Why Legal Cybersecurity Matters

First Reviewed : April 13, 2022
Last Reviewed: April 13, 2022

When it comes to securing data, legal departments have to be adept and on top of their cybersecurity protocols at all times. Legal data is vast, sensitive, and confidential. Should legal data fall into the wrong hands, there’s no knowing what adverse implications it holds for all parties involved, which is why an effective and secured strategy is so vital to success.

Legal Departments Require Ramped Up Data Safety Measures

Whistleblowers are notorious for accessing private information and sharing it with the public. Whether this information does harm or good, it’s a breach in security which can oftentimes be averted. Legal departments are easy prey for unsavory online characters, as they usually don’t place a great deal of importance on securing their legal matters and data.

The infamous Panama Papers leak in 2016 illustrates how weak legal software can be hacked, in a Forbes article on cybersecurity for legal. This easily avoidable situation requires just a bit of planning and implementation, and the costs saved and peace of mind gained are pretty inspiring ROI.

The Reality of Legal Data Breaches

Evil hackers look at law firms as easy and great targets that have vast amounts of confidential information, a Clio article notes. What’s worrying about legal data safety is that few, if any, legal departments take active measures to reduce risks. In an ABA survey, 23% of firms surveyed had experienced a major data breach, which includes the leakage of confidential legal matter.

Securing client information and data cannot be an afterthought. The American Bar Association clearly outlines the need to secure data as part of its mandates on client information and safety. An excerpt is that lawyers should “make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client” illustrating the ethical duty of legal departments to do so.

Securing Legal Department Data

All is not lost on the security front, however. There are numerous legal data security tools and software on the market, available for legal departments.

Brainstorm Necessary Procedures

Take inventory of legal data on hand, where it’s stored, processed, and how. This will give you clarity into creating a cybersecurity strategy tailored to your legal department’s security needs. You will also need to conduct an organization-wide awareness program, and if necessary, training. Keeping all personnel aware of cybersecurity needs and strategy keeps your entire legal department secure from the get-go.

Update Security Protocols and Training

As cybersecurity improves, unfortunately, so do unethical hacking processes. However, keeping you and your legal department aware of the latest trends in hacking will help you create effective prevention and troubleshooting protocols. Cybersecurity training cannot, and should not, stop at one session. It has to be ongoing, to stay abreast of the latest in security and relevant malpractice.

Implement Security Procedures

Whether it’s two-step authentication, frequent password changes, encryption, or more, choose a combination of protocols to keep your legal data secure. Encryption provides layers of security not found in other preventive measures, which makes it an ideal fit for legal departments.

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