The average law firm in the U.S. employs less than 10 people. This generally means that each individual in the firm is very active and do not have the time to manage computer networks or update computer workstations. . The average law firm does not have the resources to hire an IT team, but is still plagued with the same obstacles other competitors have on a daily basis. Working with a managed service provider (MSP) can be the most cost-effective solution for handling IT challenges within the firm.
A managed service provider can provide:
Security: The American Bar Association 2019 Cybersecurity Survey results show that a good number of lawyers, unfortunately, have experienced a security breach. In fact, 26% of respondents report that their firms have experienced some sort of security breach (including hacker activity and website exploits to more mundane incidents such as lost or stolen laptops).
Although the 26% figure is notable, also eye-catching is the 19% of respondents who reported that they do not know whether their firm has ever experienced a security breach. As might be expected, the larger the firm, the greater percentage of those unaware of whether their firms have ever experienced a breach (solo respondents, 2% firms of 2-9 attorneys, 6%; firms of 10-49 attorneys, 24%, firms of 100+ attorneys,53%). Of course, there is no way to know the number of firms who don’t yet know that they have been breached.
Consequences of security incidents included consulting fees for repair (37%), downtime/loss of billable hours (35%), expense for replacing hardware or software (20%), destruction or loss of files (15%), notifying law enforcement of breach and notifying clients of the breach (9% each), unauthorized access to other (non-client) sensitive data (4%), and unauthorized access to sensitive client data (3%).
On the topic of viruses, spyware, and malware, results indicate more than a third of respondents (36%) have had systems infected with more than a quarter (26%) not aware whether any such infection has ever occurred. As with security incidents discussed above, the size of a firm impacts the respondents reporting that they do not know: solo respondents (7%), firms of 2-9 attorneys (15%), firms of 10-49 attorneys (30%), and firms of 100+ attorneys (58%).
Consequences of infection have included the destruction or loss of files (14%), unauthorized access to (non-client) sensitive data (3%), and taking steps to report to law enforcement and clients (1% each). Other consequences resulting from a virus, spyware, or malware infection include costs incurred for consulting fees for repair (40%), downtime/loss of billable hours (32%), temporary loss of network access (23%), temporary loss of web site access (17%), and replacement of hardware/software (15%).
Law firms are very familiar with the importance of security and the consequences that can result from lack of it. When a law firm works with a managed security provider, their current security infrastructure can be improved tremendously. Managed service providers can provide a tailored and complete security plan to prevent cyber attacks and internal negligence. This plan can include a mixture of hardware and software practices to provide the best comprehensive strategy.
Also, managed service providers can help law firms with their regulatory needs. Depending on the niche a firm practices, there are regulations like HIPAA that need to be followed for confidentiality. Managed service providers can set up any internal practices and protocols (hardware and software) so that they automatically follow regulatory guidelines. In addition, managed service providers can help law firms be proactive by anticipating new regulations and acting in accordance before there are financial and legal ramifications.
Many law firms spend the majority of their time on menial tasks that hinder them from acquiring new clients or working on current client work. When working with a MSP, law firms can outsource repetitive daily tasks and the MSP can automate it. For example, document management is one of the most impactful ways a MSP can help a law firm. By digitizing documents and using cloud servers, document management is virtually removed from administrative tasks. In addition to the virtually infinite storage provided by the cloud, lawyers can access their files anytime as long as they have internet connection.
Managed service providers can also provide:
- Disaster recovery plans
- Help with incident assessments and evidence preservation
- Review current policies and identify risks
- Craft and edit privacy policies
- Vulnerability and penetration testing
If you’d like to learn more on how a managed service provider can help your law firm, talk to an expert here.
Learn more about our Managed Services for Law Firms.
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