Every law firm depends on computer technology. You use it for client records, research, and communication. It’s a complex business, with risks ranging from hardware failure to malicious intrusion.
Few legal offices have the in-house expertise to manage their own systems and keep the risks low. Managed IT services are a cost-effective way to keep systems running all the time and avoid data loss.
Lost Data is Lost Business
Your business is built on information, including data from clients, contracts, and cases. If you lose this information, it’s very bad for your client and for your own reputation. You can lose data in many ways:
- Human error. A mistake can delete a file or overwrite necessary information.
- Hardware failure. Disk drives eventually go bad, often at the worst possible time.
- Physical disaster. Fires, plumbing failures, and burglary can wipe out your disk storage. If there’s no backup, it’s a disaster in the business sense as well.
- Ransomware. Malicious software can make your files unreadable and demand that you pay to recover them.
Managed IT services keep your files safely backed up and offer disaster recovery plans. If you lose important information, you’ll be able to get it back quickly.
You Can’t Afford Downtime
If your systems are down when a client or judge needs information, they’ll have only so much patience. Some situations are time-critical, costing the client money for every day that an issue isn’t resolved. A firm deadline in a contract won’t change just because your systems aren’t available.
If you receive a spam message and open its attachment, it could deposit malware on your systems. You have to take them offline to remove the offending software. In some cases, you could have to rebuild the whole installation. Until you get it back to a safe state, it isn’t available for use.
A feature of managed services is preventing things from going wrong, rather than only fixing problems after they happen. You can call in help after a problem occurs, but it will take time to fix it, and you may lose critical data in spite of the repair service’s best efforts. It’s like never getting your car tuned up and then towing it in after it breaks down. With a well-managed system, failures are less likely to occur, and you’ll be able to recover from them more quickly.
You Need to Protect Confidentiality
Data breaches have become a huge problem for law firms. Data thieves can use confidential information for blackmail, to leak to reporters, or to give a competitor inside information. ABA rules require taking reasonable measures to protect confidential data, and legal firms have been sued for failing to do so. A 2016 survey found that 26% of respondents among the largest firms reported that they had experienced a data breach.
Guarding against breaches requires a good defense at all levels. Software needs to stay up to date. Monitoring will detect break-in attempts. Spam filtering will keep dangerous email from reaching people’s inboxes.
Dangerous practices, such as sending data unencrypted over the Internet, are a major contributor to risk. A managed service provider can point out which approaches are excessively risky and recommend secure alternatives.
Law is Your Expertise; IT is Ours
If we tried to handle court cases without expert legal assistance, we’d fare badly. Likewise, you need the assistance of computer experts so that you can focus on giving your clients the best service.
Mobile devices, cloud services, and wireless connections make even a small network into a complex management task. The constant barrage of threats over the Internet makes it important to manage it well. A well-managed set of computer resources lets you give your clients prompt service while protecting them against loss of information and confidentiality. This close attention to data and information security makes you more credible with your clients. Contact us to find out more about the managed IT services we offer.