Securing Your Calgary Remote Law Practice
Have you considered the way your law practice will operate in a post-pandemic scenario? According to a StatsCan report, “businesses that indicate teleworking as potentially applicable to their workforce, just over one-quarter (25.2%) reported being likely or very likely to offer more employees the possibility of teleworking or working remotely once the COVID-19 pandemic is over, while 14.3% were likely or very likely to require it.” Regardless, if your Calgary firm offers continued remote law practice, you face one of two potential environments:
A portion of your staff returns to the office while the others participate in remote law practices.
Your entire staff continues working remotely, requiring upgrades in your remote IT environment.
During the rush to cope with emergency situations brought on by the pandemic, you managed with basic security measures. The decision to include any level of remote work in your long-term vision calls for optimized and robust cybersecurity defenses.
The Pros and Cons of Working Remotely
Over the course of the pandemic, there have been benefits for everyone in the remote work environment.
Employees say they are more productive when working from home. They like having the ability to give their full concentration to a project. They enjoy the reduction in work-related expenses and the improvement in their work/life balance.
Employers have noted increased productivity and the willingness of their staff to adapt and collaborate. The savings in maintaining a physical office space is evident. They have also experienced the advantage of hiring qualified personnel that is only available for remote law practices.
Once the obvious challenge of maintaining business continuity was handled, the next big issue was ensuring that remote workers had the technology in place to access their work remotely. One of the hard lessons learned came about from security breaches experienced by close to 40% of businesses due to unsecured remote workers.
Adopting a long-term model of remote work requires:
- Upgraded security systems
- Providing the correct hardware for remote employees
- Implementing sustainable file-sharing and collaboration tools
Communication in a Remote Law Practice Office
Effective communication is vital in law practice, and it has posed a significant challenge for Calgary firms during the pandemic. At this point, you likely have integrated various solutions, such as a video meeting platform and a file sharing service. Communication and collaboration equal productivity in either the office or from a remote location. So, the tools you have in place are critical. If your current systems are not meeting your standards, consider using a familiar Facebook-style interface. There, you can create knowledge groups where your staff can post ideas and respond to questions.
Security Solutions for Hybrid Models and Long-Term Remote Work
Hybrid or long-term models for remote work may help to sustain the safety of your staff, but they cannot be implemented at the expense of your sensitive data. Remote access to private business information and applications needs to be delivered as securely as it is at your office. You would not think of dropping your firewalls and antivirus software there, so why take risks while your employees work through home networks on laptops and smartphones? Maintaining a high level of cybersecurity for remote law practices makes sense.
- Identity Management — Security monitoring solutions allow you to track the characteristics of your users. Irregular behaviour identifies impersonations by cybercriminals.
- External Document Security — You can implement security measures on documents that allow you to control access even when they are out of your system. Arrange for protection in accordance with your internal document governance standards.
- Email-Based Data Control — Enforce strict security standards for the ways files and information are shared. Flag sensitive documents as they enter the outbox and add necessary restrictions.
- Secure Cloud Platform — Have your remote workers access sensitive data only through the cloud, restricting them from copying and pasting or printing locally through their home network.
- Control Mobile Devices — Regulate how sensitive data is accessed, stored and managed on mobile devices and ensure it can be wiped in the event they are lost or stolen.
Promoting Productivity With Remote Law Practice Workplace Solutions
Before you make your decision regarding a continued remote or hybrid working environment, rest assured that CTECH Consulting Group provides state-of-the-art technology for secure and productive workplaces.
- Collaboration — Invite anyone to work from any device, such as a laptop, desktop, or tablet simultaneously while viewing their edits in real-time.
- Mobility — Allow all team members to instantly access company projects using their home devices. Then, assign your business phone number to all devices.
- External Engagement — Invite outside experts or clients to work securely with your staff, sharing ideas and collaborating on files.
Legal, Compliance, and HR Considerations
When managing an entirely or partial remote workforce, compliance is essential. The security vulnerabilities you must deal with depending largely on which legislation applies to you. A risk assessment checklist points out the security systems your firm requires for compliance. Then, measures can be taken to protect the integrity of your data for remote law practices.
It means auditing your IT to identify solutions for weaknesses. Your current and future hardware must be supported and your software patched. The cloud partners that store and access data for you, and your data “supply chain” must also be secure and in compliance.
- Enforce Compliance — Have your security system configured to oblige internal policies, industry best practices, and government regulations.
- Enforce Compliance — Specific usage policies such as GDPR, HIPAA or HR must be upheld across your entire organization.
Managing Your Remote Staff
Working remotely does not come naturally to everyone. Indeed, in this business era, managers must devise new strategies for addressing issues that normally would have been resolved in the office.
- Provide Training — Ensuring that your staff is proficient in using remote technologies and executing security measures goes a long way to averting data breaches.
- Promote Accountability — Establishing team to-do-lists and partnering up to talk each other through systems are ways to reduce mistakes such as data leaks.
- The Right Workspace — As much as possible, assist your employees with setting up proper workspaces at home to ensure they are comfortable and free from distractions that could lead to errors.
- Promote Workday Balance — Working remotely comes with its own set of stressors, such as loneliness, overwork,, and inability to separate work life from home life. Make sure your staff takes proper breaks and schedules time for casual communication.
Expert Assistance in Remote Law Practices
The bottom line for remote workplace cybersecurity is preventing the wrong information from leaving your system. You need to keep your law practice running without struggling to protect sensitive data, but don’t assume you have to sort it out on your own.
CTECH Consulting Group has extensive experience assisting law firms to launch, optimize and secure remote work capabilities. Contact us today for help with mapping out a cybersecurity strategy to protect your practice for the long-term.
My passion is to make my mark on the world in a positive and lasting way. I want to set an example for my son that his father can compete with integrity in today’s world, be very successful, and leave the world a better place for him.
Combining my technical/business-based education with a long career steadily progressing up the corporate ladder, I decided to build a company that held true to my values. So, I founded and designed the next generation of IT support firm: CTECH Consulting Group Inc. We are a completely automated, cloud-based IT company designed to compete against any other IT firm without the overhead. We promote a lifestyle to all our staff where they can work anywhere, at any time, access any information on any device that is relevant to their job, and collaborate with anyone they want to.