Investing time in your firm’s information security does not need to come at the expense of your billable time.

Staying on top of your cyber security initiatives may seem confusing, and at times, overwhelming. However, in today’s interconnected world, being prepared for online threats is an essential part of operating a law firm.

Small firms in particular may believe that there is “not much to steal”. In reality, however, over 70 per cent of cyber-attacks actually target organisations that employ less than 100 people.

We recognise that a lack of time, budget and expertise are common barriers to implementing a comprehensive cyber security framework for small businesses. Because of this, we’ve compiled our three top tips that you can act on today to increase the security of your firm’s data.

1. Adopt safe password practices

It’s easy to dismiss the role your passwords can play in securing your data. A password is more than just a string of characters used for a login. In fact, it is one of the simplest ways to keep your accounts safe from unauthorised users and should not be taken for granted.

Adopting a passphrase is one way that you can keep your accounts safe. A passphrase is a sequence of words used to help memorise longer or more complex passwords. For example, “zebrasoverbridge.”

You can adopt best practice with your passwords by:

  • Not reusing the same password – select a completely different password for your important accounts, like your e-mail and online banking.
  • Not storing your passwords in browsers. Consider using a dedicated password manager which can securely remember your login details.
  • Creating a password that does not contain any personal information. You may like to consider using a passphrase.
  • Not writing your passwords down. If you have to, don’t leave them on your desk or stored in a document on your computer.

2. Use two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication (2FA) requires a user to verify their identity in two ways before they are granted access to a website or system. It is a great way to add an extra layer of security to your existing accounts.

LEAP offers an easy to set-up two-factor authentication (2FA) system that works with LEAP desktop and the LEAP mobile application. It is an excellent way to ensure that if one password in your firm is compromised, your account cannot be accessed without the secondary verification code.

Wherever 2FA is available, you should set it up. LEAP, Microsoft Office 365 and Dropbox all offer this easy to use protection. It only takes a moment to set up and can be a great way to give you greater peace of mind.

3. Use cloud-based products

Using cloud-based products such as LEAP offers a myriad of benefits that not only increase your productivity but also enhance the security of your data.

Electing to use cloud-based solutions instead of servers to store your firm’s data can easily give you the upper hand when it comes to maintaining secure backups of your documents.

When documents are uploaded to the cloud, you can access them from other desktop computers or on mobile devices. Documents stored in the cloud tend to be protected by extensive security measures and are regularly updated.

Servers, on the other hand, require your data to be physically stored onsite, meaning you cannot access it from external locations. While servers are considerably more costly to run than cloud-based solutions, their greatest weakness is the security they offer. If servers aren’t properly maintained and regularly backed-up by your IT provider, your data is more likely to be susceptible to corruption.

Consider using cloud-based products to store your firm’s data:

  • LEAP securely stores all matter information, client details and correspondence in the cloud, allowing you to work from your desktop or mobile device.
  • LawConnect is a secure document management system that lets you and your clients securely share and collaborate on documents.
  • MYOB’s cloud-based AccountRight software integrates with LEAP to manage your legal accounting.

Using cloud-based software solutions like LEAP to store your documents is an easy way to ensure your data is regularly backed up, and the integrity of your files maintained.

These tips are just three easy ways that you can make your firm’s data more secure. Investing in, or even reviewing your firm’s data security does not need to be overwhelming or come at the expense of your billable time.