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Cybersecurity 101 for Your Law Firm

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Eight in 10 firms use spam filters.

A little more than half of law firms (53 percent) have a formal policy for managing and safeguarding data and information, and that number has been rising over time.

That’s according to the 2021 American Bar Association TechReport.

The ABA “encourages all private and public sector organizations [law firms included] to develop, implement, and maintain an appropriate cybersecurity program that complies with applicable ethical and legal obligations and is tailored to the nature and scope of the organization and the data and systems to be protected.” [Source: ABA Report and Resolution 109]

An effective cybersecurity program should be tailored to the specifics of your law practice. The program should cover People, Procedures and Technology.

Do you practice in Wisconsin, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana or Michigan? Is your professional liability coverage managed through Alta Pro? If so, you’re automatically a member of the Alta Pro Risk Purchasing Group (RPG), which offers a wealth of benefits for your practice: free, cutting-edge CLE webinars featuring top experts tackling timely topics; the Pro Practice Playbook; the Pro Practice Blog; Reminger’s ProLink risk management assistance; Reminger’s Claim Repair Hotline; discounts on CLIO practice management software; tax savings on health insurance; and access to the Risk Pro, who can help keep your firm safe and successful. Register here and start enjoying your Alta Pro RPG benefits.

Law Office Cybersecurity 101

“Security should not be left solely to IT staff and tech consultants,” writes attorney and cyber expert David Ries in the 2021 ABA TechReport. “In addition to measures to prevent security incidents and breaches, there has been a growing recognition that security includes the full spectrum of measures to identify and protect information assets and to detect, respond to and recover from security incidents and data breaches. Cybersecurity programs should cover all of these functions.”

  • Comprehensive cybersecurity program
  • Standards and frameworks
  • Manage and minimize data
  • Incident response plan (36 percent of firms of all sizes have some sort of response plan, per the 2021 ABA TechReport)

Here are some law office technology usage statistics from the 2021 Survey:

  •  53 percent of responding firms have a data retention policy
  • 60 percent have a policy on email use
  • 56 percent for internet use
  • 57 percent for computer acceptable use
  • 56 percent for remote access
  • 48 percent for social media
  • 32 percent personal technology use/BYOD
  • 44 percent for employee privacy

Twenty-five (25) percent of firms said they either had no cybersecurity policies in their office or did not know whether they had any.

Why choose Alta Pro Lawyers Risk Purchasing Group over other legal malpractice programs? Because Alta Pro RPG gives insured law firms exclusive access to valuable practice resources and cost-saving programs. When you join the Alta Pro RPG, you can use our Pro Practice Resource Center, filled with practical pointers and risk management tools to keep your law firm safe and soaring. Plus you get exclusive access to free CLE webinars, like our recent, highly popular program on Basics of Cannabis Law. Also: discounts on office essentials, Ask the Risk Pro, malpractice defense hotline and more. Don’t miss out on these fantastic perks. If you’re already a policyholder with Alta Pro but haven’t yet created your RPG account, here’s how to do it.

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In an age of consolidation where increasingly impersonal transactions have made customer service an oxymoron, we bring together independent agents, insurance companies, and other industry specific service providers to develop and deliver insurance products and risk management solutions that benefit our insurance customers.

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