Website filtering for law firms is a simple online security precaution to implement, yet many law firms fail to take advantage of the opportunity to protect confidential data. Why is this? One possible answer is that lawyers are trained to conduct themselves within a strict legal framework and, as upholders of the law, feel immune to the threat of cybercrime and data theft.
Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth. Law firms are increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals because of the confidential data they maintain and because, historically, they have lax online security. The size of the law firm is immaterial. Cybercriminals will – and have – target any law firm from the smallest solo practitioner to the largest multinational operation.
How Cybercriminals Infiltrate Law Firm Databases
Cybercriminals use many different methods to infiltrate law firm databases. Whereas many methods are opportunistic and consist of drive-by downloads when a user visits a compromised website, others are more targeted – such as spear phishing attacks via emails sent to individual employees. The objectives of these methods is often the same – to obtain a user´s login credentials.
With a user´s login credentials, a hacker can log into a database remotely and extract data at will. It can be months before a data breach is identified, by which time the breach is irreversible. The key to preventing this scenario is to implement measures that strengthen a law firm´s online defenses. A hacker that finds it too difficult to infiltrate a law firm´s database will give up and try somewhere else.
Website Filtering for Law Firms is an Effective Deterrent
There are a number of tools that can help strengthen a law firm´s online defenses, but few are as effective as website filtering for law firms. Website filtering for law firms can prevent users visiting compromised websites or websites created with the sole purpose of obtaining login credentials. They can also be configured to block the download of file types most commonly associated with malware.
Using the same mechanisms, Internet filters for law firms can also be used to enhance productivity or prevent HR issues. The parameters of the filtering solution can be configured to prevent employees visiting social media websites, gaming websites and online shopping websites, or from visiting websites whose content is likely to offend colleagues and create a hostile working environment.
How Internet Filters for Law Firms Work
Internet filters for law firms use a three-tier mechanism to strengthen a law firm´s online defenses. The first tier blocks access to websites known to harbor malware and those known to be phishing sites by comparing a request to visit a website against a blacklist of harmful websites. If a match is found the request to visit the website is denied and the user advised why.
The second tier – category filters – prevents users visiting specific categories of website. These can be those with a high risk level – pharmaceutic websites, free software websites and airline booking websites – or categories of website identified by a system administrator as being harmful to productivity or inappropriate to be accessed by an employee of a law firm.
Keyword filters make up the third tier of Internet filters for law firms, these enabling the fine-tuning of category filters to ensure that websites required for bona fide purposes can be accessed. Keyword filters can also be used to block the downloading of potentially harmful file types, or file types – such as live streaming videos – that reduce productivity in the workplace.
Why HTTPS Content Filtering Software for Law Firms is so Important
Ever since Google announced it would enhance the rankings of “secure” websites in search engine results pages, many website owners have encrypted their websites and obtained an SSL certificate. Unfortunately, the SSL certification process is not as rigid as it once was, and web performance service providers are now offering free SSL certification to website owners who pay to use their other services.
This has resulted in many “secure” sites not being as secure as they seem. Anybody can get an SSL certificate – including cybercriminals – and, with their websites encrypted, can avoid their malware payloads being detected by standard web filtering solutions for law firms. For this reason it is important to use HTTPS content filtering software for law firms.
HTTPS content filtering software for law firms is software that reads the content of encrypted websites in order to ensure they are not harboring malware or contain content that has been prohibited by a system administrator. HTTPS content filtering software for law firms should be included as standard in any web filtering solutions for law firms, but it is always better to check.
Other Important Features of Web Filtering Solutions for Law Firms
There are several other features of web filtering solutions for law firms that are important if the solutions are going to be effective deterrents to cybercriminals and effective obstacles to cyberslackers. Possibly one of the most important of these is ease of use. If web filtering solutions for law firms are difficult to implement, or time-consuming to manage, system administrators may find them more trouble than they are worth.
Along a similar theme, Internet filters for law firms should be versatile. It should be possible to easily set different filtering parameters by user, user-group or universally so that employees have Internet access according to their roles within the company. In this respect, it would be beneficial if web filtering solutions for law firms were set up for easy integration with LDAP, NetIQ, Active Directory and other backend management tools.
Finally, a reporting feature is a must-have. Reports on Internet activity can inform administrators about attempts to visit unsafe or prohibited websites and attempts to circumnavigate filter settings with VPNs and anonymizer websites. The reports can also help to police Internet use to ensure compliance with acceptable use policies and provide information about which Internet use rules should be tightened, and which can be relaxed.
Website Filtering for Law Firms from WebTitan
WebTitan offers a range of web filtering solutions for law firms, each with the important features mentioned above, and each being infinitely scalable with no limit on the numbers of users that can be connected to the solutions. Whichever of our Internet filters for law firms is implemented, administrators can be assured of low maintenance overheads, universal compatibility and access keys for sanctioned overrides.
Our most powerful content filtering software for law firms is WebTitan Gateway. WebTitan Gateway offers administrators maximum control over Internet access to optimize protection against web-borne threats. Our content filtering software for law firms can be installed behind a firewall as a software solution or as a virtual appliance.
WebTitan Cloud is one of the leading cloud-based web filtering solutions for law firms. Being cloud-based there is no software to install, and implementation requires a simple redirection of a company´s DNS. Configuration takes just minutes, and settings can be applied and adjusted as necessary via a web-based control portal.
WebTitan Cloud for WiFi is an appropriate solution for website filtering for law firms that operate a wireless service. Our WiFi Internet filters for law firms allow for the careful control of Internet access, protecting companies, users and devices from malware and viruses. WebTitan Cloud for WiFi can protect wireless services of all sizes – from single WiFi routers to a nationwide network of hotspots.
Try WebTitan Free for Thirty Days
If your law firm has not yet taken precautions to protect confidential client data, we invite you to try the WebTitan product of your choice free for thirty days. Our offer consists of fully-enabled content filtering software for law firms with full customer and technical support throughout the trial period to help you optimize the filter´s settings for your company´s specific needs.
There are no set up fees, no contracts to sign and no need credit cards required in order to take advantage of our offer.