IT Support for Law Firms: Why Is It Important?

IT support for law firms

What if your law firm’s confidential client data got hacked tonight? Would you be prepared?

Cybersecurity isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a fortress for your sensitive legal records and ongoing cases. Yet, an alarming number of law firms overlook the crucial role of IT services for law firms.

Forget losing a case; a simple IT glitch could result in breaching attorney-client privilege or, worse, legal repercussions. With advanced technologies, such as cloud-based case management, time tracking, and billing systems becoming the backbone of legal operations, effective IT support is no longer an option; it’s a requirement.

This article will uncover why IT support for law firms is non-negotiable in today’s tech-driven world. You’ll learn how it can protect your client’s data, streamline your daily operations, and ultimately, save your firm from a legal catastrophe. Read on.

The Rising Cybersecurity Threats in the Legal Industry

Law firms are no longer just the keepers of legal counsel; they’re also vaults of valuable and sensitive information. From client data to financial reports, legal firms are a treasure trove for cybercriminals.

Take for example the case of Proskauer Rose. In April of 2023, the firm revealed that a staggering 184,000 files had been exposed due to an unsecured cloud server.

These weren’t just ordinary files. They contained privileged financial and legal documents, contracts, and more. The data was accessible by anyone savvy enough to look in the right place, and it was exposed for six months before action was taken.

Another chilling example occurred in May 2020, when Grubman Shire Meiselas & Sacks suffered a ransomware attack by the REvil group. The attackers weren’t just after money. They also threatened to release confidential information about celebrities like Lady Gaga.

The hackers initially demanded $21 million, only to double it to $42 million later. While the firm claims to have not paid the ransom, significant data remains lost and potentially available for purchase on the dark web.

Why Traditional Outsourced IT Support Measures Are No Longer Enough

While many law firms have implemented IT security protocols, these measures are increasingly falling short in the face of more sophisticated cyber-attacks.

For instance, HWL Ebsworth, one of Australia’s largest law firms, recently suffered a ransomware attack by the Russian-linked group ALPHV/Blackcat. The firm had the Australian federal government among its clients, yet this heavyweight client roster didn’t protect them from hackers who claimed to have accessed over 4TB of sensitive data.

Traditional IT measures, like firewalls and anti-virus programs, aren’t equipped to handle advanced cyber threats like ransomware-as-a-service and highly targeted phishing campaigns. In another case, international firm Jenner & Block accidentally shared the W-2 forms of 859 employees due to a phishing scheme. Even two-factor authentication and strong passwords aren’t bulletproof, as criminals are finding innovative ways to bypass these protocols.

In fact, relying solely on traditional IT security measures can create a false sense of security. Law firms need to adopt a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity that goes beyond traditional methods. This should include continuous monitoring, timely updates, staff training, and a robust incident response plan to address vulnerabilities and respond to threats as they occur.

Local vs Outsourced IT Support Services: What’s Best for Law Firms?

When it comes to maintaining a smooth workflow, network IT support is critical for law firms. But the question remains: should you opt for local IT support or look to managed service providers for law firms? Each approach has its own merits, and the choice often hinges on specific needs and circumstances.

Accessibility and Speed

One of the advantages of local IT support is the immediacy of service. When a computer crashes or the network goes down, local teams can arrive quickly to troubleshoot the issue. This can be a lifesaver when under tight legal deadlines.

On the other hand, outsourced tech support companies usually operate remotely, which could lead to slower response times.

Expertise and Specialization

Outsourced IT support often brings with it a broader range of expertise. These companies usually handle IT support for various industries, including specialized business IT services like cybersecurity compliance.

A law firm can benefit from this diversified skill set. In contrast, local IT support might not offer the same breadth of services.

Cost Considerations

Generally, outsourcing is seen as a more cost-effective solution. With local IT support, there are overhead expenses like office space, benefits, and salaries. But remember, cheaper doesn’t always mean better, especially when you consider the value of prompt and efficient service.

How Proper IT Support Can Make or Break Your Law Firm

The role of IT support in a law firm extends far beyond fixing computers and troubleshooting network issues. Proper IT support is integral to the efficient functioning of any law firm. A good IT support company can offer a range of services, including data backup, software updates, and crucially, maintaining cybersecurity compliance.

Risk Mitigation

Let’s face it, the stakes are high when it comes to legal work. A breach in data can lead to severe consequences like lawsuits and loss of client trust. A robust IT support system can actively monitor your firm’s digital infrastructure to prevent these kinds of disasters.

Client Trust and Reputation

Clients put immense trust in law firms with their sensitive information. The mere act of selecting an appropriate IT support company that excels in cybersecurity compliance can serve as a selling point. When clients know that you take their privacy seriously, it instills confidence, thereby enhancing your firm’s reputation.

Streamlining Operations

An effective IT support system can streamline your daily operations by automating routine tasks. It allows your legal team to focus on what they do best: practicing law. The right business IT services can optimize workflow, make data retrieval more efficient, and keep the lines of communication open and secure.

Secure Your Firm’s Future with Robust IT Support for Law Firms

The legal industry’s complexity calls for a specialized approach to IT management. Outsourcing your IT support can offer expertise, secure your data, and leave your team free to focus on what they do best. Partnering with a technology-first team, such as Be Structured, ensures that you get the best value without unnecessary add-ons.

Ready to alleviate the stress of IT management and enhance your firm’s efficiency? Contact Be Structured for a free consultation and discover how our specialized IT support for law firms can bring you peace of mind.

About Chad Lauterbach

CEO at Be Structured Technology Group, Inc. a Los Angeles based provider of Managed IT Services for small business. I desire to help small businesses better utilize technology by assisting in high level planning to make sure that new systems will benefit them both operationally and financially. I am careful to implement and support systems using industry best practices.