Win Outside Counsel for an Insurance Giant

Winning Large Clients

When your firm handles insurance defense, you receive, send, and store highly sensitive materials. Wise law firms understand that security and compliance are critical because of the growing threat to cybersecurity. Without the proper safeguards in place, you put clients’ information at risk and jeopardize your reputation. And large insurance companies simply won’t hire you if you don’t apply the right controls and protocols to keep their data safe.

They’re right to be cautious: 80% of the largest 100 law firms have been hacked since 2011, according to the American Bar Association in 2015. Law firms are a prime target for hackers because they store large amounts of high-value, confidential data. In The Security Vulnerabilities Law Firm Hacks Create for Corporations,” which appeared in Inside Counsel in June of this year, Amanda Ciccatelli writes, “IT capability is often viewed as an administrative function, not an integrated business capability, and as a result, information security has suffered.”

The rewards of working with large corporate clients are sizeable. To get your foot in the door, you need to be aware of vulnerabilities, be able to bolster security, and meet insurance companies’ compliance requirements.

What You Can Do to Win Outside Counsel

There are ways to determine what holes you have in your security controls and how to patch them. You should, for example:

Protect and back up data and plan for recovery.

Data encryption, dual-authentication, administrative policies, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems can help protect data. Secure off-site back-ups are another key component to data security. If a breach still occurs, know how you’ll respond—and how quickly you can be back up and running. The American Bar Association article, Facing the Cybersecurity Threat to Your Firm, experts say that “[a]dvance planning is critical for effectively responding to a data breach, and that includes an incident response plan.”

Perform a tech review and assessment.

Since new cyberthreats emerge regularly, you should routinely assess and patch your vulnerabilities. Pay attention to audit logs, so you know who accesses what files and can see if something unusual happens.

Understand what devices attorneys and other staff use to work.

Are they using their personal Smartphones and laptops to work outside the office? Are they carrying client information on flash drives? What kinds of safeguards are in place on those devices?

Control access to information.

If an attorney isn’t working on a particular case, there’s no reason for him/her to have access to it. This precaution isn’t about attorney ethics—client confidentiality is paramount to lawyers. Rather, it’s about decreasing the number of ways that hackers can access information. Train employees and attorneys to follow security protocols. As Chris Pogue, CISO of Nuix Solutions writes, “Protecting your information is a battle that is fought by every member of your organization, from the most senior partner to the newest intern, who has access to any data of value.”

These recommendations can be used by law firms looking to increase security in order to be more attractive to any large corporation, but there are also “insurance-specific uses of technology, internal and external research capabilities, and client support databases that should be a part of a law firm’s technology resources,” according to an article written by Bob Dolinsky, CIO of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.

Crafting a strategy and executing its steps may seem like expensive, time-consuming, and technical work. But it all depends on the avenue you take. Working with an IT firm on a project like this can end up costing tens of thousands of dollars, and the process can last months.

Faster and Less Expensive Solution

Legal Workspace can take a project like this off your hands and deliver it more quickly than you might expect. Depending on the size of your firm, it could take only a week for Legal Workspace to perform a cybersecurity audit and apply the appropriate controls for compliance with large insurance companies’ standards and with government regulations.

And, if you’re considering getting into the insurance defense game, but you’re concerned about the upfront costs of upgrading your IT to handle compliance requirements, Legal Workspace’s fees are only a fraction of the cost of working with an IT firm.

The other upshot of selecting Legal Workspace to help you get compliant is that as new threats emerge and security standards evolve, you don’t need to worry about shelling out more money: Maintenance and updates are automatically included.

There are usually a lot of hurdles a law firm has to jump in order to win the business of a large insurance company. The security and compliance hurdle doesn’t have to be the most difficult and expensive one to clear.



How to Centralize and Simplify Satellite Office IT for Law Firms

Law firms take on new shapes as they grow. One might become a regional powerhouse with two or more offices; another might act as an umbrella for a consortium of small offices located near to one another.

Regardless of the shape a growing law firm takes, firms with more than one location (or satellite offices) need to take on ever more complex technological solutions to manage and secure data.

The engineering team at Legal Workspace says that a law firm with satellite offices faces many of the same challenges as a firm concerned with optimizing mobility. Those firms will encounter issues around architecture and infrastructure.

Many of these types of firms opt to install their own infrastructure, using servers and Wide Area Networks that allow remote offices to access data—but even carefully constructed and well-maintained systems will run into difficulties, most of which revolve around performance, collaboration, and cost issues.

Improve Productivity by Enhancing Performance

When a firm operates from its own servers, there are any number of performance issues that could arise, including defective components, power problems, bottlenecks, software licensing surprises, and network and security issues.

Most of these firms need to work with an IT consultant or add a staff member to troubleshoot problems and maintain the system. Issues that might appear could be based on “age, equipment, or abuse,” according to Legal Workspace experts.

If performance issues are severe enough, they waste time and resources. And, if they interfere with productivity on a regular basis, it might be time to switch to a solution that is maintained continually by legal IT experts.

Because the specific needs of law firms are the foremost objective at Legal Workspace, its engineers can design a solution that allows users to be relieved of performance problems.

Streamline Workflow with Document Collaboration

When numerous people collaborate on the same documents, it’s important that they don’t waste time updating different or duplicated versions. If the same data is saved in multiple locations—or if someone has to go to a certain shared drive for information of one kind, and another server for information of another kind—confusion and mistakes are bound to happen. Now, with the most recent version of SharePoint we even have the ability for attorneys to work on a document at the same time.

The engineers at Legal Workspace help many law firms with satellite offices maintain a collaborative infrastructure—a central depository of applications and data, or a shared location—in order to diminish the likelihood of lost productivity from collaborative, but keeping a collaborative infrastructure in place gets expensive.

Making the transition from supporting a local technology infrastructure to a virtual cloud-based solution IT management is well worth it. The complexity of the transition is situational, but Legal Workspace makes planning a priority to get everything consolidated in one location where everyone can find everything easily.

Reduce On-Site IT Infrastructure Costs

Let’s say a firm has two major locations. The infrastructure might be set up in any number of ways. For example, there could be a server at each location, or a server in one location that the other location remotes into via an MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) tunnel. MPLS tunnels are devoted high bandwidth tunnels that run between offices to keep data synced.

But those tunnels are expensive: Depending on the amount of bandwidth you need, it could cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month, which adds up quickly.

Law firms experiencing rapid growth benefit from a cloud-based IT solution, like the one provided by Legal Workspace, because adding local servers makes growth more complicated. With each new office added, more equipment and software licenses need to be purchased; whereas, with our cloud workspace, all a firm needs to do is add users.

And, regardless of the way in which a law office might build its infrastructure, data backup remains the most important factor. Accidents, glitches, and equipment failure happen, but they don’t need to interrupt business with the right cloud based IT infrastructure. Legal Workspace backs up its clients’ data in real time and to a second data center.

A cloud-based solution that works

Should a law firm decide that performance, collaboration, or expense issues are interfering with its ability to do business, a Legal Workspace solution could streamline workflow and simplify the way its workers interact with technology and information.