Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Five Ways to Step Up Your Law Firm’s Cyber Fitness

Cybersecurity is Important

Marked annually in October, Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an internationally recognized campaign to raise public awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. This year’s theme in Canada is Step up Your Cyber Fitness, which is focused on stretching cybersecurity muscles and taking things one step at a time.

Staying safe and secure online is a critical practice management consideration for law firms and legal professionals as they handle sensitive information constantly. Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, and Dye & Durham is committed to keeping our customers and, by extension, their clients safe. In addition to deploying the highest levels of security on all our legal technology platforms and solutions, we regularly undergo cybersecurity simulations and training to ensure our teams are ahead of the curve.

To help legal professionals stay updated on online safety best practices, we’ve compiled a few tips that we practice in-house.

 

Five Ways to Step Up Your Practice’s Cyber Fitness

  1. Use differentiated, strong passwords: Even though this is a widely accepted global best practice, password fatigue is real, and people often repeat account credentials across platforms. Using the same credentials is highly risky, as once cyber-threat actors obtain them, they can access multiple accounts and wreak havoc faster than you can change passwords on various sites. To make password recall easier, consider using a password manager to suggest and store strong passwords for different accounts.
  1. Enable multi-factor authentication where available: By requiring individuals to sign in through a secondary device, such as a personal cell phone, multi-factor authentication adds a second layer of protection against authorized account access. Use tools with this option when available and ensure that it is configured for all users in your organization.
  1. Update your software: To protect your firm’s confidential data and client information, it is crucial to keep the software in your work and personal devices up to date. We strongly recommend turning on automatic updates for your device’s operating system and the apps you have installed and that you regularly check to make sure these updates are being installed.
  1. Implement comprehensive practice management: Multiple account credentials and passwords across various tools increase a firm’s exposure to potential security risks. Additionally, multiple software systems result in more accounts with sensitive information to de-provision when an employee leaves the organization. Deploying a comprehensive practice management solution reduces the number of tools ─ and, by extension, credentials ─ a firm needs to manage its practice effectively. This decreases security risks and enables legal professionals to handle sensitive information more efficiently. Dye & Durham’s new Unity® Global Platform gives legal professionals everything they need to manage their practices, including client onboarding, conveyancing workflows, firm and trust accounting, due diligence searches, wills, cloud-based legal document storage and more – all from a single destination. The Unity® Global Platform offers top-tier security and privacy controls so only authorized users can access your confidential information.
  1. Train and retrain your team: Research has shown that 91% of all cyber-attacks begin with a phishing email, and one in four Canadians say they have been the victim of a virus, spyware, or malware on their computer. Regularly train your team to recognize, avoid and report phishing, social engineering scams and other common cyber threats. One method that has worked for us at Dye & Durham is running knowledge simulations and conducting mock phishing drills. By gamifying the process, we can reinforce safe online practices while keeping learning fun for employees.

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Safety Everyday

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an excellent time to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity ─ but it should not be the only time. Cyber threats are constantly evolving, with perpetrators getting increasingly sophisticated. They continue to thrive by exploiting deeply rooted human behaviors and social patterns, not just technological vulnerabilities. The good news is that many of these threats can be mitigated through awareness and best practices in cybersecurity and business continuity. For more tools to help your firm navigate cybersecurity, visit the Government of Canada’s website for free resources.

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