A limited budget should not prevent you from investing in small law firm technology
Don’t skimp on small law firm technology and security due to a limited budget. Even independent lawyers need to consider data security and how technology can improve their business.
Small law firms consistently rank security and technology among their top concerns in running a law business; however, many of these firms let the issue simmer on the back burner too long.
Nerino Petro, lawyer and co-editor of the ABA’s GP|Solo Magazine, thinks small law firms need to move this issue up their priority list. He told Thomson Reuters:
“A critical issue that small law needs to take seriously is protecting client information with cybersecurity. I just don’t think it’s a high-enough priority.”
He urges independent lawyers and small firms to get a handle on the issue before it blows up.
What gets in the way?
Fears about cost and uncertainty about the best tools to use likely play a role in small law firms delaying technology decisions. In addition, the day-to-day demands of serving clients and administrative tasks make it difficult to set aside time.
By putting off these decisions, however, you could leave yourself, and your clients’ data, vulnerable. So, it’s time to shelve the excuses and get serious about data security.
Ideas to implement now
Communication technology. In the piece from Thomson Reuters, another expert points to a relatively simple strategy to implement now: client portals. A client portal not only helps protect sensitive client information, it streamlines communication and your client service process. Essentially, it solves two major firm challenges with one tool.
This piece from Above the Law outlines how client portals allow you to share tasks, documents and bills, and even collaborate with co-counsel.
Use passwords, firewalls and filters. The National Law Review suggests that, “To prevent a law firm cyberattack, ensure that your firm also uses anti-spyware, software-based firewalls, antivirus for desktops/laptops, email and networks. Also, install intrusion detection and prevention systems.”
Develop security protocols and training. Make security, cybersecurity and client confidentiality part of your firm culture. Conduct an audit of your firm’s technology to discover any gaps, and then take measures to close those gaps. Ensure that all staff understands and follows the procedures and train accordingly.
Taking it one step further
Consider the security features of your physical space. If you work out of a home office, your practice could be at risk for data loss and well as loss of real property. Do you have contingencies in place in the event of a fire, flood, break-in or cyber attack?
Your first line of defense should come in the form of the right firewalls and malware technology. The American Bar Association even offers a book (for purchase) to help lawyers address cyber security in their home offices.
Beyond shoring up your home office defenses, you might consider renting office space with top-notch security features. That doesn’t have to mean an expensive high-rise downtown with a security guard and ID pads. Coworking spaces and shared office spaces come with added security features that can give lawyers peace of mind.
At LawBank, for instance, we serve only lawyers, so we take security incredibly seriously.
To learn more about coworking for lawyers in Denver, as well as LawBank’s approach to security, schedule a tour using the button below: