COVID-19, or the coronavirus, is a subject you can’t help but see and hear every day. The CDC is constantly suggesting preventative measures while we stay glued to the news channels. Schools are closing for weeks at a time and are providing school work online. Only essential workers are supposed to be at work. “Shelter in place” orders are being enacted all over the country. Many companies are sending their employees to work from home if possible. Even lawyers and legal staff are being sent to work out of their homes. Unfortunately, home computers, tablets, and laptops aren’t always up-to-date on all of the cybersecurity measures that companies can implement on-site. Because of this, working from home may pose a problem when it comes to sensitive information

Since COVID-19 has taken all of our attention, many people aren’t as likely to worry about computer security. In this troublesome environment, many law firms are extra worried that the security of their files are at a heightened risk of cyber attacks.

On March 13, 2020, the Infrastructure Security Agency and the United States Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity encouraged everyone who works from home to “adopt a heightened sense of cybersecurity”. At the moment, remote workers are at a heightened risk of phishing attacks, malware, and ransomware demands as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Law firms are able to use virtual private networks to complete telework. They may also have new plans in place to deal with any security emergencies. However, there’s still a real risk that sensitive data will be exposed or even lost. During this crisis, law firm personnel should increase their level of awareness when it comes to file security. No law firm will want to deal with a ransomware attack during these troubling times.

There are steps that law firms can take to make sure their data is as secure as possible. Read on to learn more.

Your law firm’s IT department should be giving as much support as possible. Make sure that they have all of the resources they need to keep the firm’s data secure. All computer updates should take place as soon as possible.

All remote workers should be given the right type of equipment that has been updated and configured properly.

Explain to everyone working remotely that they must follow certain policies while they are working with data and accessing a network. Clarify what constitutes a secure and acceptable internet connection from home. Make sure all workers know what types of devices are okay to use to connect to the internet. Always make sure these directions are clear and concise to clear up any possible confusion.

Hold a cyber meeting to educate all staff on the dangers of cyber threats.

Find out what your remote workers are using to access the internet. Your company may want to encrypt all hard drives and provide users with a virtual private network to connect. Every connection should require multifactor authentication to log in.

All client information and data should be monitored closely.

Ask that remote workers double-check any unusual communications that come in. Remind workers what they should look for in phishing attempts and emails that seem suspicious. If they have any questions about emails that are coming in, ask that they communicate with their IT department before they open them.

Any computers or laptops that are taken home from work should stay in the home. Law firms could put together a “what to do” memo in the event that any equipment becomes lost or is stolen.

All remote workers should have a list of emergency contact numbers.

Carefully read the Fair Labor Standards Act. Some nonessential staff may need to take leave instead of working remotely.

If your firm uses other support vendors, ask your IT professionals to look over the terms of the contracts to see what their views are on targeting cybersecurity. Look for any data breach insurance your company may have.

Remember, timing and communication are extremely important during this unstable time. Any security threat or breach should be addressed immediately.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused problems all over the world. While cybersecurity protections are better than ever, your law firm should take extra measures to make sure remote workers are safe from any attacks. Frequent communication between your IT professionals and remote workers is essential during this time.