Blog by ComTech ActiveCare

Protect Your Data, Protect Your Business

Amazingly, in spite of the ever-increasing need for such, there are very few law firms right now that specialize in cybersecurity.  This doesn’t deny that many law firms are more than willing to take on cybersecurity cases when the need arises; nor does it deny that some firms still consider the cybersecurity “ topic” a strictly IT area of expertise.

lawyer cyber security

Regardless of the reasons why, lawyers need to get better immersed in what is a huge problem, not only in the US but across the globe.  Here are 5 reasons why we need more law firms to specialize in cybersecurity issues and cases.

More and more laws are being passed that deal with the ever-worsening and continuously-more-complicated topic of cybersecurity.  Some of these laws include HIPAA, ECPA, CAN-SPAM, FCRA, Sarbanes-Oxley, etc.

Many people fail to understand or appreciate the obligations that go with having access to the latest technologies.  These technologies include cloud computing, Smartphones, Wi-Fi, remote access, and USB drives. As for the “obligations” in question, how about starting with the right to privacy and the duty to provide confidentiality.

The threat to data stored in or transmitted by electronic mobile devices is at an all-time high.  It used to be hackers that one worried about but other players in the game can include disgruntled employees, careless temps and people that may come to your business posing as something they are not (e.g., soda machine maintenance guys, delivery guys, consultants, etc.).  The point is that the list of people that could potentially threaten the data kept by all organizations is rather long and well-diversified—in other words, this matter no longer involves just computer hackers.

In response to the ever-increasing cyber threats on law firms, “companies are demanding a level of security.  Pressure from clients is causing firms to invest and focus on cyber risk.  According to the 2016 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, 30.7 percent of all law firms and 62.8 percent of firms of 500 lawyers or more reported that current or potential clients provided them with requirements.  Corporate clients are now demanding that law firms have detailed cyber-security plans and prevention tools.”  But how can law firms deliver with technology constantly evolving and hackers investing new strategies to break in?  The answer is to use managed services.  Managed Services offers many benefits to law firms.  Here’s a list of some of the benefits.

Law Office Managed Services

Enhanced Security

Law firms keep highly confidential data and information on clients and companies.  The nature of this highly confidential demands the best of security.  And if a breach of that information occurs, lives can be ruined and even the reputation of the law firm can be forever damaged.  Plus, law firms don’t have the time to worry about the security of their network and computer systems.  Managed providers give 24/7/365 security to law firms by protecting them against viruses, alerting them to suspicious activity and taking immediate, effective action when a breach does occur.  Managed service providers use the latest software and applications to keep on top of things.

Proper planning allows companies to protect data, systems, and people while keeping the business operational during a disaster.

Disaster Planning

The recent devastating hurricanes to hit the mainland United States and Caribbean countries and territories destroyed entire communities. Families, businesses, and governments were left reeling, forced to pick up the pieces, where possible.

The catastrophic impact of the recent storms reinforces the importance of having a sound business continuity and disaster recovery plan. Creating such a plan allows companies facing a natural disaster to follow a deliberate set of actions. In a time of chaos, having clearly defined contingencies can help leaders and employees weather a storm.

Small to mid-size businesses around the country are considering how to maintain data security in the aftermath of one of the largest data breaches in history at Equifax.  How can you ensure that your business has critical patches covered while still staying focused on operational effectiveness?

Data Security

Recent national news regarding big data breaches in organizations such as Equifax has small business owners scrambling to understand what went wrong — and how it can be prevented at their organization. The reality is that the potential of a data breach can’t be eliminated completely from your organization, but there are plenty of ways you can minimize the threat and make plans to come back up to full speed quickly after a breach.  Possibly the worst thing that you can do is start looking around in all directions in the hopes of shoring up your defenses. See how data security can become part of your ongoing strategic technology planning so you can skip the scramble.

Small Business Impact

Small businesses are every bit as vulnerable as enterprise-scale businesses to hack or data breaches, and sometimes even more vulnerable.  The thought of having the personal and financial data of 143 million Americans stolen is enough to cause any business owner to get a bad case of the hives.  Equifax’s security was violated due to the failure to correctly install a software patch, something that many small business owners can relate to as their internal IT departments are increasingly stretched in a variety of different directions.  Installing patches and keeping software up-to-date is one of the first lines of defense for organizations attempting to reduce the possibility of a cybersecurity attack.

Even with all the productivity tools available within Office 365, using several apps at once is not always easy. With Microsoft’s new web app launcher, that’s about to change. It includes a cleaner interface and some small yet functional changes, which gives users a more organized and less cluttered Office 365 environment.

Key changes to the Office 365 main page

The newly added “Recommended” section displays activities — comments, edits, and @ mentions — on recently opened files. This gives users an overview of changes to recent documents.

Underneath the “Recommended” section is the “Recent” document column, which shows the most recent activities, while “Places” displays the SharePoint sites you frequently visit and the OneDrive folders you’ve recently accessed.

