As technology changes and the world continues to become more fast-paced and interconnected, keeping law firms secure and managing the risk involved with them becomes more difficult. More sophisticated risk management practices are required to successfully keep a firm secure and successful.
However, not all risk management challenges are created equal. Some create bigger headaches for law firms than others, and we’ve identified the seven biggest challenges faced when it comes to risk management today. By understanding these challenges you and your team can adopt practices that minimize the challenge and keep your firm as secure as possible. This is of utmost importance as a business that handles sensitive and confidential information for your clients. Even the smallest breach in security can lead to severe consequences.
These challenges are:
It seems that hardly a day goes by where we don’t hear about a new data breach that leads to hundreds, thousands or even millions of people who have personal information compromised. This can spell disaster for a law firm where clients are counting on you to help with—and keep confidential—personal legal matters.
Malware, Ransomware, and Viruses
These sneaky cyber threats often end up on a user’s computer undetected until the damage is already done. They usually start with a seemingly harmless download. If your firm relies on downloadables such official and legal court forms, vetting your online providers is extremely important. Ransomware, viruses, and malware can lead to encrypted files and other issues that leave vital data and files unable to be accessed. Plus, if not contained they can quickly spread through an entire network.
Negligence / Human Error
People make mistakes and these mistakes can be costly for a law firm. Everything from mistaken data entry to downloading an infected file can mean disaster for a law firm. Ensure your team is properly educated on how best to avoid errors and help with risk management.
Pace of Technology Advancements
As technology advances, it can be hard for even the brightest IT teams to keep up. This leaves opportunities for hackers and other “bad guys” to take advantage of vulnerable systems and expose or steal confidential data. Do your best to keep up with the latest risk management technology and strategies to ensure your firm doesn’t fall behind.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Combining with or acquiring another firm means data will be shared, leaving it at greater risk for exposure. While these moves are often necessary for continued growth for a law firm, remember to be properly prepared before sharing or taking on client information and other data.
Mobile Office Technologies
As the “workplace” continues to evolve and people access data and files from more locations, there is greater opportunity for a data breach, cyber-attack or other potential security issues. Understanding how mobile technology works is essential to minimizing the risk of having confidential client information lost, stolen, or corrupted.
Because new technology becomes available all the time it’s impossible to know every challenge to risk management that you’ll face. This in itself poses a challenge, because without knowing where the risk is coming from you don’t know the best way to protect yourself from it. This means your IT team needs to be agile and resourceful enough to manage new risks as they present themselves.
These challenges may appear daunting, but simply being aware of them helps you get on a path to controlling risk and keeping your law firm safe. Study each one and see what your firm is already doing to manage the specific risk and what—if anything—you could do better. This will give your law firm the best protection against risk and ensure that you’re able to inspire confidence in the clients who work with you.