Digital security is an especially vexing problem for small law firms and solo practices, which often lack the IT resources of big law. And yet, for less than the cost of lunch with a client, all-in-one security software suites can provide an effective first line of defense against myriad digital attacks - from both inside and outside a firm's network.
There's no shortage of software options to choose from, and updated versions of existing products roll out every year like new car models. Norton Internet Security
, for example, has an updated package for 2013. There's also McAfee Internet Security 2013
, Kaspersky Internet Security 2013
, and Webroot SecureAnywhere Complete 2013
. All of the above fall in the $25-$65 price range - true bargains when you consider the value of the data they're protecting.
Most of the major security suites protect against similar kinds of threats. Symantec's latest Norton Internet Security protects against the current array of viruses and spyware. Such Internet-borne plagues mutate all the time, which is why if you own security software that's a few years old, you should replace it with an up-to-date version.
Security suites also set up a line of defense against identity theft when you bank or shop online, and they'll alert you to bad files and websites when you browse and share. Many feature protection against "phishing" websites, which are set up to trick you into revealing your passwords, credit card numbers, and other confidential information.
Norton's 2013 suite will also scan your firm's Facebook News Feed for dangerous downloads and suspicious links, since social networks are increasingly being used to launch attacks. The package protects users' identities by remembering, securing, and automatically entering user names and passwords. Using Norton's cloud-based management tool you can fix, update, renew, or install Norton products on additional computers, without having to find an installation CD or product key.
Over the years, security suites have done a better job of shrinking their footprint on your hard drive so as not to slow down the computer. Most of these packages work invisibly in the background and keep the number of annoying pop-up warnings to a minimum.
Some security software is aimed specifically at large corporate customers in markets that are heavily regulated, the legal trade being one of the biggest.
EVault Endpoint Protection
, for example, is an all-in-one laptop backup, recovery, and data security package that helps law firms and other companies control information across an entire mobile workforce. EVault Endpoint automatically backs up all data to the company's dedicated cloud servers, providing data security off-site. Then if someone loses a laptop at Starbucks or the airport, the software can remotely scrub the data from the computer.