your IT team to start there. Then, schedule the next phase of work so that everything else gets protected.
Step 2. Write (and print) a simple response plan
This is your “what now” plan. Its job is to identify everyone you need to call the instant anyone in your firm becomes aware of a data breach. This plan should be simple enough to be printed on a single page. And it absolutely should be printed. If a hack keeps you and your team from logging into your computers, you’ll be glad to have those emergency contacts on hand.
Step 3. Empower your team
Before COVID-19, you could turn to your coworkers and ask, “Did you get that weird email from payroll?” Proximity may have given firms an extra layer of protection. Now that so many of us are working remotely, the first line of defence against cybercrime is thinly spread. Make sure your security policies acknowledge the reality that people are working from home and using cellphones and tablets for company business. And train your team to make sure everyone understands their role in protecting private information.
Step 4. Test your plan
Hire an independent company to stress test your network security. Getting a clean bill of health will give you confidence that you’re doing what’s necessary to protect your firm and your clients.
Step 5. Avoid conflicts of interest
Make sure the people responsible for maintaining your network are empowered to report any potential problems — no matter where they start. Blame doesn’t belong anywhere near your five-step plan. When a vulnerability is spotted, all that matters is dealing with and eliminating it as quickly (and with us much transparency) as possible. Close the breach, then ask what you can improve. Fortify your defences with affordable office insurance.
The unfortunate truth is that you can do everything in your power to prevent cybercrime and still become a victim. If that happens, insurance can help cover the cost of recovering data and any potential damages. Experts at Lawyers Financial remind people that anyone who stores confidential information in any format is vulnerable to cybercrime. The responsibility to protect client data is particularly important for lawyers and firms because they are entrusted with so much important and valuable information about clients. That’s what makes insurance so essential.
When you purchase office insurance that includes cyber and privacy breach protection, your firm instantly gets a wide range of coverage that includes protection against: damage to your systems, employees hacking your network, breach of intellectual property rights, etc.
Risk management is equal parts knowing how to protect yourself, knowing what to do in case of an attack and knowing how to make cybersecurity an ongoing part of your workplace culture. Planning and vigilance are your best bets when it comes to reducing risk. A Lawyers Financial office insurance policy is your financial backstop.
Learn more and apply for affordable coverage at lawyersofficeinsurance.com.
Featured in Canadian Lawyer Magazine
Lawyers Financial Office Insurance Program is underwritten by Unica Insurance. Lawyers Financial products and plans are sponsored by the Canadian Bar Insurance Association. Lawyers Financial is a trademark of CBIA and is used under licence by Unica, Dion Insurance Program Management Inc. and Hunters International Ltd. Dion IPM is the program manager and broker. Hunters is a licensed insurance broker for the program.