Most people are aware of the large cyber breaches that can happen to mega companies; however, the story is seldom told of the “mom and pop” shops that are victims of cyber attacks. The effects on those small companies is often irreversible and can force those businesses to close down due to the overwhelming damages. Especially when you are handling very personal client information, as in a law office, it is crucial to have good cyber protection.
In order to accurately protect your company and client, you must have detailed knowledge of all the personal information you are storing. Just as each dollar in the budget must be accounted for, every scrap of client details must be monitored and kept private.
Your company must employ advanced data storage and training as well as have the capacity to do data mapping, maintenance of files, and ultimately destruction of records. In a digital world, it is also imperative to keep track of each client’s geographic location as different laws apply in the physical and digital world for each state.
Image Source: Pixabay
Encryption is just the beginning when it comes to keeping your clients safe. You must also utilize layered safeguards, keep detailed logs and data audits, as well as maintain frequent “housekeeping” of your records. Employing an IT professional or outsourcing to a stand-alone auditing company can be preventative measures worth taking. Employees should be knowledgeable about company policy and annual risk assessments should be run on the company’s network.
It is implicit your company have a preorganized method for responding to any breach of systems. Many companies choose to have a preorganized “Data-Protection” team dedicated to responding to the breach the moment it occurs. These teams should meet regularly to monitor systems and be able to recognize breach-triggering events to quickly launch pre-planned response plans.
Many companies do not have these teams in place and so recognize the breach far too late to help customers protect their information. Many legal companies are aware of how to comply with appropriate state response to breaches and can work to notify the necessary government officials, insurers and affected individuals.
If you company is ill-prepared for a cyber attack it can be highly detrimental to your business. The damages done in a breach of information can be enough to close your doors permanently. If your company does not have appropriate safeguards in effect you can even be held liable for the breach.Being ill-prepared to respond can make your company subject to liability and negligence claims. The timing and substance of your notifications to the state, insurers and clients is regulated by state laws; therefore looking for a data-protection team after a breach can make your company prime for a lawsuit.