In today’s age, the need for security is stronger than ever. This is especially true in the case of law firms. You often handle highly sensitive data. Failing to secure your data not only puts your firm at risk but also puts negative outcomes from your clients. This is why it is so important for law firms to maintain the highest level of data security. 

Law firms are incredibly fascinating to hackers and criminals. Trade secrets, intellectual property, merger and acquisition information, personally identifiable information (PII), and confidential attorney-client privileged material are just a few examples of the valuable information that could draw malicious individuals to your business.


The legal industry has been facing a massive data breach problem as a result of cybercrime over the past few years.  Here’s the ultimate guide on how to protect your law firm’s data in 2023: 



Create and Implement a Data Security Policy at Your Firm

You should create a concise and easy to follow data security plan and educate everyone in your firm about it. You will then enforce policies such a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy for employees using their own devices, two-factor authentication for logins, and the use of only company-approved apps.


Use Strong Passwords

Choose a long, complex password for greater security. Use a password management tool to simplify management of passwords and help ensure that they remain secure. Strong password rules should be implemented within your firm too.


Encrypt Everything

Never disregard this rather straightforward yet extremely effective measure. Your data is converted into a secret code through encryption, which makes it necessary to have a key or password to access it, whether it is kept in an email, a local hard drive, an internet browser, or a cloud application.


Maintain Staff Training on Reducing Data Risk

Open a discussion, keep training staff to prevent user errors, and promote best practices for law firm data security rather than assuming that everyone is aware of how to recognize and avoid phishing emails. Enforce the need for training at the time of recruitment and on a continuing basis (often once per year). Your business can benefit from tools like data privacy CLEs to better assess risks and put controls in place.


Communications Within Your Firm Should be Secured

Your communications are one of the main ways that hackers can intercept your data. Being in the legal industry, making sure that communications are secured is not new to you.  Review any weaknesses in your communication channels as part of your company’s data security plan and attempt to minimize them. You might also want to have a look at messaging programs that provide end-to-end encryption for a variety of communications protocols. 


Consider Access Control

Not every member of your staff needs  to have authority in everything. When deciding whether to permit someone to view something, be thoughtful. Make sure to uphold the Principles of Least Privilege and Need to Know


Regularly Conduct Evaluations

If you don’t take the time to check your law firm’s data security, it’s simple to miss flaws. Make sure no former employees still have access to legal files and that controls like firewalls and antivirus software are working properly by conducting routine audits. You can also include a schedule for this in your company’s data security policy.


Verify Vendors Thoroughly

Although lawyers ultimately have the ethical obligation for data security, legal technology can surely make this process easier (or harder). Carefully examine possible vendors to make sure your provider will use your data to your advantage rather than damage.


Plan for the Worst

Make a plan on what to do if a data breach occurs: If there is unauthorized access to your data, the strategy should specify what needs to be done right away in terms of reporting, changing passwords, and notifying the affected parties or regulatory authorities. Additionally, it must to outline your company’s strategy for responding to a malpractice claim. Think about mentioning any ethical obligations-related advice the ABA may have supplied.


Here’s how to prepare for is what to do in the event of a disaster to ensure your law firm can continue to operate effectively:


Plan for business continuity and disaster recovery: Defining key systems and equipment, choosing the right tools and procedures (such as backups, remote locations, cloud providers, etc.), and creating communication plans are all things that should be taken into account in your plan. Take into account any ABA advice as well (Ethical Obligations Related to Disasters).


Increase the Mobile Security of Your Law Firm

The demand for mobile law firm data security is rising as more legal work is being done remotely. While using safe mobile apps significantly reduces the amount of work required, your laptop and smartphone may also require security upgrades. Secure your laptop, phone, and other mobile devices by taking the following measures:


a.)  Always Enable Encryption

A lock-screen password is a first line of defense for your laptops and mobile devices, but if someone manages to guess your password, your data won’t be protected. To improve security and scramble important data for unauthorized users, use encryption on your mobile devices.


b.) Always Set up two-factor authentication

It becomes even more difficult for someone to access your smartphone when two-factor authentication is added, which calls for your password as the first factor and a temporary code transmitted to another device as the second factor. Typically, two-factor authentication calls for the user to utilize their mobile device to confirm their identity.


c.) Always Backup Your Firm’s Data to Secure Servers

Regularly backing up your company’s data to a safe, secured location will ensure that you can still access the majority of your data. Utilizing cloud-based software has many advantages, one of which is that backups are handled for you and support any incident response and/or business continuity plans you create.


d.) Always Keep Your Professional and Private Accounts Separate

Don’t take the chance of combining private personal communications with private professional ones. You can do this by employing specific apps for work-related tasks.


e.) Always Plan for Lost or Stolen Mobile Devices

What is the first thing you’ll do if you lose your smartphone? Making an action plan before you need it is essential, from understanding how to remotely shut or suspend service on your smartphone to knowing how to locate a lost device (using Find My iPhone or Google’s Find My Phone). Verify that your laptop has full disc encryption so that, in the event that it is stolen or lost, you can be confident that your data won’t be compromised.


Educate the Clients of Your Firm

Clients are unaware that their actions are not secure. However, law firms are the ones who take the risk of a customer disclosing personal information to con artists, such as banking information. Lawyers must educate their clients on the most secure ways of communication and how to use them from the very first conversation in order to reduce the possibility of trust account errors and payment disputes.


As clients, they should learn who they should anticipate contacting them, which channels will be used for communication between the attorney and the client, what actions clients should take to protect confidentiality, and how to report anything that differs from the training we’ve discussed.


This implies that before the completion of your initial consultation, your legal firm should lead a client through the process of logging into the client portal, explaining how it works. Set up secure communications from the beginning for both you and your clients.


Law firms are at the top of the list when it comes to needing data security. Your job is a risk enough, you need to know everything there is about securing your firm’s data and preventing hackers from obtaining them. This guide could help you in a lot of ways today and in the future.


Here at Intelecis, we know that dealing with sensitive information and complex cases can take a toll on your mental health. That’s why, to give you peace of mind, we guarantee a complete security of your most valuable data. With Intelecis by your side, you can focus on serving your clients with confidence, knowing that your cybersecurity needs are taken care of.


Contact us today to get started with having robust security on your firm’s data.