Try to imagine your law firm operating without a cohesive computer network. Can you picture it? Most people today probably can’t. The computer network you use is the powerhouse of your firm, taking in information, delivering information, scheduling, keeping records and more. If it isn’t working well and predictably, your firm will suffer.
Why Do We Need IT?
Sometimes, the biggest IT challenge faced by a law firm is the period before it gets IT services. During that time, some firms will operate with no IT at all. They will call in a consultant or repair person if they believe there is a problem. And, have you ever heard that a guy is coming in to fix the system because he’s the brother of a friend and “knows a lot about computers?” There are plenty of small businesses that operate that way for a while until the demands of the computer network get too big for the current solution. That’s when firms realize that with IT services, they can keep the network running smoothly and keep it safe from hackers. Businesses of every size and description need IT personnel to monitor their computers systems and identify any problems quickly.
Attorney-Client Privilege and IT
You know how attorney-client privilege works, and you know how important it is to keep your clients’ information private. It’s part of your reputation and your livelihood. Hackers try harder than ever to steal data because it can be lucrative for the thieves. Today, hackers are targeting law firms in particular because they are known to keep so much private information about their clients. Getting malware into your system can get the names, social security numbers and even banking information that they can use to drain your clients dry. One of your biggest obstacles in the hackers’ path is your IT service. It monitors for any hacks, for malware and for unauthorized use of your system to act quickly before data is lost.
We’ve all heard about viruses that can infect computers and ruin the data being held there. However, there are many more types of malware used y today’s hackers. One of the most popular of these is ransomware. All it takes is clicking a bad link, and your system may be closed down and held hostage until you pay the ransom to get it back. Because this type of attack is so lucrative, it’s gaining steam like never before. This year, a business will be hacked by ransomware every 14 seconds in the U.S. There are also keystroke trackers that can easily steal passwords and get into all of the websites you use, including financial accounts. Billions are spent every year to pay ransoms, and that doesn’t include the cost of fixing hacked computers, getting rid of viruses and losing clients after a hack.
Privacy and Security
So, you want to have IT services to help keep your system running and to protect it from hackers. How do you know the IT personnel will understand privileged information? This is why it’s so important to choose an IT provider who has experience with doing IT for law firms. This experience makes them fully aware of how sensitive some of the information on your network is and how important it is to keep it from any prying eyes. By using high-level encryption, regular maintenance and fixes when needed, your IT personnel can add many layers of security over your data so that it isn’t an easy target for thieves.
One of the worst things that can happen to your firm is having a long list of clients that you have to contact to tell them that their data has been stolen from your computer network. It’s bad for your reputation, it’s bad for overall morale, and it can cost the firm dearly when it has to make restitution to all of the victims. If you never want to make those calls, make sure you have IT services in place to prevent thieves from coming and taking whatever they want.