What if you knew an easy way to immediately know if your law firm’s cybersecurity is truly secure? Would you lie awake at night if you discovered that there were vulnerabilities in your firm’s security that you knew nothing about, leaving you open and exposed for attackers to infiltrate your firm?
Unfortunately, many law firms assume they are secure and do nothing to verify their security until it’s too late and they are hit with a cyber-attack. According to the American Bar Association, one in four law firms will experience a cybersecurity incident. Many law firms do not even know they have vulnerabilities until a hacker has already breached their security.
With cybersecurity, it is critical to be proactive rather than reactive. Don’t wait for an attacker to find the vulnerability in your law firm, find it now and fix it while you can. How? Fortunately, there is a simple solution that will give you the information you need to assess the true state of your firm’s security and provide a plan to guide you on the steps to take to mitigate the risks. If you are serious about protecting your firm, you will use this #1 tool to expose your firm’s vulnerabilities —an independent third-party security risk assessment.
What is a Security Risk Assessment?
In 2021, with cyber-attacks on the rise, law firms are prime targets. To protect your law firm’s security, it is critical to be fully aware of all network vulnerabilities. A security risk assessment identifies the weaknesses, risks, and vulnerabilities of your law firm’s network – hopefully before they are exploited by hackers.
Quite often they are already exposed, and the risk assessment uncovers risks and security holes firms did not realize they had. In today’s security landscape, it is of utmost importance to have a third party independent IT professional assess your law firm’s network, allowing you to see the various security threats your law firm faces. A security risk assessment evaluates your law firm’s IT infrastructure to assess the productivity and efficiency of your hardware and programs. It evaluates your entire system, including your computer hardware, software, applications, and current layers of security. It uncovers system vulnerabilities and identifies where your law firm is at risk. A security risk assessment allows you to see whether your data is secure and provides you with the information necessary to secure your law firm against cyber-attacks.
3 Critical Questions a Security Risk Assessment Answers
When it comes to your law firm’s cybersecurity, it is critical to be proactive and identify where there are risks. Being aware and informed of your law firm’s security risks now will be much less costly than the ransom you might have to pay a hacker if you are breached. Since your law firm maintains highly sensitive data, you are a major target for attackers. If are wondering if your law firm would benefit from a security risk assessment, consider these three critical questions a security risk assessment will answer for your law firm:
1. Has Your Data Already Been Compromised?
It is alarming how many law firms have been breached—completely unaware their data has been compromised. Running a security risk assessment will catch any undetected viruses or malware that may be hiding in your law firm’s system. If an active threat is discovered, the information from a security risk assessment will help you decide on the best course of action to respond to the breach.
2. Do You Have All Vital Layers of Security in Place?
Many law firms are running their networks using outdated security software—a severe problem in the world of data breaches. A security risk assessment will identify any faulty security measures and weaknesses that are putting your data at risk and diminishing your system’s operation. Attackers are constantly creating new ways to breach a network’s security. You must ensure that you are up to date and have all the necessary security to protect your law firm’s data. The assessment verifies you have all the crucial and critical security layers in place to ensure you are getting the security you think you are paying for from your current IT provider.
3. Are You Fully Compliant with Current Security Regulations?
Today, there are government regulations that define security measures law firms must have in place to protect their data. For example, the New York State SHIELD Act was enacted last year and requires strict cybersecurity measures and security policies. If law firms are not fully compliant, they may face review by the Attorney General and fines up to $500,000 per infraction.
A security risk assessment will identify whether you have the security measures and policies in place as required by law. If the risk assessment finds you firm is not in compliance, a plan will be provided from the data to guide your firm in the steps and timeline to achieve compliance.
If you read through these three questions and cannot answer them with absolute certainty, it is time for an independent third party security risk assessment. Attorneys are held to a higher standard to protect client’s data. By the standards the American Bar Association (ABA) has set, attorneys have an obligation to protect client data – ignorance is not an excuse. Here is a scary fact, your IT firm most likely does not have all the security layers and policies in place to protect your firm and your data. It is not safe to assume that your IT is secure without the data and proof an independent security risk assessment provides to back it up.
Your Next Step to Protect Your Firm
It is crucial to have a reputable technology consulting specialist perform a security risk assessment for your firm. It provides a simple check and balance to ensure you are actually getting the security and support you think you are from your current technology provider. When it comes to protecting your firm’s data, it is better to be safe than sorry. When looking for a company to do an independent security risk assessment, make sure you are utilize a company whose sole focus is with law firms because due to the complex nature of your business and practice, you’ll find there are few companies that actually understand the unique structure and data-security requirements of law firms.
With an independent security risk assessment, the best-case scenario is you have peace of mind knowing you are fully secure. The worst-case scenario is you uncover gaping security holes that you didn’t know existed but can now fix. Either way, you will be able to sleep better at night knowing your firm has the crucial, critical, and necessary protections in-place.