Keeping on top of all the IT requirements of legal chambers can be challenging and time-consuming, particularly with the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation due to come into force in May 2018. It may seem like all of your attention has been set on preparing for GDPR, checking your current data protection systems, updating data, etc. etc. Therefore, it may be time to start looking at where the overall IT priorities for your chambers should lie.
General Data Protection Regulation
Yes, GDPR is currently at the top of the list. Preparing for its implementation in May 2018 should be a top priority and is it likely to take up much of your attention over the next few months. Once all the necessary changes have been made, GDPR may be able to slip further down the list of IT priorities for your chambers, as long as you have been able to implement an effective system.
Preparing for GDPR will include:
- An analysis of your client base
- A review of your data disposal protocol
- An update of individual’s data permissions
- Implementing a data protection governance framework
- Determining whether you will require a Data Protection Officer
- Updating all information you have stored
- Implementing policies and accountability controls.
Cyber security is going to remain a key priority for your legal chambers at all times. It will require regular updates and reviews, ensuring that your chambers is always on top of the most recent threat. Law firms are always going to be an attractive source of information for hackers, and they will always be looking for new ways to access that information.
When considering your cyber security, remember to look at the following:
- Perimeter security – Your first line of defence against malicious hackers. Perimeter security can include firewalls, intrusion detection, intrusion prevention, and routers.
- Software – Make sure all of your virus-detection software is regularly reviewed and updated
- Passwords – Ensure employees are using suitable passwords containing a variety of characters and symbols, and that they are regularly updated.
- Email management – Emails, and the people that open them, are a central weakness for many organisations. Spam emails are a straightforward way for hackers to gain access to an IT system, but they are easily thwarted if emails are effectively managed and employees are acutely aware of the risks.
- Employee Training – This is something that should be a priority at all times, not just for cyber security reasons but for the sake of data protection and efficient use of software.
Regular employee training can be essential in preventing security breaches and data leaks. It is a well-known fact that employees are the biggest threat to cyber security, whether that is due to a lack of understanding or to cyber security fatigue. Employees should receive regular training on how to recognise and react to threats, efficiently utilise cyber security software, and acceptable usage. Boosting employee awareness about password security and ensuring they understand GDPR will ensure everyone is on the same page.
New Digital Technologies
Once you are sure that you are compliant with GDPR and that your cyber security is air tight, it is time to start thinking about expanding your use of new digital technologies. Depending on where your chambers is technology-wise, this could mean shifting your storage to the cloud, or it could mean utilising some new legal software. Whatever updates you choose, you will be taking a step towards greater efficiency, productivity, and as such, an improvement in overall client experience.
Updating to the cloud, for example, can reduce paperwork, improve cyber security, improve mobile access, and reduce the amount of management required at ground level. With the cloud, much of the work is already done for you. Cloud providers have to provide effective security, including data encryption, and access can only be gained with secure passwords or other security keys. As an additional benefit, the cloud easily expands with your business with minimal costs.
With legal software, you are able to manage your business all in one place. Software can include all sorts of extras, including diaries, document storage, trust fund management, employee management, and accounts management that can allow you to produce invoices and gives client’s access to their own accounts.
IT Priorities For Chambers – Making The Right Choices
Choosing new technologies can impact all of the IT priorities mentioned above, and could include updating your cyber security software. An important point to remember is that all technologies, including malicious technology are always developing. Keeping your cyber security as up to date as possible by making sure your employees know exactly how to handle malicious software and manage their emails and passwords will help to keep your business running smoothly.
For further advice on prioritising and managing your chamber’s IT, contact CBSIT today for expert guidance.