Vancouver Law Firm Data Breach Prevention Services

Ransomware attacks and other cybersecurity threats are becoming more sophisticated, but keeping up with security and safety will help prevent attacks.  

With more lawyers marketing their services online, they are opening their doors to becoming vulnerable to cyberattack. According to the Globe and Mail, many small towns and cities in Canada are being targeted for ransomware, sending ripples of concern into the surrounding governments and business owners.

Ransomware attacks and other cybersecurity threats are becoming more sophisticated, making it difficult for small businesses to keep up their security measures to hedge against attacks. Lawyers are particularly concerned due to the sensitive nature of their clients’ information. A breach of data security could mean large fines and lawsuits against their firms.

Preventing Data Breaches

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority published a survey in 2018 with 500 responders who were business owners or IT employees. It reported that 40 percent had experienced a cyberattack in the past year, and 88 percent were worried about one happening in the future.

While many lawyers have decided to dedicate more money and resources toward preventing cyberattacks, there are still many ways to help prevent cyberattacks against a firm.

  1. Educate employees – Some lawyers might overlook that preventing cyberattacks is as much about educating employees as it is about having the latest tools within their networks. Training employees to recognize phishing scams and weaknesses during typical internet use that cybercriminals can exploit is a basic first-line defense against data breaches.
  2. Identify Threat Surfaces – The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security defines a cyber threat surface as, “all the available endpoints that a threat actor may attempt to exploit in Internet-connected devices…processes that produce, deliver, and rely on information systems connected to the Internet are also potential threat vectors and targets.” In an everyday environment, we would see threat surfaces as cells phones, tablets, and other hardware that is connected to the internet as an access point to law firm’s networks. Limiting the number of access points to the network will decrease the success rate of a cyber attack.
  3. Encryption Services – Encryption of sensitive data may be the foundation stone of most defenses against attackers; however, the other aspects to ensuring data is encrypted are strong credentials and user authentications. Passwords and other credentials, as well as multi-factor authentication for accessing a system, impedes attackers when they are trying to access the system. Having users change passwords regularly can also assist in disrupting attackers.
  4. Software Clean-up – Updating software provided by the manufacturer quickly when it has been rolled outed should be common practice for most law firms that store client data. The other aspect of clean up is removing users who are no longer with the firm as well as when new software is being used, the old software needs to be completely uninstalled from the system. Software that is ignored and is allowed to sit within a network or a system will create a weakness in the firm’s data breach prevention practices.

Katherine Kolnhofer, partner at Bell Temple LLP, who works in a privacy and access to information practice group with a focus on cybersecurity and data breach management states, “There’s still a perception this [data breach] is not going to happen to a small business, your average business…they’re somewhat resistant to thinking they need to expend resources to implement all these strategies.” Don’t allow your firm to experience a data breach and be subject to the costs and legal actions. Take steps to protect your information before it’s too late.