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Cybersecurity and the Solo Practitioner

It comes as no surprise that cybersecurity is rapidly growing in importance in every profession, including law. Big firms worldwide are spending increasing amounts of their operating budget to ensure that their machines have the most up-to-date software available and that their staff is all adhering to necessary security practices. These concerns are also of the utmost importance to the solo practitioner; one security breach would likely be enough to sink an up-and-coming solo practice.

The silver lining to this cloud is that there are a vast multitude of things lawyers can do to increase their security capabilities, ranging from things as easy as email encryption or as difficult as instituting complex hardware firewalls. While the more broad-stroke approaches such as installing the newest antivirus technology and keeping it updated serve their intended purpose, the best way to ensure firms are operating on the most secure level possible is to ensure that the practicing attorneys and staff are aware of the risks involved with a security breach, and know how to do their part to prevent a breach from happening.

Governing bodies of the profession such as the ABA are scrambling to keep themselves up-to-date in terms of security and what they need to require of attorneys to ensure client safety and security. Some jurisdictions, such as Florida, are even making technology topics a required component of their mandatory CLEs, not a very subtle way of relaying the importance of cybersecurity, but an effective one. Especially in a solo practitioner context, if the new lawyer keeps himself current on cybersecurity threats and ways to combat them, a significant breach becomes much less likely.



-Brandon Ellis