The Bottom Line

The Bottom LineLPMT is the only section exclusively devoted to the practical aspects of starting, growing, and prospering in your law practice. Each issue of The Bottom Line offers practical tips to further the knowledge of our members in law office administration, financial management, legal ethics, time management, marketing a law practice, office systems and procedures and law office technology.

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Message from the Chair: Cybersecurity in the Golden State

From the April 2014 issue.

Tangela TerryBy Tangela Terry, Esq.
Law Office of Tangela D. Terry

In February of this year, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris released, “Cybersecurity in the Golden State,” it is a guide designed to educate small businesses on how to protect against cyberattacks and data breaches (link to guide- https://oag.ca.gov/cybersecurity).

Small business owners are using wireless technology and smartphones for their operations more than ever. 98% of small businesses report that they use wireless technology and 85% of small businesses reported using smartphone for their operations. (Cybersecurity in the Golden State citing 2013 AT&T Small Business Technology Poll, AT&T Inc. (as of Jan. 9, 2014). ). While it is important to use these forms of technology, it is equally if not more important to make sure that you safeguard against cyberattacks. The SBA Office of Advocacy reported that in just the first three months of 2013, there were more than one billion cyberattacks (Cybersecurity in the Golden State citing SBA Office of Advocacy, “Advocacy Points out Small Business Concerns Regarding the Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework”, (as of Jan. 9, 2014).

If you are a solo practitioner or run a small to medium sized law firm, I highly recommend that you read the guide. Listed below are practical steps that the authors recommend that you follow to minimize cyber vulnerability.

Practical Steps to Minimize Cyber Vulnerability

  • Assume you are a target and develop an incident response plan now.
  • Review the data your business stores and shares with third parties including backup storage and cloud computing. Once you know what data you have and where it is, get rid of what is not necessary.
  • Encrypt the data you need to keep. Strong encryption technology is now commonly available for free, and it is easy to use.
  • Follow safe online practices such as regularly updating firewall and antivirus software on all devices, using strong passwords, avoiding downloading software from unknown sources and practicing safe online banking by only using a secure browser connection.

LPMT Webinar Series- LPMT has some upcoming webinars focusing on financial management, technology tips and other topic areas, so stay tuned!

Thank you to the contributing authors and the e-TBL committee for your contributions. Finally, thank you to the members of LPMT, I hope that you enjoy the articles and all of the many benefits that being a member of this section has to offer. Consider getting more involved, we are always looking for articles for our two publications, The Bottom Line and the E-News. If you are interested in serving in a leadership capacity, consider applying for a position on the Executive Committee, the application deadline is February of each year. (click here to read more about the appointments process http://cc.calbar.ca.gov/).

Best,

Tangela D. Terry, Chair, LPMT


Click here for more information on joining the LPMT Section.The article above is from a recent issue of the Law Practice Management & Technology Section's bi-monthly newsletter The Bottom Line.

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