Considering all of the chaos that the past year has brought our lives, calling 2020 a rough year would be an understatement. Apart from the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic to our well-being, its impact resulted in multiple cybersecurity concerns. The modified working arrangement forced employees to work apart, endangering the security frameworks built on-site. As a result, most cybersecurity teams were forced to adapt to these sudden changes while keeping the workforce and supply chains intact.
Since then, a growing number of ransomware attacks and data breaches have arisen. This rise in attacks suggests that enterprise systems are easier to infiltrate than ever. So, as we continue to advance, it is integral that we look back to these previous issues so history won’t repeat itself.
Therefore, as a result of the attacks seen in 2020, legal firms were able to learn three main lessons in regards to cybersecurity.
Implementing Strict Security Measures To Combat Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities Resulting From Remote Workforce
Since the workforce became widely distributed, the security frameworks of many legal firms were vulnerable to cyberattacks, and cybersecurity attacks increased largely last year. One thing 2020 taught many organizations is how poorly conditioned their security infrastructures were. The remote work regulations forced them to find new ways to store sensitive information and data without allowing it to fall into the wrong hands, but many times, that was exactly what took place. Organizations have to take security measures such as applying extensive encryption to data accessed by people from different IP addresses and computers.
Implementing Cybersecurity Training to Educate the Workforce
Over the years, the information surrounding cybersecurity has been exclusive to the IT department. When the workforce became scattered, it became more difficult to coordinate cybersecurity concerns with the respective departments. If the workforce gets properly trained and is well-educated on cybersecurity threats, the risks drop dramatically for legal firms therefore should contribute to preventing this dilemma. They must know the risks of accessing unknown Wi-Fi networks, shared workspaces, wireless printers, and similar technologies not vetted by IT security. They should be aware of the best practices for remote work to prevent any slip-ups in the future. Training sessions should cover the following topics:
- Working Environment Safety Practices
- Router Security
- When and How to use a virtual private network (VPN)
- Basics of utilizing collaboration tools like Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams
- Personal use of company computers
- Password Health and Multi Factor Authentication
- Phishing Techniques
- Basic IT Troubleshooting
- Awareness on existing and emerging threats (including the Dark Web)
Establishing a Contingency Plan
With the emergence of digital transformation, ransomware attacks and compromising cybersecurity are inevitable. Legal companies must have a comprehensive backup plan that protects their data and security from cyberattacks. The data must be encrypted and stored within a strong security network that can only be accessed by certain key people and in the event of a disaster, this backup should allow them to be back up and running with very little downtime. Keep in mind that if it takes 48 hours to get your data back up and running, that is 48 hours that your firm will be without key information, which results in money and time lost.
Through these lessons, legal firms truly learned the value of utilizing cybersecurity consultants and fully leveraging their expertise. Optistar has been assisting businesses like yours implement effective cybersecurity practices since 1996. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss how we can assess and improve your firm’s data security. If you’d like to speak with someone immediately, call us at 888-782-7003.
I will be discussing much of this information during our upcoming webinar entitled “Cyberdefense: What Law Firms Must Know In 2021”. For details or to register, visit: www.optistartech.com/webinar-cyberdefense.