Cybersecurity is evolving.  This is more than just a technology issue or an added clause in the retainer agreement—it’s the biggest risk that law firms face in 2017.  Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Weil Gotshal & Manges, two of the largest firms in the United States, got caught in a major cybersecurity breach later linked to a $4 million-plus insider-trading scheme.  Other law firms that were hacked in the past five years include Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, NYC law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Weil Gotshal & Manges and Wiley Rein, one of the largest law firms in Washington, D.C.  Today, cyber risk is just a part of doing business for law firms – big ones and large ones.

Law FIrms Cyber Security

What The Bad Guys Are Doing To Law Firms

Law firms are an easy target for hackers, and hackers seek ways to monetize their break-ins.  They use ransomware to steal data and use blackmail blocking access to the firm’s computer system until the ransom is paid.  Another strategy is to threaten the publication of embarrassing information.  And if law firms don’t comply with the demand, they risk losing confidential data permanently.  Here are three top reasons why cybercriminals target law firms.

Discover the many benefits of partnering up with an IT Managed Service Provider.

Managed Services Benefits

Today, many businesses are partnering up with IT managed service providers. Sixty percent of businesses use IT managed services, and that figure is expected to continue to grow. And that’s due to the many benefits from the services these professionals provide. Here’s a list of benefits to take a look at.

Control the Cost of IT

Paying an in-house IT staff is a costly venture. With IT managed service providers, you get fixed IT costs into variable costs, which allows you to budget efficiently. Companies only wind up paying for what they use and can opt to use it when they need it. Outsourcing IT task just saves companies money.

The Six Lessons Your Small Business Should Learn After the Equifax Data Breach

The most stunning business news in the last month has to come from articles about the Equifax data breach. The company estimated that this cybercrime impacted at least 143 million individuals. This news may also seem worse than other high-profile security problems because victims did not choose to have a relationship with Equifax. Just about everybody who has ever borrowed money, had a credit card or even rented an apartment gets reported to credit bureaus. Consumers can’t just decide to use another credit bureau if they don’t like the service or security that one provides.

Equifax Data Breach

Six Lessons for Small Businesses From the Equifax Data Theft

Your small business probably doesn’t have the luxury of having customers or clients who are forced to do business with you. People choose to patronize your company, so you know the value of maintaining their trust. Even if you have a different business model than a credit bureau, you can use Equifax’s security problems to learn six lessons that should help you protect your company and customers:

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 00:00

Definition: Brute Force Attack

Written by

brute force attack: [brewt fors aht-tack] noun.

In computing, a brute force attack is a trial and error attempt to guess a password by trying all possible combinations of characters until the correct one is discovered. This process is typically automated through the use of software that tries combinations in rapid succession, often speeding up the process by starting with variations of common passwords and dictionary words to improve the chance of success. 

A series of online accounting-specific scams popped up in recent months, prompting cybersecurity experts to take notice.

Online Accounting Scams

Late August saw a series of very similar phishing scams make a brief appearance in the inboxes of online accounting software consumers. By spoofing well-known online accounting software companies, these phishing scams have targeted a large number of consumers in an attempt to sneak banking trojans past their cyber defenses in order to steal banking data and other forms of personal information.

Customers of Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks, and Dropbox received phishing emails that contained legitimate looking invoices that would prompt the recipient to download a zip file that contains a malicious JavaScript file. This JavaScript file quietly executes the banking trojan – a version of Dridex malware – onto the user’s computer.

Once this malware is inside of your system, it will seek out banking data for the hacker behind the phishing scam to use as they please.

Maintaining your nonprofit’s strategic mission focus is critical and often requires next-generation technology to an executive on objectives. IT managed services providers offer exceptional support and value, with a cost structure that is sustainable for mid-size nonprofits.  

Nonprofit Managed Services

Guiding your nonprofit organization to true sustainability while maintaining exceptional mission impact can be a challenging task and one that is littered with damaging assumptions. Navigating through the landmines requires a full understanding of business realities and concepts and how they relate to a nonprofit environment, which can be very different than for-profit strategies and financial leadership principles. For-profit organizations may look for ways to reduce long-term costs by paying additional funds upfront, while not-for-profit organizations may find it more fiscally responsible to spread payments over time. This is one of the many reasons that IT managed services are especially applicable for nonprofits — the ability to reduce upfront costs and still receive exceptional support for new technology initiatives.

Technology is ever-changing, and law firms need it to run a business.  But, a lot of things can go wrong, such as security breaches and forgotten passwords.  Some law firms have a small IT staff, but there may be signs that it’s time to hire outside managed services.  At what point is it time to partner up with a managed service provider?  Here’s a list of some red flags that its time.

Law Firms Managed Services

Inefficient Integration of Line of Business Applications (LOB)

With LOB applications constantly growing, so do the challenges to these tools.  Cost recovery systems, document management systems and more are vital to law firms. These applications need to work synergistically with Adobe Creative Cloud, Microsoft Office Suite, and other standard tools.  When LOB applications seem like they are resulting in less efficiency than expected, it’s time that a managed service provider is in order.

