As industry insiders are coming to realize, remote work in the law firm is here to stay. (Check out our recent article on legal trends to watch in 2023 to read more about how firms are pivoting to accommodate more flexible work options.) While remote work presents many benefits, particularly for firms looking to attract younger talent, there is one persistent challenge to remote and hybrid work environments: working from home increases the risk of data breaches.

According to recent research, the industries most likely to be affected by data breaches are healthcare, finance, and pharmaceuticals. Firms that deal in these areas while allowing lawyers to work remotely should take extra precautions to ensure their employees are following best practices for handling sensitive data from home, though any lawyer should be aware of the risks of data breaches when it comes to confidential materials.

To protect your clients and staff from suffering a data breach, there are some practices you can implement, such as:

• Require your employees to use a secure VPN wherever they log on

• Create robust cybersecurity policies and procedures for your firm. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework is an excellent place to start

• Implement rigorous training on any policies or procedures you may already have, or new practices you’d like to begin using

• Devote resources to regularly auditing and reinforcing any training and security protocols you implement

• Consider using distributed ledger technology for secure communications

Law firms that are meeting the demands of today’s workforce by providing flexible work options must take care to ensure they are protecting their clients and themselves from infiltration by bad actors. To continue learning about data security and law firm efficiencies, follow the RapidFunds LinkedIn page.

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