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Best practices for protecting firm and client data as a distributed team

The transition from working in a traditional office setting to that of a distributed team has presented a series of unprecedented challenges for law firms, especially as it relates to technology. Most professionals working in the legal industry did not specialize in Computer Science or Information Technology which may raise concern regarding the management and security of firm and client data.

On Monday, April 6, SurePoint hosted an interactive virtual office webinar, “Back to the Future: Technology Insights for Transitioning to a Virtual Law Firm,” featuring SurePoint chief technology and client solutions officer Tom Shore. Below are a few best practices Tom provided for protecting sensitive information while working from home:

  • Make sure the device you are working from is encrypted and password protected. This includes desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. All passwords should be changed frequently and include upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
  • If you are working from a personal device, make sure virus protection is turned on and it is updated (i.e. Windows firewall, McAfee, etc.).
  • If working from a mobile device, be sure to close all applications before accessing client or firm data to prevent apps and external organizations from obtaining sensitive information.
  • Mobile timekeeping apps should never store data locally. Check with your IT administrator if you have questions regarding where firm and client data is stored while tracking your time on-the-go.
  • Will your device receive automated data backups? If you are unsure, contact your law firm’s IT administrator to ensure no data will be lost if your device were to crash or be stolen.
  • Don’t fall victim to a phishing attack or ransomware. If an email or text you receive seems suspicious, do not click on any links and report it to your firm’s IT administrator immediately.
  • Connect your device to your firm’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) and/or whitelist your devices to remain secure and have access the data necessary to perform your role.
  • Limit who can access your device when working operations are in use.
  • Never send emails containing firm and/or client information using personal email (i.e. Gmail, Yahoo!, AOL, etc.).
  • If utilizing a cloud-based solution, check in with your cloud provider to ensure there is a disaster recovery plan in place.

For more information on how you can protect the data of your law firm and its clients, contact a SurePoint expert today.