Mitigating Your Online Risk: Important Compliance and Data Security Considerations

data security

Data security might be the leading topic of the future. As AI technology grows and the sophistication of hackers skyrockets, keeping your online data, client information, and content safe should be a concern for every online brand, not just law firms. 

Too often, web hosting is a belittled consideration. Price is often the primary consideration, without much attention to the exact services being provided. Web security should be a primary concern for anyone with a website, but for law firms who have client portals or payment options online, it’s of vital concern. 


Judge Dan Hinde

The Importance of a Reliable Web Host

An experienced and efficient web host is the biggest factor in maintaining website data security and should be regarded as an investment. The adage “you get what you pay for” definitely applies here, and it’s better not to have regret when you’re facing the backlash of a data leak.

A reliable web host will enable the following security measures to limit the possibility of a breach in data:

  • Limit disk write capabilities
  • Disallow plugin lists,
  • Enforce password security requirements
  • Encrypt data
  • Limit brute force login attempts
  • Block spam bots
  • Set up automatic updates of your content management system
  • Establish secure backups
  • Set up SSL (the encryption of data exchanged between a website and a browser )

Not sure if your web host is doing these best practices? Ask them. You pay them a fee monthly. Send in a ticket or pick up the phone and insist these essential measures are in place for your law firm’s website.



Follow Cybersecurity Compliance

Keeping up with cybersecurity compliance requires minimal effort for the average Jane and Joe. Our web browsers handle a significant portion of the complexities from the user’s perspective. Those directly involved with websites and servers (your web host, for example) have access to tools that aid in the upkeep of these standards.

Most cybersecurity and data protection regulations revolve around safeguarding sensitive data, which is classified as personally identifiable information (PII), financial data, and protected health information (PHI).

PII examples include birth dates, social security numbers, and addresses. Protected financial information includes credit card numbers and bank account information. PHI is anything related to medical history, insurance records, etc.

For most law firms, this type of information would not be shared or gathered through your website. Sensitive client information is most often shared during in-person meetings or through the use of a secure portal from a third-party application. If you do have an advanced setup to collect this information, you would be required to follow cybersecurity regulations. Some of the most common include: 

  • The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) – A set of security standards designed to protect credit cardholder data and enhance payment card transaction security.
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) – A US law safeguarding patients’ medical records and personal health information.
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) – A California state law that empowers consumers by granting them control over their personal data collected by businesses, imposing stricter data privacy regulations.
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – A comprehensive European Union regulation that enforces EU citizens’ data protection and privacy rights, requiring organizations to handle personal data transparently and responsibly.

Revisit Your Protocol Again and Again

Counteracting hackers and breaches requires a proactive security approach. It’s vital to recognize that shielding your website from malicious attacks is an ongoing endeavor. While certain steps can be taken initially, staying on top of evolving threats is paramount. Your security processes and updates are not a set-it-and-forget-it type of exercise.

Although no service or vendor can guarantee website security, being proactive in your efforts and partnering with reputable web development companies will significantly fortify your website’s defenses. These relationships and regular check-ups will effectively address multiple vulnerabilities in your website’s security posture.

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