IT Services for Law Firms

IT Services For Law Firms: An Overview

Regardless of what industry your business is in, the digital age has forced business owners to adopt new technologies like never before. Because of how much we rely on computers and the internet in the modern era, any business should have a smart IT strategy in place to boost their workflow productivity and protect their valuable data—but for law firms and the legal industry, it is even more vital that this becomes a top priority.

Regardless of your practice areas, or if you own a small law firm or are a part of a large firm, it is important to make sure you are aware of the technology needed to run things efficiently, as well as how to increase your cybersecurity efforts and keep your client and case data safe. Both small and large law firms are frequent targets of cybersecurity attacks and hacking attempts due to the amount of data they possess about clients and cases—but fortunately, by implementing strong IT solutions, you can protect your data and leverage today’s most advanced technologies to your advantage. By understanding the technology you need to operate efficiently, the best practices for your IT and security setups, and how you can help your firm implement these changes, you will be on the right track to a robust IT system that works for every member of your team.

What Technology is Used in Law Firms?

Working with the right technology can make all the difference in the productivity and performance of your law firm. By having adequate IT solutions for workflow, storage, and security, you can be certain that your technology stack is meeting all of your needs.

An Office Software Program

For any office scenario, a good office software program is key, and this is especially true for a law firm. Most firms will regularly have to draft and make edits to written documents, slideshow presentations, spreadsheets, and more, so a program such as Office 365 or Google Workspace will help keep everything organized across your team.

A Data Storage Program

Law firms have to handle quite a bit of client data, and keeping this data stored in an organized manner is a must for finding exactly what you need. A good data storage program will help you keep track of every bit of information your law office amasses and store it securely.

A Suite of Safety Tools

Making sure that your law practice is operating as safely as possible is one of the primary functions of a comprehensive IT solution. A suite of safety tools will help you and your staff keep internal data secure and away from the prying eyes of hackers. Software to ensure secure passwords are being used by each employee, apps to monitor any external intrusions, and programs to limit data access strictly to what’s needed are all key to keeping every piece of data confidential and securely stored.

Cloud Computing for Law Firms

IT Best Practices for Law Firms

In the digital age, making sure that you are implementing the best practices for your law firm’s IT systems is a necessity for staying current and making your workflow as efficient as possible. Not only does adopting good IT practices help you keep your clients’ data secure, but they can also ensure that you and your employees are working as efficiently as possible each and every day.

Integrate Your Data Into Cloud-Based Services

With the rise of cloud computing, it has become easier than ever to sync, store, and access the valuable data that your law firm amasses. By incorporating cloud-based services into your workflow, you can ensure that productivity can occur seamlessly between staff and that data is always accessible for you and any other team members that need to make use of it. Implementing cloud services can assist you in every aspect of your firm’s operation, from accounting and payroll to document editing and file sharing. The most important thing with any cloud computing service is that it is set up correctly, so be sure that you do your homework or entrust a qualified IT firm to handle the implementation of the technology.

Back-Up Data Regularly and Securely

While cloud-based services are great for your daily workflow and organization, with the amount of sensitive data that a law firm has, it is important that it is backed up away from your cloud computing software as well. Having an IT team set up an external hard drive or a secure, digital backup service can ensure that you never have to worry about losing valuable data to a glitch, error, or corruption by cybersecurity offenders.

Implement an Intrusion Detection System

Law firms deal with quite a bit of sensitive client data, so it is important that every communication, from external emails to internal chats, be subject to end-to-end encryption. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act protects electronic communications from unlawful monitoring, but it is still vital to have an intrusion detection system in place to prevent anyone from breaking this law. This way, if there is an attempt to gain access to your secure communications and sensitive client data, you are aware of it and can take the appropriate actions to mitigate it.

IT Security for Law Firms

IT Security Best Practices for Law Firms

When it comes to keeping the data you have for your law firm secure, it is important to take a proactive approach so you can avoid complications and data breaches. By getting ahead of any potential cybersecurity threat, you can ensure that you are doing everything you can to keep your and your client’s data secure and while avoiding catastrophic and costly events (a data breach is no fun). Below are some of the IT security best practices that every law firm should implement:

Avoid Allowing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policies

Many law firms choose to adopt BYOD policies when they are first starting out, as it can be less expensive to implement and easier to manage than providing each employee with a company-authorized computer and phone. However, BYOD policies are nearly impossible to scale safely and can lead to serious security vulnerabilities down the road. If your employees’ personal devices are holding sensitive client information, it could be disastrous in the event of a security breach. It is wise to provide each staff member with specific work devices and to have your IT team implement a mobile device management application to prevent access from sources that have not been approved.

Implement Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) Policies

Every employee within your law firm and their corresponding work devices should have unique identification tags so they can be grouped into access levels. This ensures that employees are only given access to the files and data that are required for their job, instead of having an open access policy for all staff members. Giving employees too much data access can lead to serious breaches in security. While this sometimes occurs due to malicious actions on behalf of the employee, it is typically general carelessness for security that can lead to a disastrous outcome.

Make Sure Your Staff is Educated on Cybersecurity Practices

It only takes one person within a company to cause a security vulnerability, so it’s important that everyone on your legal team is educated on current cybersecurity best practices. Hold training regularly to discuss things such as how to identify phishing emails, the importance of creating strong passwords, and regularly updating all work-related software programs to ensure they are using the latest, safest versions of every application.

Stay Up to Date on Current Cybersecurity Best Practices

Just as technology is rapidly evolving, so is the ability of hackers and nefarious internet users to thwart security operations. It is important for any business owner to stay up to date on the current cybersecurity best practices so they can make informed decisions for their own data. By working closely with an IT firm and keeping up with cybersecurity news, you can make sure you are doing your best to keep your business’ data safe from the bad actors on the web.

3 Things You Can Do Now to Help Your Firm

Do a Full Security Audit

If you have never done a full security audit before, that is a great place to start. Evaluating your current security practices will help you determine where you can strengthen your efforts and better fortify your technology to keep cybersecurity risks at bay.

Implement a Cloud-Based Workflow

A cloud-based workflow is one of the best systems you can implement for the productivity of you and your staff. Enabling employees to access and update data whenever they need to will keep things streamlined and as efficient as possible and ensure that you are able to track document changes in real-time.

Consult With a Law Firm IT Provider

Correctly managing your law firm’s IT operations is something that takes time and extensive experience to do correctly, and any errors can lead to major problems later on. This is why an IT provider who specializes in law firm technology can help you ensure that everything is securely taken care of. By consulting with a law firm IT provider, you can be certain that all of your practice’s data (and your legal client’s data) is stored safely and that your software setup is as efficient as possible.

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