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Legal Tech

Build Your Law Firm’s Cyber-Resilience

By Robert Padilla

Prioritizing top security risks is no longer the best risk management strategy. Law firms must prepare for 2024’s looming security issues by building cyber-resilience.

law firm cyber-resilience

Cyber-resilience, in essence, involves taking a comprehensive approach to managing the diverse risks that pose threats to law firm security. Instead of fixating on a limited set of significant threats — such as ransomware 2.0, spear phishing and other social engineering vulnerabilities — it is imperative to adopt a broader approach to fortify cyber defenses.

Confront 2024’s Cybersecurity Challenges With Robust Risk Management Practices

Cyberthreats manifest in multifaceted ways. Effectively addressing these threats requires legal professionals to cover the entire threat landscape through more robust risk management practices.

Developing a meticulous risk management strategy is crucial to building cyber-resilience.

Simply focusing on a handful of top security priorities is no longer effective, as it leaves potentially big vulnerabilities in the organization’s threat landscape. Law firms’ approach to cybersecurity should transcend the allure of advanced security controls and prioritize fundamental actions to create a strong foundation to manage risk.

Getting Back to Risk Management Basics

While advanced security controls such as data loss prevention (DLP) solutions may seem enticing, it is paramount to first address the basics of risk management. For instance, maintaining a comprehensive asset inventory, ensuring systems are up to date and steering clear of issues with end-of-life systems should take precedence. Focusing on these foundational steps lays the groundwork for a robust risk management plan and proves to be more cost-effective.

Inventory and Track Assets

Organizations that lack a system to track their assets should prioritize developing a robust asset inventory. This step is not only essential in itself but also serves as a cornerstone for implementing other critical security controls.

Patches and Updates

Keeping your firm existing systems patched is a key task that can close many security gaps. Failing to maintain a consistent patching schedule can lead to unnecessary vulnerabilities and leave your firm an easy target for attackers.

End-of-Life Systems

This fundamental cybersecurity risk is often overlooked. Investing time and resources in upgrading end-of-life systems not only keeps them supported but also enhances overall security.

This proactive approach reinforces cyber-resilience by eliminating potential weak points, reducing management overhead and preventing technical debt.

A Strong Foundation for Maximum Cyber-Resilience

Advanced security solutions such as DLP become more effective once the firm has a solid risk management foundation. Maintaining a strong foundation ensures that additional security controls are properly implemented across your organization. Otherwise, openings may be left available for attackers.

Your firm should carefully evaluate which security solutions align best with your specific risk landscape rather than hastily adopting these advanced measures.

Cybersecurity Hygiene Checklist

With all the new considerations for 2024, it’s important to continue your basic cybersecurity hygiene across the firm, including:

  • Implementing strong password policies.
  • Deploying multifactor authentication on devices and solutions.
  • Preventing users from accessing data and systems unrelated to their work.
  • Maintaining a regular patching schedule.
  • Regularly training employees on the latest cyberthreats.
  • Running phishing test campaigns to educate your users.
  • Ensuring your firm’s backups are working as intended.
  • Replacing vulnerable, outdated systems.
  • Assessing and testing your disaster recovery plan.
  • Remaining aware of the latest updates to the firm’s technology and the newest vectors of attack being used by bad actors.

By prioritizing fundamental risk management actions, law firms can fortify their defenses from the ground up to ensure long-term security in an increasingly dangerous digital world.

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Robert Padilla Innovative Computing Solutions Robert Padilla

Robert Padilla is a senior security analyst at Innovative Computing Solutions, Inc. in Austin, Texas. Innovative is a managed services provider for the legal industry, dedicated to maintaining current, stable technical environments for its clients, including providing services to migrate IT infrastructure to the cloud, outsource IT support functions and train lawyers to efficiently use technology to improve productivity.

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