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Hi, James Vickery from I Know IT and thanks for tuning in to our Legal Tech Tips.
We’re all a little bit security conscious but law firms in particular need to be very aware of their IT security because the information you are bestowed with is so sensitive in nature.
Recently there has been a slew of hacking attacks on businesses that uncover just how vulnerable you can be if your IT isn’t secured correctly.
Today we’d like to share with you some quick tips on your IT security and hopefully you can apply many of these in your firm.
First off – why would anyone want to attack your IT systems? There are many examples of hackers in the world ranging from bored teenagers through to state run hacking organisations – you might wonder why anyone would target your law firm, but in reality the reasons may be as simple as them just having the ability to do so. We would like to think that everyone plays fair when it comes to business but there are individuals who may look to gain an advantage by stealing some information or attempting to damage your IT systems and this is enough reason for you to be vigilant.
Here are some security tips that we think will benefit your firm:
Passwords – gone are the days where you want to make password security simple. Passwords are easily guessed and many firms don’t realise just how easy it is to compromise a password. The first order of business in your practice should be to enforce strong passwords – a password with letters, numbers and symbols and at least 8 characters is advisable and these passwords should be changed regularly.
Banks and other major institutions are so distrustful of passwords now that we have seen them introduce a two-factor authentication and you can do that too – this means that when you or your colleagues enter a password, you are also required to respond to a text message or provide a separate unique code before accessing the IT system and that is enough to deter many criminals.
Another really helpful way to prevent intrusion is to ensure your network is regularly scanned for viruses and spyware. Criminals are now finding ways to access your computer and capture internet banking details and other sensitive information and even the banks agree that up to the minute antivirus is still one of the best ways to combat this.
Lastly, but certainly not least, firms should consider regularly auditing the IT system to ensure any unauthorised users are weeded out – I hate to say it but every time we conduct an audit of a law firm, the first thing we find is that former employees still have access to the IT system many months or years after they have left the firm.
These are tips you can put in to practice today but with the security landscape changing so quickly it’s important you keep yourself up to date and regularly check that your IT systems are safe.
If you’re looking for legal IT advice, we’re here to help. Simply give us a call at 1800 456 694 – we have a team that are specialists in legal IT services and we look forward to hearing from you.
About the Author: James Vickery is the founder and CEO of I Know IT, a transformative IT services provider. James connects law leaders to their strategy through technology with a firm belief that lawyers must re-enter their profession as innovators, thinking and acting as technology companies do in order to survive, compete and prosper in a digital economy.
James enables this new way of thinking and executing through consulting, coaching and delivery of technology solutions to Australian and international organisations. More from this author.