While the connectivity of the cloud has improved workflows for multiple industries, including law firms, it has also brought along with it new security challenges.
There was a day when a client file was all on paper and could be stored under lock and key in a filing cabinet, safe from a hacker sitting halfway across the world.
But today, files are largely in digital format, making them a prime target for hackers, ransomware attacks, and other online threats. Law offices also have to worry about data privacy regulations and ensuring they properly protect digital communications.
96% of IT leaders in the legal industry say insider data breaches are of significant concern for law firms.
This means that in addition to network and device protections, such as managed IT services, law offices also need to be concerned with protection of video conferences, calls, messages, and other types of sensitive communications they share with clients.
Keep Documents & Conversations More Secure
By the very nature of their work, law offices handle sensitive client information in just about every interaction. From financial records to client interviews, there are several types of confidential content to protect.
While it’s not really feasible to go back to non-digital forms of doing business, you can still get the most out of cloud productivity for your firm by employing tools that will help you secure your communications.
Sensitivity Labels in Microsoft 365
One client can generate multiple types of documents. These include things like contracts, emails, spreadsheets, and presentations.
There is generally more than one person at your law firm that’s generating these client documents, which makes securing them more challenging.
One way that you can automate document security is to use sensitivity labels in Microsoft 365. They tag documents and allow you to track them and automatically apply certain security policies.
For example, if you have a label called “confidential,” you could automatically encrypt any document or email created in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or Outlook that had that tag applied.
Tags can be applied automatically based upon content or by users when documents are created. They follow documents through Microsoft applications and 3rd party apps and can restrict things like copying, sharing, and more.
Microsoft Teams with Information Barriers
Occasionally a large law firm might have two attorneys that are working with clients on opposing sides of a case. Restricting communications becomes vital in this scenario to prevent a perceived conflict of interest.
Law offices that facilitate team chats and file sharing within Microsoft Teams can add a security feature called information barriers. This feature restricts user contact within the platform.
Some of the restrictions include:
- No ability to contact another user
- Restrictions on screensharing
- Inability to add a user to a conference call
- Inability to access Team site files for a specific team
Say that you’re digitally tracking a contract so you know when it is accessed and by whom. If that document is printed out in order to get a signature, your tracking trail has just been broken.
A program like HelloSign allows law offices to use legally binding eSignatures, which both speeds up the signature process and avoids problems with tracking documents that had to be printed out to sign.
Incidents of stolen login credentials via phishing attacks rose more than 70% in the last year. One of the best ways to ensure that files and communications located in cloud platforms are secure is to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA).
MFA adds another layer of security to all cloud accounts and websites that your team logs into to access business data.
This can either be enabled individually in each account or through the use of a single sign-on (SSO) tool that allows your team to sign into multiple accounts in one place.
Lawyers are often using their mobile devices while at the courthouse or away from the office. This means that any communications sent while connected to an unsecure Wi-Fi could be intercepted by a hacker.
You can secure internet connections for your staff by using a business VPN (virtual private network) that automatically encrypts communications and protects them from “man-in-the-middle” attacks.
Keep Calls/Chats in One Place with MS Teams
Communication trails are vitally important in a law office and it’s crucial to ensure all messages, online meetings, etc. are cataloged and secured.
Using Microsoft Teams for video meetings, messaging, calls, and file sharing can help you do that.
The platform not only can keep communications together and organized in a chat channel (designated by client, project, etc.) it also has multiple security controls to protect content.
They include things like:
- Communication compliance
- Retention policies
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
- Sensitivity labels for Teams
Additionally, for a designated “team,” a secure SharePoint site can be provisioned where files can be stored and only accessible by team members.
Enjoy the Cloud Securely & Maintain Confidentiality
Connect2Geek works with law offices every day to help them enjoy the best of both worlds – cloud productivity and digital data security.
Schedule a free cloud security consultation today! Call 208-468-4323 or reach out online.