More than half of surveyed lawyers list security management as their top IT challenge, topping the list of tech mistakes lawyers make
I take the title of this article back, you don’t have to be a newb to make half the mistakes on this list. The fact of the matter is that tech and the legal industry have never gotten along well, and here’s a list of all the top tech mistakes lawyers make to prove it. But don’t worry. Knowing is half the battle, and I’m here to tell you what you’re doing wrong.
1. You’re Doing Security Wrong
Where do I start with this one? As the number one IT challenge for more than half of lawyers, security is clearly daunting. From attempting to take security into your own hands to storing unencrypted client data on a laptop or other mobile devices to literally clicking on attachments from unknown senders, everything about legal tech security is wrong. Did you know that according to the Wall Street Journal, more than 4 million samples of ransomware was transmitted via clickable email links in the second quarter of 2015? Or how about that storing data on portable devices puts your personal information at 10X the risk? Don’t sweat it, there’s an easy fix for these.
Before clicking on an email link, check to see who the sender is. If it is an unknown address, don’t click on it! If you receive an odd request from a sender you know, call to confirm, even if it’s an urgent request from a superior. Oftentimes, scammers will pose as an authority figure to intimidate you into obedience. Familiarize yourself with what a hacker really looks like. Have robust virus protection installed on your PC that can continually scan attachments for malware and be vigilant about typos, requests for money, and other red flags. Employ two-factor authentication on all of your sensitive data files, and store your information either on the Cloud or an onsite server. And for the love of God, encrypt your client data.
2. You’re Choosing Technology Wrong
What I mean by this is your cheaping out. It’s a lawyer’s worst-kept secret that 9 times out of 10, when choosing tech solutions, cost comes before quality. That’s a big no-no. And you know why? Cause you’ll be paying a whole lot longer fixing the cheap tech you bought than profiting off of the expensive tech you didn’t invest in. A newb lawyer, for example, typically makes the newb mistake of purchasing non-legal-specific software for bookkeeping. When the system crashes, so does your time and money. Womp-womp.
Dish out the money for a good billing and accounting software program made specifically for law firms. And while you’re at it, dish out the money for tech that matters, like a solid case management system. Only you know what processes take top priority. When you figure out what makes you the most money, you’ll figure out what technology should cost the most money, too.
3. You’re Doing Training Wrong
Congrats, you invested in good tech! Bummer, you didn’t invest in tech training. A lot of time lawyers new to tech will ask when the investment stops. The tough answer to swallow is never, really. Training is an integral component of technology because without the right training, your new tech is useless. Most firms skimp here to save a few bucks. All your doing is wasting a lot of bucks. Without training, staff will become averted to using the new tech entirely, making your big investment equal to zero dollars. You’ll waste crazy time trying to figure stuff out yourself. And worse, you might just break something.
Put a little extra cash into good, proper training. Get your whole staff trained so they can work as a team and embrace the investment. Have a skilled IT person explain solutions your new tech can provide, what your tech can offer, and how your firm can leverage the new tech to streamline daily tasks.
4. You’re Tech Guy is Doing Tech Wrong
Sounds trippy, but it’s true. One of the worst newb tech mistakes lawyers make is hiring the wrong tech person- and keeping them. WHY do you guys do this? When your IT department (AKA the guy in the basement) doesn’t know how to restore network systems, recover lost data from the Cloud, properly backup sensitive client information, or have a plan of remediation in case of a cyber attack to retrieve stolen client info, he/she is doing it wrong!
Don’t just hire your partner’s brother’s son’s best friend because he’s good at computer class. If you run a business or are in charge of client information, you have to look into quality tech support. The wrong tech person is one of the fastest ways to sink a firm or your reputation. Having an IT department or qualified professional you can rely on is imperative to your success.
5. You’re Listening to the Wrong Experts
It all goes back to cybersecurity. And this one should be close to home because a new surge of fake tech support scams have flared up just this week. It goes something like this: lawyer is at work, lawyer gets email/pop-up, email/pop-up claims to be from Microsoft, Apple, etc., email/pop-up alleges you have some type of vicious malware, email/pop-up prompts you to call a “support number,” and then demands a bunch of money to fix everything. Heads up, this ain’t a real support number. And FYI, scammers are looking to drain your data and steal your cash.
There’s lots of things you can do to stay alert to scammers trying to prey on supposed security vulnerabilities. For a comprehensive breakdown on spotting a fake, isolating an incident, or dealing with a possible hack, check out our detailed guide here.
For zbrella Technology Consulting, I’m Christopher Clark, goodnight and good luck!