In the legal world, we live on deadlines. In our rush to accomplish those goals for our clients, we sometimes take shortcuts. Here are a few shortcuts, especially in technology, that can cost you in the long run and ultimately hurt your practice.
- Poor Software Licensing Practices
Software licensing usually comes in two ways – per site and per seat. Per site means that you are permitted to install your software on all machines in your firm. Per seat means that you are only allowed to install your software on the number of users purchased from the software company. A hybrid model allows for a certain number of licenses with each business software package purchased. Unfortunately, some firms have received harsh monetary penalties for violating licensing agreements by installing multiple copies when the licenses provided for a single user. It is important to review your End User Licensing Agreement to make sure you are compliant.
Buying hardware is much like buying a car. It is best to put your dollars in power and speed. By focusing on processor speed, RAM and hard drive space, you will have equipment that runs efficiently and handle updates without slowing down your network. Unsure about how to spec or size your PC, a reputable managed service provider like Optimum Networking can help.
- Not Embracing Cloud-Based Solutions
There are many cloud-based solutions for law firms. For litigation, there are programs for e-discovery and practice management. For corporate and transactional practices, there are programs for document assembly and collaboration. By utilizing cloud-based programs, law firms can reduce or even eliminate the expenses associated with file servers. Before selecting a cloud-based solution, make sure the software company provides SSL and/or AES encryption for your data. They should also provide backup services for your cloud-based data.
- Faulty Email Security Policies
Most law firms put disclaimers on email to protect clients, however, they fail to have basic policies to protect against threats such as email viruses and malware. There are great solutions to secure email and protect against phishing scams and other online threats.
- Not Implementing Cybersecurity
In today’s world, law firms can be targets of hackers and ransomware. To help reduce your risk, use cloud-based technology for data storage that provides encryption. Make sure your IT support company provides managed network security service as well. You can also implement password security policies in your office. Recently, a large law firm was down for over a week because they were victims of ransomware. Believe it or not, most data breaches are caused by human error such as having a password written on a piece of paper or not locking a workstation when away from your desk.
- Not Utilizing Website Security
Unfortunately, websites are not immune to exploitation. There are a couple of easy ways to keep your website safe – investing in website security or monitoring software and installing website updates. Hackers often exploit a vulnerability that could have been corrected with the latest update. You will want to check with your IT person to verify the correct updates are installed.
- Not Seeking Professional IT Help
When your network goes down, who do you call? By building a relationship with an IT managed services company, you can focus on helping your clients while your IT managed service provider helps you. It will save you time and money and allow you to focus on your client, not technology woes.
Gina Ventola is the Practice Manager for Ventola Law. She has worked in the legal technology field for over twenty years and was previously the Technology Services Manager for an international law firm.