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March 1, 2017
Data loss is showing up in the news on a regular basis. Between hackers, natural disasters and employees misplacing devices, big data has become big news. Law firms are particularly vulnerable if they lose data. Bar associations, clientele and other corporations immediately come knocking on the door when a large amount of data has been lost, misplaced, or stolen. Managed service providers can help you keep your firm, your data, and your reputation safe.
The Expanse of Data Growth
There are several reports predicting how fast data will grow over the next couple of years. In one report, it states that data is doubling every two years. In fact, data is growing so fast Thomas Reuters believes law firms will be hiring data scientists within the next couple of years. They state, “a firm could increase its operating margins by 60% by using the data they have currently. With the exponential growth of data, law firms will need to decipher it into understandable bits so they can make actionable decisions and find opportunity.”
To prepare for the upsurge in your law firm, you need to contact a managed service provider about a scalable cloud solution, and a data protection solution. See how TOSS’ vBCDR can help your law firm today.
Information must be preserved. This is not just a philosophical saying, but a mandate by different institutions. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) is mandatory by your law firm, and requires a backup of all emails and data of at least five years. It states that you must maintain the financial records of your firm. This is the duty of the IT department just as much as your financial department. Breaking compliance can lead to steep fines and up to 20 years imprisonment.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is not mandatory unless you deal with electronic patient records. If you store any kind of patient records electronically, then you are responsible for the integrity, security, and management of those documents. HIPAA does not require a disaster recovery plan, but does highly recommend all institutions – including law firms – have one in place.
The Gramm-Leach-Billey Act (GLBA) requires a disclosure on company’s information-sharing policies. It also ensures that clients have the ability to opt out of some of these practices if they wish to. For up to date information covering data security and compliance regulations;
The Truth about Data Loss
Law firms are no longer taking on the thought of what if I lose data, but instead, they take on a proactive approach and ask, ‘how are we going to handle day-to-day operations, secure client data, and protect our reputation WHEN we have data loss.’ Data loss comes in many forms:
When data loss does occur, law firms have to take into account how they are going to deal with it. How are you going to keep your day-to-day operations moving forward? How will the loss affect court filings? Will the clients sue? How much is it going to cost to find out what happened and to restore the data – if that is possible? All these questions need to be asked before the data loss occurs, and recovery plan needs to be set in place. Managed service providers can make sure your daily operations continue at normal speed, they can recover your data quickly, and this can help save your reputation.
Remember; even if you have Lawyer Professional Liability Insurance (LBL), insurers will take into consider the amount of detail you took to protect the data. In fact, if they deem your efforts were not sufficient, then they can refuse to pay the claim and raise your rates. Find out how we can help you now. Get a free assessment.
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