Being a lawyer is all about trust. And that trust must be fully transmitted to your clients, both in the professional attitude in which you handle each case, but especially when it comes to protecting the confidentiality of the information entrusted to you.
Personal data provided in a legal practice context is handled with the security and confidentiality requirements demanded by the legal requirements on data protection. At least that is what is intended as practice in any law firm. However, in the current context, where computer threats are increasingly complex, you may sometimes experience a certain difficulty in keeping so much information and data safe.
That is why we have listed 7 tips for you to keep confidential data protected and, above all, to help preserve the reputation of your law firm.
1. Data access control
Not all lawyers need access to the full information of what is handled by the firm. What is fundamental is that each person only has access to the data they need to carry out their duties. Data access limitations and permissions must be analyzed and implemented rigorously in order to build data libraries that only the respective users can access.
2. Update and secure the devices in your legal practice
As a lawyer it has never been more important to keep your devices and apps up to date to avoid cyber-attacks such as ransomware or phishing. A good practice will be to use cloud software for legal management, as security updates are performed automatically avoiding this extra worry. In addition, don't forget to protect other software with certified antivirus and to use firewalls for the protection of your law firm's equipment and networks.
3. As a lawyer, invest in data security training
Raising awareness and training employees on data security policy is the first step to protecting the firm's confidential data and that of your clients. A digital security culture is fundamental in an area where many cyber-attacks and data breaches are caused by human error. Most of the time it is the user who puts his/her own security at risk, which is why it is so important to raise awareness among your firm's lawyers. Creating strategies to support the completion of tasks, offering checklists, informative newsletters and standardized procedures, as well as conducting security campaigns will help reduce the impact of human error on the security of your law firm.
4. Do not ease up on passwords
We all know that it is difficult to create a mnemonic password and we often choose combinations that are too obvious, such as names or dates. You should use passwords with a minimum of eight characters combining letters, numbers and special characters to make it difficult to gain unauthorized access. Use password management platforms such as "1password" or "LastPass" to create and securely store all the credentials you use daily, thus avoiding storing them directly in browsers or locally. And whenever you enter a site that requires a password, don't forget to log out when you leave.
5. Document digitalization
Although we are already in the Law 4.0 era, it is still very common to work with paper documents. Lawsuits, court rulings, procurations... countless physical documents that are essential to the performance of the legal profession. However, their digitalization becomes essential as it prevents these documents from being exposed to the passage of time or other accidents that may destroy the physical assets of an office.
6. Fewer local legal data storage devices
Confidential data is a great temptation for cybercrime and the challenge for law firms is to reconcile data protection with storage methods. In this case the fewer devices the better: pen drives, external disks, laptops are more vulnerable to viruses and also to data loss. It is advisable that the office invest in a Cloud storage solution which, unlike what people think, is one of the safest ways for all employees to store and access information.
7. Strengthen data security with a legal management software
Use cloud based legal management platforms with extensive security certifications in order to centralize your data in a secure way. Based on Salesforce (Nr. 1 CRM in the world), get to know Rolling Legal here and our Cloud Platform offer that can help you better protect all the information and confidential data you work with every day.