Substantial Downtime

A red flag is waving if there’s a critical software application or server failure that’s not responding.  Users can’t access the needed data.  The industry of law is time-sensitive, and law firms can’t afford to have significant downtime.  Time equals money in the law industry.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017 00:00

Why Do I Need Managed IT Services?

Written by

Learn why your company should be using managed IT services.

Managed IT Services

By 2019, the managed-services market is projected to grow by $193 billion. Both small, medium and large businesses are becoming very aware of the reasons to choose the managed-services business model, and the demand is strong. Here’s an outline of some of the reasons why your business should choose IT managed-services.

Enhanced Security and Compliance

Today, security and compliance are a major concern for all businesses. Operating systems, smartphones, tablets, laptops and other types of technology store and transmit important data. This makes security critical. Falling victim to a security breach or hacker is a common fear. A breach can cost companies a loss in reputation and a huge loss in dollars. Managed service providers help protect businesses from a security breach event and take quick action if one does occur. All businesses must be compliant with regulations specific to their industry, especially the legal and health industries. A managed service provider can supplement additional policies, protocols, and procedures to ensure compliance.

Monday, 09 October 2017 00:00

Just Go with the Flow

Written by

Is your business’ productivity suffering? It may be due to a poor workflow.  Using Microsoft Flow can help.

Microsoft Flow

Is the productivity of your business slipping? Do projects take longer to complete than they should? Perhaps this has nothing to do with inadequate staff training or lack of motivation, but your workflow.

The workflow consists of the steps you take from the start of the project to its completion. A poor workflow impedes productivity and decreases the quality of work. A good workflow offers many advantages and is worth the time to set up.  How do you achieve this?  I tell my clients to use Microsoft Flow.

What is Microsoft Flow?

Although ransomware threats are real and dangerous, there is actually some good news to be had. By knowing what the good and the bad news is, in fact, people will place themselves in the best possible position to deal with these threats. Of course, these so-called “threats” often transform into cases of blatant theft and fraud.

Ransomware Threats

The people behind these heinous crimes, furthermore, are counting on the fact that most of the people who will get hit with ransomware threats have either never heard of “ransomware” or they have assumed that this type of crime only targeted big companies and rich folks. Needless to say, both assumptions are false.

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 00:00

Happy Cyber Security Month Everyone!

Written by

October is Cyber Security Safety Month—How To Keep Your Business Secure Online.

Cyber Security Awareness Month

Threats Continue to Increase.  Unless You Take Specific Steps, Your Business Is in Jeopardy.

Staying safe and secure online is becoming more difficult all the time. Cyber criminals seem to be everywhere, waiting for any weakness in your IT network.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), and has been since 2003 when the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security worked to raise awareness about this increasing threat to our nation’s security.

Cybersecurity Threats Are Increasing.

There’s no doubt that the prevalence of confidential data stored online tempts cybercriminals. Protecting IT is no longer optional – It’s a requirement.

Even with all the focus on security over the past few years, few are truly prepared to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a data breach. With governments now imposing stringent requirements for data-breach notifications, it’s imperative that you stay up-to-date, educate yourself, and comply with regulations—If not, your business and livelihood is literally at risk.

Maintaining your nonprofit’s strategic mission focus is critical and often requires next-generation technology to an executive on objectives. IT managed services providers offer exceptional support and value, with a cost structure that is sustainable for mid-size nonprofits.  

Nonprofit Managed Services

Guiding your nonprofit organization to true sustainability while maintaining exceptional mission impact can be a challenging task and one that is littered with damaging assumptions. Navigating through the landmines requires a full understanding of business realities and concepts and how they relate to a nonprofit environment, which can be very different than for-profit strategies and financial leadership principles. For-profit organizations may look for ways to reduce long-term costs by paying additional funds upfront, while not-for-profit organizations may find it more fiscally responsible to spread payments over time. This is one of the many reasons that IT managed services are especially applicable for nonprofits — the ability to reduce upfront costs and still receive exceptional support for new technology initiatives.

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 00:00

Easy fixes to your WiFi issues

Written by
  From answering emails and using online productivity suites to browsing Facebook and streaming YouTube videos, a fast and reliable internet connection is a must. But what do you do when you experience connectivity issues and slow speed? Here are some solutions to five of the most common WiFi worries.

Good advice from IT pros can reduce chances of a data breach

Equifax Effect

With the latest cyber hack of Equifax in the news, consumers and businesses alike are scrambling to check on their data’s security, and taking steps, such as freezing accounts, to mitigate any possible financial damage. However, the best strategy is to be pro-active in protecting data before breaches have a chance to occur in the first place. Equifax’s failure to do so is a cautionary tale for businesses and other organizations of what not to do about handling sensitive data.

Tuesday, 03 October 2017 00:00

Definition: Data Compression

Written by

compression : [com-presh-un] noun.

In computing, compressing a file is the act of reducing its size so the same amount of information occupies less disk space or memory. Compression is accomplished using techniques such as representing repeating data patterns in a way that takes up less space. 

Page 1 of 18

Microsoft Office 365

 

Learn More

Search the Blog

Posting History

« October 2017 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31