Is your law firm at risk of a cyber attack? Cybersecurity can seem like a complicated topic but really, it boils down to keeping your electronic systems and software safe. And there’s no greater asset to keep safe than a website for your law practice.
Although some associate website cybersecurity breaches with large corporations, the reality is, everyone is at risk. In fact, according to Fundera, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. So, regardless of its size, it’s essential to get your law firm protected and mitigate risk with website cybersecurity solutions.
Assess Your Cyber Risks
The first step to protecting your law practice is understanding your risk level. Cyber risk is anything that has the potential to result in harm or loss for your company. These losses can include the loss of sensitive information, login credentials, or even finances.
Start first by asking yourself the following, what is the most important digital asset in my law firm? For most, the answer to this will undoubtedly be your website.
Websites pose a unique risk simply because there are so many ways they can be attacked. Here are a few common threats to take note of as you begin to up your knowledge on website cybersecurity:
- SQL Injections – One of the most common web hacking techniques, SQL injections have the ability to attack (and even destroy) data-driven applications for your law firm. This can be devastating with website cybersecurity in place.
- Phishing – This is a broad category for cybercrimes in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text message to solicit information. Emails are common here. If an employee with access to your website is a victim of phishing, the website is no longer safe.
- Malware – Malware is particularly scary because, like phishing, it covers such a range of cybercrimes. Basically, malware is an attack (normally through malicious software) that, when executed, makes unauthorized actions on the victim’s system. With website cybersecurity protections in place, you may be able to spot malware attacks to minimize damage.
- Human Error – This may be shocking but according to data, human error accounts for 52 percent of the root causes of security breaches! Again, if an employee with access to the backend of your website loses their phone or misplaces their laptop, any data stored is then at risk.
Essential Tips for Website Cybersecurity
While no one can fully predict a cyber attack, there are some steps you can take that help keep your website safe. Cybersecurity is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks. Website cybersecurity focuses just on websites. And utilizing it to protect your law firm’s website is vital for keeping your data safe.
It’s important to note though, that although one or two of these tips can be helpful, using all of them is key to getting your website really secure.
- Craft Website Cybersecurity Policies: Strategy is key. So any tips you choose to implement need to be documented in an official website cybersecurity plan or SOP. You’ll also want to have an internal document to give employees that can help them be proactive against cyber attacks, even if they don’t have direct access to your website.
- Create Strong Passwords: Because your law firm website is so important, you don’t want to use the same passwords you use for other work applications and you definitely don’t want to use the same passwords you use at home. Your website password should be unique, unlike any other you currently have, and updated often. A good rule of thumb for passwords is to change them every 60-90 days to keep them fresh.
- Implement Two-Factor Authorization: Frequently changing the password to your website CMS system isn’t enough to keep you protected, you also want to implement two-factor (or multi-factor) authorization for logins if you want to increase your website cybersecurity. If you’re not familiar with this process, many two-factor authorizations send a code via text or email to confirm when logging in. This is just an added security measure. Since you’ll receive an alert, you’re able to catch any unauthorized login attempts and report them right away.
- Add Anti-Virus Protection: You should have antivirus software on any computer or laptop you use for work. In addition to software on your devices, your CMS should have security plugins that can be used as an added layer of protection for your site. There are several great options out there, free and paid, so do some exploring to see which may be right for your law practice.
- Backup Important Data: If the worst happens, you want to make sure you can get back up and running as soon as possible. This means having a full backup of your website. A website backup is a copy of all your website data and is important to have even without the risk of a cyber attack.
- Ignite Your Response Plan: This is a step that’s often overlooked but perhaps is the single most important action you can take. That is, having a practice run for your response plan. Along with the website cybersecurity plan or SOP mentioned earlier, you should have a document that maps out any “what if” scenarios. This could be a list of relevant phone numbers for risk management experts. Important checkpoints for anyone who has access to your website or even access to backup files should your site go down.
There are definitely more ways to stay secure but these are a few essential ones you can’t afford to not implement.
Prioritize Safety with a Trusted Web Designer
If you’re interested in having your website designed or redesigned it’s important to partner with a company that knows the importance of website cybersecurity. You not only need a website designed to visually capture visitors, but also one that is secure and safely stores your data. To learn more about our web design services or to contact us for more information, click here.