Today, the success of any business revolves around technology, and law firms are not exempt. However, a new challenge emerges as law firms rush to reap the benefits of digital transformation. The pressure of managing the ever-evolving digital landscape and the security and legal compliance requirements it gives rise to—and at the same time, focus on clients and perform other tasks that benefit the law firm’s bottom line. The speed at which law firms adopt technology has left many IT teams overworked, overwhelmed, and unable to keep up with security and compliance.
Your law firm handles confidential and valuable information that makes you especially vulnerable to cyber criminals looking to harvest sensitive data. The consequences of a data breach often lead to reputational damage, legal liabilities, and severe financial penalties and losses, not just for you and your firm but your clients too.Fortunately, managed service providers (MSPs) can help your law firm optimize IT systems to ensure more efficient and productive operations. They serve as external experts and bring technical expertise, specialized skill sets, and experience while providing valuable insights and recommendations to improve your firm’s overall IT strategy, security, and compliance. A wide range of regulatory requirements governs the legal industry, and luckily, MSPs have the resource capacity to help lawyers and their firms maintain data security and compliance.
Ensuring Data Security
Preventing your law firm against security threats requires implementing an end-to-end, layered security strategy. Managed service providers offer a comprehensive suite of cybersecurity services to meet your firm’s specific needs—including threat monitoring, vulnerability assessments, and establishing robust data recovery and backup protocols.
Types of Data at Risk
Law firms store a treasure trove of information that can be a target for cybercriminals and include:
Intellectual property protected by patents and trademarks
Trade secrets, which include business strategies, details on potential mergers and acquisitions, and other corporate transactions
Legal strategy, including investigation reports, litigation, and compliance tactics
Personal identifiable information (PII)
Attorney-client privileged sensitive information
Security Protocols by MSPs
MSPs can still be the targets of cyber attacks because they are a gateway to your firm’s IT network. Therefore, to ensure that their security is not compromised and protect your law firm’s IT solutions, the US Department of Homeland Security recommends that MSPs implement the following measures:
- Adhere to the principle of least privilege. MSPs should keep their data separate from clients, and networks should not be shared.
- Adopt a robust network and monitoring solution that recognizes malicious activity on the security infrastructure.
- Ensure that log information enables maximum detection and focuses on monitoring account misuse.
24/7 Monitoring and Support
Compliance is an ongoing process and requires a lasting management solution to stay on top of all legal requirements. Managed IT for law firms ensures continuous monitoring and management to ensure issues are detected before they can escalate, thus minimizing disruptions to your operations. This involves using automated systems to detect and report any suspicious activities.
The Risks of Downtime
Downtime, either due to network failure or cyber attacks, can immensely disrupt your firm’s operations, leading to revenue and productivity loss. In the case of a cyber incident, downtime to your firm is estimated to stretch up to 21 days, causing severe financial losses and reputational damage.
Real-time Monitoring Benefits
Cyber attacks come in many forms today, meaning your firm is always at risk. Having your defenses up around the clock ensures that you can always detect any potential malicious activity. Getting real-time updates on your network security lets you stay ahead of cybercriminals throughout the cyber-attack lifecycle.
Cost Effective Solutions
Managed IT services for law firms can help save money by eliminating the need for an in-house IT team—helping cut down on your overhead costs while still providing you with reliable and secure solutions. In addition, as your business grows and your IT needs change, managed services provide easily scalable solutions.
Hidden Costs of In-House IT
Many hidden costs are associated with hiring and training an in-house IT team. From the hiring and onboarding costs to the programs and facilities they will need, such as hardware, software licenses, and sometimes specialized support. Generally, setting up and maintaining your IT system in-house demands significant financial commitment.
Pricing Models of MSPs
Managed IT solutions allow you to quickly scale up or down on your IT needs, meaning that you are only paying for the services you need. Most services are subscription-based, allowing you to control when to take them on or end the service.
Return on Investment
Considering the ratio of benefits you get from managed service providers to the total cost you pay for their services, you will be getting more value for every cent spent than if you were managing an in-house team.
Compliance with Legal Regulations
Managed IT services for law firms ensure compliance by implementing security controls and conducting comprehensive compliance assessments. Which helps establish which regulations you must adhere to and develop a plan to ensure compliance. Since compliance is their specialty, they are familiar with the legal frameworks and are current on the latest trends.
Common Legal IT Standards
Compliance requirements vary with locations, and MSPs can help you understand your firm’s legal responsibilities, which may include the following:
- HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
- GDPR: General Data Protection Regulations, which lays the standards for businesses handling personal data.
- PCI DSS: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard
MSPs’ Compliance Certifications
To establish credibility with customers, managed service providers for law firms need third-party verification of their security infrastructure and practices. Compliance certifications also show that a provider is competent enough to target a specific industry. When working with an MSP with a compliance certificate, you reassure your clients that all necessary measures have been taken to guarantee their confidentiality and data security.
MSPs can keep up with security threats as they evolve. They are updated on the latest technological trends and best practices to enhance your law firm’s cybersecurity measures. The high volume of sensitive data that legal firms hold puts you at increased risk of cyber attacks and breaches. MSPs improve your cybersecurity posture by conducting security assessments, implementing security protocols, and updating your systems and patches so that you don’t have to worry.
Types of Cyber Threats
Common types of cyber threats targeted at law firms include:
- Data breaches
- Ransomware attacks
- Phishing scams
- Internal threats, such as disgruntled employees
Cybersecurity Tools Used by MSPs
MSPs have numerous tools to help your law firm improve cybersecurity. These include Managed Detection and Response (MDR), Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), patch management, vulnerability scanning, and firewall protection.
Data Management Solutions
Proper data management is a priority for every law firm. You want your law firm to maintain detailed records in a structured, secure, and easily accessible manner. MSPs can help implement efficient ways of keeping records that meet the necessary legal compliance requirements while improving productivity.
Importance of Data Organization
Data management makes it easy to retrieve and trace information and saves your law firm from spending hours on administrative tasks. Since data is the lifeblood of every modern business, proper data organization enhances data integrity. This helps your law firm make better and more informed decisions.
Data Management Tools by MSPs
MSPs can help your law firm effectively manage data by providing data analytics solutions, storage, security, and governance.
How We Solve Problems IT Can Support Your Law Firm
We Solve Problems provides managed IT services to law firms that need help managing and protecting their IT infrastructure and implementing solutions to enhance the system. Compliance may seem daunting, but our personalized IT services can help you meet the challenges hindering you from keeping up with the industry’s regulatory standards. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.