Keeping information secure is a top concern for many Vancouver law firms. Client information and sensitive case details need to be protected, while at the same time made available to employees both in and out of the office.

The importance of data protection is why you need the cybersecurity experts for law firms in Vancouver to help you find reliable solutions. Compunet InfoTech Inc. is the leader in law firm cybersecurity consulting in Vancouver.

The need for cybersecurity is critical. The Impact of Cybercrime on Canadian Businesses report from Statistics Canada released in October 2018 paints a stark picture. According to the report, 21 percent of Canadian businesses were affected by a cybersecurity incident in 2017. The report notes that affected businesses indicated the following:

  • Attempts to steal money or demands for ransom (38 percent)
  • Attempts to access unauthorized areas (26 percent) or steal personal or financial information (23 percent)
  • Employees could not do day-to-day work (54 percent)
  • Resources such as email or computers could not be accessed (53 percent)

Companies that are prepared for cyber attacks and aggressively defend their data are in a better position to serve clients.

“The threats we face in cyberspace are complex and rapidly evolving; more than ever, cybersecurity is of paramount importance,” said Harjit Sajjan, Canadian minister of national defense on the launch of the National Cyber Security Strategy in July 2018. “Cybersecurity is not just a necessity, but a competitive advantage for Canada.”

The impact of cyber attacks is real and profound, meaning it’s crucial for law firms to be ready. Here are a few tips.

What Type of Protection Does A Law Firm Need?

Your law firm needs a multilayered approach to data and system security that includes:

  • Firewall security for your computer network. Firewalls monitor the users and applications active on your network, inspect data being sent to and from the network, use intrusion prevention systems and block suspicious URLs.
  • Anti-virus software on connected devices filters and blocks spam and detects suspicious files or links that can provide unwanted access. This software should run in the background and update automatically.
  • Monitoring of your system allows for attacks to be identified and neutralized before significant harm can be done.
  • Secure Internet gateways prevent unauthorized traffic from entering your internal network and offer secure user access.

How Should Law Firms Back Up Data?

Keeping your data accessible means developing a data backup strategy. The best approach is to have data backed up automatically to onsite and offsite locations. In the case of a cyber attack (or a natural disaster), these backups allow for your law firm to recover faster and resume normal business operations with minimal interruptions.

What Can Law Firms Do About Passwords?

Passwords are an essential defense against cybercrime. Here are a few suggestions for password practices:

  • Complexity. Consider replacing passwords with passphrases that are longer and include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Each additional character of length makes passwords more difficult to crack.
  • Change. Require frequent password changes. Also, adopt policies for new passwords, such as not using a prior password.
  • Blacklist. Create a list of words and phrases that cannot be used. Hackers often look to dictionary words and common passwords first when trying to gain access.
  • Limit. Impose a limit on the number of password attempts on devices before the user is locked out.
  • Encrypt. Use end-to-end encryption that’s non-reversible to protect passwords in transit.
  • Protect. Hackers can access your system more easily if employees use an unsecured WiFi connection to access your network. Be sure your network uses the latest protection protocols to add additional wireless encryption.

What Else Can A Law Firm Do?

Law firms should consider deploying other practices and processes that can add yet more layers of security. Here are a few other suggestions:

  • Require Passcodes. When an employee uses a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet, make it a policy that they must use passcodes to unlock these devices. Whether it’s manually entered codes or biometric authentication, such provisions help prevent unauthorized access if a device is lost or stolen.
  • Train Employees. Your employees are the first line of defense for your law firm. Invest in training and awareness programs that inform them of the ways hackers try to deceive users to gain access, what to look for in emails and attachments and what to do if they encounter suspicious activity. Reinforce the firm’s guidelines around sharing passwords or devices and make training mandatory.
  • Lock It Up. Require users to lock their desktop computers or laptops whenever they leave their desk. While operating systems include automatic locking protocols after a period of inactivity, mandated locking is a smart step.
  • Dual-Factor Authentication. Many applications and services now require multi-factor authentication, such as entering a password and a texted passcode for access. Consider adopting dual-factor authentication for your systems.

Who Offers Support for Vancouver Law Firms?

Compunet is the leading provider of IT solutions and security to Vancouver professional services firms. From managed IT services to backups to security assessments, Compunet delivers customized solutions designed to protect and defend your system. To learn more, contact us today.