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How law firms can make remote working secure

Law, Security - 02/08/2020

Law firms have historically been a traditional industry in the modern world. For many firms across the country, the nationwide lockdown was a wake-up call to upgrade their technology and invest in more sound IT infrastructure. Particularly when handling such sensitive information, the need for data security is paramount.

Here we explore a few of the measures you can put in place to ensure that your firm and your clients are kept safe and secure.

Confidentiality is key.

A big concern for many firms is how to keep their data secure when employees are working remotely. If your teams are required to work across a number of locations (as many solicitors are), it’s a good idea to revisit your privacy policy and check that it’s fit for purpose. Consider whether your privacy policy covers apps such as Whatsapp and other social media platforms. Make sure that it covers the use of additional devices and way information should be stored and where. In addition, set out clear guidelines when it comes to video conferencing.

Carrying out a risk assessment on the working environment of each employee is also a suitable way of managing your confidentiality breach risk. If an employee is in a busy shared house, their private phone conversations are likely to be overheard. Is there any equipment the firm can provide to minimise this risk? (For example, a headset.) If you have provided equipment, are your employees following the guidance and using them diligently?

While you may not be fully able to eliminate all risk, it’s wise to affirm the firm’s position when it comes to client confidentiality.

Know your cybersecurity.

Unfortunately, cybercrime has risen astronomically over the course of the lockdown. Opportunistic criminals are taking advantage of the increased internet presence and hacking systems left, right and centre. It was difficult to fully prepare for the lockdown and subsequently, many employees were asked to use their own IT equipment to continue working. While this was a short term solution, it’s difficult to know whether their cybersecurity was fit for purpose.

Insurers are expecting an increase in claims as a direct consequence of COVID-19. Firms will need to demonstrate that they’ve taken every possible step to avoid any infringement of their cybersecurity and privacy policy. Some of these steps may include providing password-protected hard drives or ensuring all your private portals are two-factor authenticated to keep out any unwanted visitors.

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