Cybercrime is constantly growing; it increased by 600% during the Covid-19 pandemic, and by 2025, it will cause global losses of $10.5 trillion.
Cyberattacks are much more frequent than you could imagine! According to an A. James Clark School of Engineering study, every 39 seconds on average, a computer with Internet access is affected by malware!
One of the industries particularly vulnerable to hacker attacks is law due to the significant amount of valuable, sensitive and strictly confidential data. That’s why IT services for law firms serve as security guards, facilitating and improving business operations.
This article explains IT services for law firms — the range of activities they include and the advantages they provide.
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What Do IT Services for Law Firms Include?
The most common cyberattacks against law firms are:
- Malware — spies on users to obtain valuable data, usually credentials, whose theft makes up 61% of all data breaches.
- A man-in-the-middle attack (MITM) — a hacker inserts himself into an online conversation between a lawyer and a client or two lawyers to intercept and steal valuable information.
- Business email compromise (BEC) — email financial frauds.
IT services for law firms can prevent cyberattacks and raise law companies’ online security to a new level, but they do much more than that.
IT services provide access to the information and technological resources needed for everyday work and operational procedures. Also, they enhance compliance, boost output and lower operating costs.
IT services can be performed by internal teams or outsourced IT support. Smaller law firms rarely have in-house IT departments. They usually opt for third-party managed IT services to maintain their databases secured and operational.
Some of the most common legal IT services are:
- Support for all end-user devices and the entire IT infrastructure
- Cloud solutions for data availability
- Server management
- Multiple users, locations and device accessibility with secure support
- VPN secure network connectivity
- Daily data backups
- Services for disaster recovery
- Assurance of network availability and performance
Benefits of Legal IT Services
On average, law firms in the U.S. have three employees, which indicates their budget isn’t sufficient for hiring in-house IT personnel. Working with an outsourced IT service provider is significantly more favorable and brings the following advantages:
1. Upgraded Security
Law practitioners are ethically and legally obligated to protect clients' privacy and sensitive data. However, the increased use of cloud services and data processing software has led to greater exposure to cyberattacks. In 2021, 25% of law firms experienced a data breach.
IT infrastructure services identify data risks and use security technologies and measures that detect, prevent and stop cybercrime. IT security solutions span from two-factor authentication, firewalls and anti-malware solutions to data encryption in order to provide data safety and constant accessibility.
2. Improved Data Accessibility
Legal affairs require frequent traveling and remote work. Therefore, attorneys must have secure access to sensitive and confidential data anytime and anywhere.
IT services create cloud solutions for secure data storage so law professionals can get all the information they need, even if they cannot access a virtual private network (VPN).
Cloud services improve legal teams' cooperation since all members can access legal documents simultaneously. They can easily share documents, regardless of location, track each other progress and distribute work tasks more effectively.
3. Increased Productivity
Poor Wi-Fi signal, slow internet connection or interruptions, server breakdowns or denied access to data storage are common problems every company faces.
IT support deals with IT-related problems to assist businesses in reducing server and network downtime. They implement alternative solutions and emergency plans that prevent or resolve issues and threats affecting employees' productivity.
4. Maximized Cost-Effectiveness
Although IT services for businesses might seem unnecessary, they save you money in several ways:
- Replacing expensive in-house equipment with your own infrastructure.
- Eliminating internet connection interruptions that could slow the working process.
- Automating repetitive tasks with artificial intelligence-driven software, which reduces the need to hire more staff.
- Preventing data breaches, whose average total cost in 2022 is $4.35 million!
5. Compliance Support
Law firms receive large amounts of sensitive data they need to handle following government data protection regulations.
However, the United States does not have a single data protection law; hundreds of federal and state regulations guarantee American residents’ personal information security.
IT services support compliance and assist your business in reducing security breaches and data loss risks. Improved compliance also helps avoid legal issues resulting in license revocation, reputational harm and customer and financial losses.
6. Technology Availability
Large law firms have in-house IT support, facilitating online operations using advanced technology and safety measures. Smaller competitors cannot afford this kind of service; therefore, they struggle to keep up to date with IT innovations and often lag on hi-tech matters.
Hiring outsourced IT support for law firms is much more affordable and provides a competitive advantage: it gives them access to much-needed technology and IT specialists' advice.
Like every other business, law firms can expand and grow. Hiring new employees requires software and server upgrades and efficient management solutions.
IT services provide access to modern technology and its security features, which supports law firms in maintaining their expanding practice.
How to Choose IT Support for Law Firms?
IT support can improve the entire law firm’s functioning, but only if you choose the right IT partner.
Identify challenging areas in your business functions that IT specialists could improve. This step will help match your requirements and the IT company's offer and find the best match.
A good IT partner will start with a technical audit that will discover all shortcomings; afterward, it will suggest a strategy for overcoming them.
Research the IT firm’s expertise, portfolio, longevity of market presence and whether it has experience with clients from your niche. That is the only way to conclude whether it can fulfill industry standards and improve your firm’s technological functioning.
IT Services for Law Firms: Final Thoughts
Successful legal practices that generate more than 20% in revenue each year use more IT tools and services than others:
- 85% of highly profitable law firms use some work management tool.
- 79% of law practitioners store their data in the cloud.
- 66% of law firms reported satisfaction with how IT technology impacts their business.
A law firm’s reputation is directly related to the number of its clients and the revenue it generates. A lack of awareness about the importance of data security in the cyber environment can cause reputational and financial damage.
Therefore, law firms must collaborate with reliable IT service providers to strengthen sensitive data protection and maximize work performance.