Cyber Security While You’re Out of Office: How to Keep Your Data Safe This Summer

by Myrna Johns / August 03, 2023

Cyber Security While You’re Out of Office: How to Keep Your Data Safe This Summer

Summer is here and you’re ready to enjoy some well-deserved rest and relaxation. Due to the nature of the legal industry, however, you can’t completely unplug for days or weeks at a time. Like thousands of other attorneys across the nation, you may find yourself taking your work on vacation with you.

But even if you’ve successfully worked during your “time off” in the past, a lot has changed in recent years, especially in the legal industry’s cybersecurity landscape. Since 2020, a series of significant data breaches against law firms has affected hundreds of thousands of client files.

To keep your firm out of the news, protect your brand reputation, and fulfill your fiduciary duty to your clients, make cybersecurity a priority even while you’re checking in during vacation. Here are a few prudent tips that can help you do so without putting a damper on your downtime.

Invest in a secure mobile solution

If you’re working remotely, there’s a good chance that you’ll be relying heavily on mobile devices like your smartphone or tablet.

Although these devices provide a convenient way of staying connected to the office, they can also be a major security risk. Remote work in general seems to increase the likelihood of a cyber attack, with approximately 20% of organizations experiencing a breach due to the actions of a remote worker.

Fortunately, you can prevent your firm from contributing to this statistic by leveraging a platform that provides mobile access to your organizational data.

A mobile-friendly legal software application helps you safely access your data from your server without copying files onto your personal mobile device. When you log out, the connection is severed, and your device is no longer an access point for confidential client information.

Make sure your practice management software uses SSL

Financial institutions and other entities that manage critical data use a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to encrypt data between browsers, devices, and websites. This encryption security protocol can also create a secure connection between two servers.

Using practice management software with SSL allows you to create an encrypted connection between your mobile devices and your server. With an SSL in place, you can confidently access confidential client documents and check off important tasks while taking a break from the office.

That said, if you’re using any software that isn’t integrated with the practice management solution, those files won’t be encrypted and may still be susceptible to cyber crimes.

To limit your vulnerability to malicious digital activities, consider using a fully integrated practice management solution for your law firm. For instance, Tabs3 Software can support a wide range of core functions, including accounting, client relationship management (CRM), and more.

Verify that your data is encrypted

Encrypting data involves encoding it using a digital key. Ideally, only individuals with access to the key will be able to unencrypt the data and access the underlying information. But although an SSL encrypts data while it’s being shared between a server and device, your information may still be vulnerable while “at rest.”

To maximize data security, you need a practice management solution that encrypts data at rest and in transit, which reduces data vulnerability and improves your security stance.

Leverage access restriction tools

While fellow attorneys, legal staff, and even your clients may need access to different files, global access can put your law firm in a risky position. A safer strategy for access? Creating a protocol for access restrictions.

When setting up user profiles, you can implement access restriction rules, which govern what documents users can view, enter, edit, delete, or share. Use access profiles to keep sensitive information secure, prevent accidental deletions, and maintain the integrity of your database.

It’s vital to use software that supports access restrictions, though. For example, PracticeMaster is an extremely versatile practice management solution that you can use to grant or restrict editing access down to specific fields.

For instance, you might grant a support team member the ability to view important files but only allow them to edit basic data like appointment dates, client phone numbers, etc. This functionality guarantees that sensitive information remains accessible only to those who need it.

Back up your data

You have access to fast, reliable internet connection and a robust Wi-Fi network when you’re in the office. When you’re trying to get a little work done on vacation, though, the quality and availability of your connection can vary greatly.

You need a way to back up your data while you work that allows you to continuously save your work as you make changes, input new client information, prepare documents, or perform other mission-critical tasks. With a robust tool for backing up your data, you can rest assured that your data can be salvaged even if your device is stolen or a poolside beverage tips over on your laptop.

Use auto-recovery tools

Auto-recovery tools can protect your data from damage caused by lost network connections or power outages. This allows you to work confidently without worrying about sudden disruptions to your connection.

Take advantage of eSignature and secure file-sharing tools

Exchanging files and obtaining signatures is a staple of law firm work. But what happens when you need to share files with an outside entity while on vacation?

Using a standard email account exposes you to undue liability and can lead to a breach. A better alternative is leveraging secure file-sharing and eSignature software. These tools allow you to:

  • Send or receive encrypted documents from third parties
  • Request signatures on critical documents
  • Send and upload large files without compromising security

Enjoy unmatched security anywhere with Tabs3 Software

Ready to learn more about how Tabs3 can protect your data whether you’re working in the office, nestled in a mountain cabin, or lounging poolside? Connect with our team to schedule a demo or speak with one of our friendly legal software professionals.