The Dark Reading headline says it all: “Law Firms & Legal Departments Singled Out for Cyberattacks.” The articlesays cyber threats to law firms and corporate legal departments are increasing and moving beyond hacking and leaking secrets to costly ransomware and business email compromise (BEC) attacks.
That’s why cybersecurity for law firms is more important than ever. It’s also why the cybersecurity and data protection solutions you choose can mean the difference between the consequences of a law firm data breach and the peace of mind that knowing your data is protected brings.
Why Law Firms and Legal Departments?
Data is the currency of both commerce and crime today. Your law firm or department holds priceless data, including client information, intellectual property, litigation details, and confidential contracts. That high-value information makes you a ripe target for ransomware and other attack vectors because the financial consequences can be staggering. IBM’s 2023 Cost of a Data Breach report found that the average cost of a data breach for professional services organizations, such as law firms, is $4.47 million.
Historically, the legal sector has also been slower to adopt advanced cybersecurity measures. That lets hackers take advantage of lax security protocols and outdated systems. Law firms also typically collaborate with third-party entities within an interconnected legal ecosystem. That further entices hackers by offering the opportunity to use entry into your organization as a gateway to breach other organizations within the ecosystem.
With that in mind, here are seven steps your law firm or legal department should take to strengthen your cybersecurity and data protection defenses.
1. Prioritize Cybersecurity
Engage everyone in your organization in law firm cybersecurity best practices and compliance requirements, stressing that protecting sensitive data is a fundamental duty. Implement ongoing cybersecurity training programs that include testing to ensure everyone is doing their part.
2. Implement a 3-2-1-1 Backup Strategy
A multi-layered approach is your best bet for ensuring your data is safeguarded. That starts with a 3-2-1-1 strategy that protects against ransomware by ensuring your data can always be recovered. It’s simple. Keep three copies—one original and at least two copies—of your data. Store your backups on two different media types: network-attached, tape, or a local drive, for example. Keep one copy offsite in the cloud or secure storage.
3. Employ Immutable Storage
The last “1” is crucial. It tells you to make sure one backup copy of your data is kept in immutable storage. Immutable backups can’t be altered or deleted by unauthorized users—or malware—adding an extra layer of protection. This feature prevents ransomware from encrypting or compromising your backup data and ensures recovery during a successful attack.
4. Add Disaster Recovery as a Service
Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) protects your on-premises business systems and data in a cloud purpose-built for business continuity. You can access cloud data anywhere, anytime, and count on 99.999+ percent uptime. Arcserve also offers a premium-level cloud feature with the patented ability to pre-stage site-wide failover processes so you can test or execute a failover with a click of a single button. Arcserve DRaaS offers machine virtualization, file and folder recovery, and instant failover of an entire site and network if disaster strikes.
5. Keep Everything Up to Date
Outdated software and unpatched systems invite hackers looking for an entry point. Prioritize patches and updates to close vulnerabilities and protect against evolving threats.
6. Conduct Regular Security Audits
The only way to ensure your systems are secure and data is safeguarded is by auditing your security efforts. Schedule regular audits to assess network security, user access controls, and your security policies and procedures.
7. Implement a Zero-Trust Framework
A zero-trust security model ensures that every user and device attempting to access your network and data is authenticated and verified, regardless of location. A zero-trust framework can include identity and access management (IAM) technologies, multi-factor authentication, and role-based access controls (RBAC), among other strategies.
Get Expert Counsel
Arcserve technology partners offer the expertise and experience you need to implement a sound data protection and cybersecurity strategy.
To learn more about Arcserve products, contact us.