5 Steps law firms can take to protect their credentials from hackers

March 4th, 2020
5 Steps law firms can take to protect their credentials from hackers

Using a password to protect your data may be effective in most cases, but it may fall short against a determined hacker. Most hackers have numerous tools and underhanded tactics at their disposal, including social engineering, malware, and phishing attacks. With these, they can steal login credentials and access your law firm’s data, including sensitive information about your employees and your clients.

That said, you can protect your login credentials using these steps:

#1. Strengthen your password

Weak passwords are among the greatest threats to your firm’s cybersecurity. Especially, if you use common passwords like "123456" or "qwerty." Others use personal details, such as their name, birthday, or address, or a combination of these as their password. What makes these passwords dangerous is that they’re easy for hackers to guess, rendering them useless.

A strong password must contain a combination of letters, numerals, and special characters. For case-sensitive passwords, use upper-case letters in unlikely places, such as the middle of a word or phrase.

Encourage your staff to refrain from using a single password for multiple accounts. You may even set up your system to have passwords expire after a set period of time, forcing everyone to change their passwords regularly.

#2. Use a password management tool

It’s not easy to remember multiple passwords, especially if they’re complex. Even so, you should never write your passwords down on a piece of paper, a notebook, or anything that anyone can find and access easily.

A much safer alternative is to use a password manager. These apps store your access credentials and can even generate long and complex passwords for you. All of your passwords are protected by a master password which you have to memorize. Once you're logged in to the password manager, it will log in to your online accounts by automatically filling out the necessary access credentials for you.

#3. Create tough security questions

In case you forget your login credentials, security questions allow apps to verify your identity before they let you reset your password. If hackers know the answer to your security questions, they can reset your password, log in, and then reset your security questions -- completely locking you out.

When it comes to security questions, it’s okay to make up answers that aren't necessarily true. Use an inside joke or an answer that only you know instead of providing the real answer. As with passwords, try to use a different set of security questions and answers for each of your accounts.

#4. Don’t post everything on social media

Never underestimate the amount of information a hacker can gain about you just by looking at your social media posts. Experienced hackers will be able to glean details like your birthday, favorite food, favorite book character, the name of your school, and your loved ones’ birthdays, among others.

If you use these details for either your password or your security questions, your social media posts could be your digital undoing. Never reveal too many personal details in your posts and don’t use personal details for your login credentials.

#5. Implement multifactor authentication (MFA)

MFA requires you to use more than one authentication method before you can access an account or system. You may be asked to supply a second password, a one-time password (OTP), a one-time personal identification number (PIN), and others.

Keep in mind that hackers always want to get the most money for the least effort, so MFA makes for an effective deterrent. Even if they do try, they’d have a hard time providing the second factor required.

Protecting your law firm from hackers starts with carefully crafted login credentials. Hero can help you with the rest, whether it’s selecting the right cybersecurity tools and apps or identifying and resolving possible threats to your system. Contact us today!

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