When IT Compliance Regulations Apply to Your Law Firm

Lawyer holding a contract

With the evolution and prevalence of cyberattacks, every business’s information is at risk. Law firms have a unique and important role and face an elevated level of risk based on their field itself. They deal with highly sensitive information on a daily basis, which is why they are held to higher compliance standards to ensure that this information stays safe and well-protected.

Why Do Law Firms Have Such Strict Compliance?

When it comes to IT compliance regulations and law firms, the regulations that they face are more intensive than other businesses because they deal with and handle very sensitive information, including clients’ personal documentation.

The American Bar Association Rule 1.6 (c) states “A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or access to, information relating to the representation of a client.” 

The law firm is responsible to protect their client’s information. Today, with the ever-increasing risk of cybercrime, it is essential for them to add layers of protection in order to prevent “inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure.” 

What Specific Information Do Law Firms Deal With?

There are different kinds of information that law firms deal with that could easily fall into the wrong hands if not correctly protected. Here is a list of the information that could be a risk:

  • Confidential legal documents and medical records
  • Tax returns
  • Corporate data
  • Intellectual property information
  • Financial information and records
  • Email and phone numbers for phishing attacks

With the implementation of technology in the process of handling and transferring these sensitive pieces of information, law firms are held to a higher standard of IT compliance and security, and need to be prepared and on the constant lookout for cyber threats.

Security Threats Law Firms Face

Law firms face many advanced cybersecurity threats that can be detrimental to both the client and the firm if a cyber attack occurs. Here are some of the cyber security threats that law firms are facing:

  • Data breaches and hacks
  • Phishing attacks
  • Ransomware attacks
  • Financial fraud
  • Malware attacks
  • Email account hacks

25% of law firms have experienced a data breach this year. It is essential that law firms are aware of these risks, and have a plan in place in the event of a data breach. The best way to stay protected is by staying proactive with strong antivirus software solutions, regular updates, employee awareness training, and a disaster recovery plan. Hiring an IT solutions provider can also significantly strengthen your defenses, and they’ll be able to help with any of the previously mentioned options.

Preparing for an Audit

Another key aspect of IT compliance for law firms is preparing for an audit. Audits are necessary to ensure that the law firm is compliant with laws and regulations, and it provides assurance that client data is secure and protected from cyber threats. To ensure that all standards are being met, law firms must prepare for periodic audits.

During these audits, all systems and data are evaluated to ensure that they’re all adequately compliant. This includes performing background checks on employees, ensuring physical security is up-to-date and reliable, as well as properly installing and maintaining firewalls and antivirus software.

Ensure IT Compliance With Forum Info-Tech

Law firms face a unique set of challenges when it comes to IT compliance regulations. But with the right cyber security solutions, keeping sensitive information safe while meeting IT compliance regulations doesn’t have to be challenging.

With Forum Info-Tech IT cybersecurity solutions, your law firm can rest assured that your systems and confidential documentation are safe and that they will meet IT compliance regulations as updates and changes are made.

To ensure that your firm is prepared for audits or if you have any other questions about cybersecurity, contact us today.