7 Data Points You Need to Secure for Your Law Firm Operations in 2021

By PracticeLeague
February, 2020

Law firms store a veritable goldmine of client information that has often been subject to ransomware attacks and data breaches. Cybersecurity measures can defend against intrusion and breaches by adopting legal tech trends to guard every such information.

Law firms have been the subjects of data threats and information leaks ever since known. Hostile data breaches are not a rare occurrence either. In the first of its kind data leaks (in terms of scale), the unprecedented Panama papers got global attention for both right and wrong reasons. In quick succession, the DLA Piper breach in 2017 resulted in the malware spreading across the firm's worldwide computer network. Even the cybersecurity specialists could not contain the problem quickly enough. In the present times, remote logging facility, hybrid work culture, and quick collaboration with teams have also increased hackers and scammers' chances to take advantage of the situation.

With stakes running high and reputation at risk for both law firms and their clients, having a safety net against data breaches is essential in the present times to protect trade secrets and avoid lawsuits. The mass migration of data to the cloud has necessitated law firms to evaluate cybersecurity plans in line with the GDPR, CCPA and have specific data security points and integrations with their Law Firm Practice Management (LPM).

Certifications and Security Best Practices

Because the LPM stores all law firms' information, ensure that the service provider is compliant with international standards' regulatory obligations, such as the ISO/IEC 27001 certification. Doing so ensures that the systems have controls to host data and guarantees that the service provider has carried out timely audits for data security checks and risks. Prevention of vulnerabilities with firewalls and having security policies can protect even the data at rest and during data transfer.

RazorLex manages its systems with built-in firewall configuration and security systems that guard information during data transfer, storage, and onsite and offsite backup. The stringent encryption standards used in the platform prohibits unidentified users from accessing the information on the LPM.

Compliance with Standard Data Protection Regime

In setting a benchmark for robust data protection, the GDPR lays down regulations for administering highly personal data and collecting, processing, and storing information. The CCPA and NY Shield Act provide for a comprehensive set of rules for data security requirements.

RazorLex can enable users to store, control, and delete personal data; it gives transparency and vendor safety in how law firms may process client data and information and administer them efficiently.

Security Settings and User Authentication

Having the right protocols for LPM user authentication and providing access to the authorized employees is the first step. Law firms can then have processes to limit access, set multiple-level user permission, change user settings for individuals and groups within the organization. It offers a host of benefits, including:

Secure an audit trail for review of every access of information

Stores IP address and user information of all the pages accessed

Provides advanced two-factor authentication key to limit access to financial data, client fees, billing rates

Ownership of Data

The agreement with the LPM provider should spell out terms on the ownership of data. “All data uploaded by you is yours”. The service-level agreement should specify the critical terms for archiving, removal, and purging of data once the relationship ends.

RazorLex has a standard policy to irrevocably remove and delete all data from its servers, archives, and backup devices once the service contract ends. All the user content/data information is handed over to the authorized user in the law firm within 60 days from the date of termination of the agreement.

Technical Support

Timely technical support from the service providers can help teams identify and manage data threats to the law firm operations. Training for employees and staff on the appropriate use of technology, updating of existing systems in a time-bound manner, and secure ways to access data can prove to be of help.

Automated upgradation, secure access, having anti-malware, firewalls in the system, and updating anti-virus software on time are the larger benefits of using a robust LPM.

Audit Trail and Compliance

With multiple users accessing data, keeping track of every record can be challenging for any medium-sized/large law firm. An audit trail records every action, event, or activity the platform user carries out with the data including, download, creation, modification, and deletion of documents on the LPM. The automated audit logs are crucial for every organization since they can track complex actions to superficial changes.

As a compliance mechanism and to check instances of internal fraud or data breach, sensitive data can be protected with an audit-trail embedded in the LPM.

Physical Data Security Measures

Step 1: Physical cybersecurity checks for law firms review management of users with pre-approved physical access, setting password rules, biometric screening, badge/photo ID access, secure cages, CCTV, and video capture installed in the offices.

Step 2: Inspecting all traffic and classifying malicious and questionable data, updating software, analyzing and curtailing unnecessary traffic with reverse engineering and malicious coding is an excellent strategy to begin

Step 3: Adopt measures to purge data, including personal and sensitive information, after serving the purpose. Retain data for only and until a period necessary.

By providing access to data only on a 'need to know basis,' law firms can protect themselves even in hostile data breaches. The RazorLex LPM platform adopts a uniform framework to secure critical data (from non-critical data) by maintaining an audit trail of data access by multiple users.

Since modern law firm practice spans areas, including litigation and transactional matters such as mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property practice must protect every business information. Law firms that use cloud-based practice management and billing solutions may have specific individual reservations about data protection. The Law Practice Management platform settles all the concerns in this respect by providing a secure platform for law firms to collaborate efficiently with teams and stakeholders on a completely safe and secure ecosystem.

RazorLex offers a host of technology solutions for law firms for efficient collaboration and smoother workflow processes. Whether it is about maintaining counsel-client relations, tracking litigation-related matters, or control over transactional matters and documents, an efficient solution is now at the fingertips for a lawyer.

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