According to a study by Dr. Joseph B. Kuhns at the University of North Carolina, a majority of burglars said they would seek an alternative target if the presence of deterrents such as alarms, cameras, and other surveillance equipment were noted.

Similarly, a hacker is more likely to break into your website and wreck damage when there are no protections in place.

As a law firm, your clients and potential clients will quickly lose their sense of security and trust when your website has been hacked. They may start to wonder if this hack is more than what meets the eye. Has their important and private data suddenly been compromised? Unfortunately, recovering from a hacking situation is not an easy process. Fortunately, almost 97% of hacking attacks to your law firm’s website can be prevented through simple measures. Follow these few simple tips and you will be on your way to website security.

  1. Stay updated AND keep everything updated.
    1. Software updates happen for reasons. One of the main reasons being that all software has loopholes, and when hackers find those holes they are quick to abuse and exploit them. However, software developers are just as quick to fix those holes and put out updated, safer software. Ensuring that your software is up to date helps to minimize the risk of a hack. For sites using WordPress, plugins and WordPress core files are updated very frequently and need to be checked on a regular basis.
  2. Strengthen your access control and reign in your error messages.
    1. We all know that they should be complex but how many of us actually follow the rule of at least 3 capital letters, 5 numbers present every other letter, a hyphen, and an exclamation mark? Although it doesn’t need to be that absurd, a strong password for the server and website administration is a simple but crucial tip to follow. Additionally, keeping your error messages for logging in generic such as, “the username and password do not match”, keeps hackers at bay longer than a specific and revealing error message that states, “the password is incorrect” or “the username is incorrect”.
  3. Install security plugins, applications, and firewalls.
    1. There are many website security options available on the web and you should definitely be taking advantage of them. For WordPress sites there are free plugins available such as WP Security or Bulletproof Security which would need to be configured and kept updated to thwart attempts.. For other CMS platforms or HTML site there are malware detection such as SiteLock. There are also many Web Application Firewalls (WAF) that are software or hardware based that you can implement for a monthly fee.
  4. Back up your site frequently.
    1. Frequently backing up your site is for those worst-case scenario situations. As a law firm, there is a great possibility that your website contains a lot of valuable information, losing that in an instant to a hacker because the last time you backed up your site was a year ago is always heartbreaking. Instead, be prepared and back up your site DAILY in as many places as you possibly can. On-site, off-site, whenever you can.

Far too often, we’ll see law firms, who think that their site has nothing really worth being hacked for, only to find their site compromised the next day. The reality is, the majority of website hacks are not to steal your data but rather to deface your website with spam. In the end, whether it’s spam or stealing your data, a security breach is a security breach and regaining your client’s trust after one is a difficult task. Trust us, implement these security tips now for your law firm’s website, before it’s too late.