6 Cybersecurity Mistakes to Avoid for Law Firms

Hackers attack roughly every 39 seconds, or thousands of times per day. Everyone is at risk. 

The security and safety of your website and online systems are crucial for anyone. For business owners (especially those in fields that handle sensitive information), the importance is doubled. 

Keeping your business and your customers safe when they're navigating your site and expecting reasonable privacy from your firm is part of your job. It only takes one security breach to bring everything crashing down.

Are you making any careless cybersecurity mistakes that could be putting your clients and your business at risk?

You're not alone. It seems like the rules and best practices of the online world change too quickly to keep up. We're here to help. 

Keep reading to learn about the most common cybersecurity mistakes that you could be making.

1. Bad Password Etiquette 

Most people have a general formula for their passwords. Often times, it's "simple or personally important word+personally significant number". If this sounds like you, you might be in danger. 

These kinds of passwords are fine for small and insignificant web browsing purposes so long as they're entirely disconnected from your work devices and system. For company use, however, you need to make a stronger password.

Your password should be in the sweet spot between "easy to recollect" and "hard to guess". This can be complicated. 

If you're using numbers, ensure that they don't have an obvious keyboard path (meaning no "12345" type sequences). Also be careful about using significant numbers that other people know, like birthdates or the date that you started your firm. Using numbers alone isn't secure, so try adding in symbols or letters.

Consider thinking of a nonsense phrase and then turning it into shorthand. The stranger the combination of words, the less likely that it will be able to be cracked. 

2. Never Updating Your Systems

System updates can be annoying. When you're trying to get work done, that little window pops up asking if you'd like to restart now or later. You click "remind me later" until, before you know it, it's been months since you got that original notification.

How important can those regular software updates really be, anyway?

Well, you might be surprised. 

Often times these updates contain important security revisions. As new viruses, scams, and other common cyber threats show up on the radars of developers, they patch in extra security for the next update. 

Ignoring those updates means that you're neglecting to make your website and system as secure as they can be. 

Take the few minutes that the update and restart will take and protect yourself and your clients from threats. 

3. Testing Your Own Security

How often are you actually testing your own security? 

You might have a state of the art security system, impenetrable passwords, and a network that only focuses on work and related information, but are you actually safe? 

You should be doing regular penetration testing and vulnerability scanning to see where you really stand safety-wise. 

You could be missing out on something important without even being aware. Don't wait until a threat actually happens to check on your vulnerabilities. Be your own hacker for a moment and see where you might have left a few security windows. 

4. Keeping Old Client Data

In this increasingly digital world, it's common to purge all of the paper information that we have on clients and replace it with online files. It gets rid of clutter and it allows you to keep information on hand forever. There are no downsides, right?

Well, that's not totally true.

While you will cut down on clutter with this method, you may be opening yourself up to a cybersecurity breach. 

Why keep all of that excess information in your systems? Are you not just opening your clients up to security issues? If the information is no longer there, it can't be accessed by potential hackers. It's hard to keep track of excess information and you may not even notice when it's been infiltrated until it's too late.

On a similar note, if your clients or other workers have a portal on your website, clear it out when you're no longer working with them.

Any inactive accounts provide an easy way for hackers to slip in unnoticed. It's much more difficult to recognize breaches in accounts that no one is presently using. 

5. Not Having Adequate Protection

Many mobile and laptop users don't have any kind of antivirus protection at all, putting them at risk. 

Your work PCs are likely protected, but do you have a work phone? What about a work laptop for work from home situations? Are they adequately protected? 

Antivirus and online protection software don't create an impenetrable wall, but they do add another layer of security for yourself and your clients. It's irresponsible to neglect your digital security systems when you're dealing with someone else's private information. 

6. Trying to Do It Alone

Unless you have a super-strong IT team, cybersecurity likely isn't an in-house job. While you might think that you're saving time or money by trying to handle it on your own, you can lose everything from one breach. 

Investing in your security benefits everyone, so it's in your best interest to reach out to professionals when you're trying to keep everything safe. It's less work for you and you can have the peace of mind that your security experts know what they're doing.

Are You Making These Cybersecurity Mistakes?

When you're handling delicate client information, you don't have room to be making cybersecurity mistakes. A bad security breach can ruin your law firm and your client's trust. 

To learn more about cybersecurity and where you might be going wrong, or to get help from cybersecurity professionals, visit our site and contact us