A recent report warned that lawyers have an “ethical and regulatory responsibility to protect your client’s confidential information, it is imperative that you have a plan in place to protect your data from loss, corruption or theft.”  Abacus Data Systems issued its report entitled “10 Critical Disaster Planning Essentials for Your Law Firm” which included these troubling statistics:

  • 96% of all business workstations aren’t being backed up
  • 30% of small businesses will experience a natural disaster
  • 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down within six months of the disaster

In particular you should consider these great ideas:

3. AUTOMATE YOUR BACKUPS – The #1 cause of data loss is human error! Do not rely on someone to set up your data backup – they could set it incorrectly, or not at all. Automating your backups so they run without any interaction, along with auto email notification to notify you or your team of any issues saves you sleepless nights. Establish program backup procedures and test them regularly – you do not want to discover during a disaster situation that your data backup system is faulty.

9. TEST YOUR SYSTEM -Only about 50% of companies test their disaster recovery plan once a year, and 14% never test it at all! Having a disaster plan in place isn’t enough – you need to know that it is reliable. Run a test once a month to ensure your backups are working and your system is secure.

Here are all 10 Critical Disaster Planning Essentials:

  1. HAVE A WRITTEN PLAN
  2. SET UP A COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
  3. AUTOMATE YOUR BACKUPS
  4. HAVE AN OFF­SITE BACKUP FOR YOUR DATA
  5. HAVE REMOTE ACCESS AND MANAGEMENT OF YOUR NETWORK
  6. IMAGE YOUR SERVER
  7. NETWORK DOCUMENTATION
  8. MAINTAIN YOUR SYSTEM
  9. TEST YOUR SYSTEM
  10. HIRE A KNOWLEDGEABLE PRO TO HELP

No question that all lawyers need to know more about IT and data management to protect themselves and clients.