The NBA finals have arrived with the Warriors and Cavaliers fighting hard to rule the basketball court. As I was catching up on the action from last night, I came across a terrific article on HuffPost about cybersecurity lessons we can take away from the NBA finals. Since TimeSolv is committed to providing your practice with the most innovative and secure legal billing services possible, I thought a discussion of the article might prove useful.
In the article, Huffington Post contributor Vala Afshar interviews Dr. Alisa Johnson, the Chief Information Security Officer for Xerox and the Former Chief Information Officer for the White House. (Impressive credentials, right?) She also happens to be an avid basketball fan, having played the game herself. Dr. Johnson likens cybersecurity to an ongoing war between opposing parties, just like these two final teams are fighting for the championship. Based on an analysis of the game, here are the three lessons she offers:
- Fill in the gaps. According to Dr. Johnson, there are substantial gaps within the cybersecurity industry, with inadequate training of information security professionals. For your practice, this may look like an administrator who is trying to take on IT responsibilities or an IT person who has not received updated training in years. As explained by Dr. Johnson, just as the Warriors have strong backups to replace their starting lineup, you need to ensure that you are closing the security gaps in your network. Ensure that your IT professional stays abreast of new and evolving threats. If you cannot afford a dedicated IT professional, consider contracting with an established cybersecurity company.
- Address the basics and evolve. Many law offices, particularly smaller ones, consistently operate with very minimal security features in place. Whether you are using an outdated operating system or failing to upgrade your software, Dr. Johnson says that these types of weaknesses place you organization in a reactive stance, instead of a proactive one. You must address the IT basics within your practice and “refresh” them to appropriately keep up with advances in the cybersecurity realm. The article uses the Cavaliers to demonstrate this point. Dr. Johnson says that the team has made little adjustment over the last three years, with few changes. Within the games, they appear reactive, while the Warriors are benefitting from their failure to evolve. (Sorry Cavaliers fans.)
- The side with the best tools wins! You need the right tools to win the cybersecurity war. Here is the good news though, as a small or medium practice, it is unlikely that you are up against the most highly sophisticated nation-state type security threats. So, you can let government agencies and mega firms deal with that level of attack. However, that doesn’t mean that you can sit back and complacently act like your firm is invincible. Whether, your practice is hacked by a sophisticated network or an angry former client, a security breach can prove detrimental to you and your clients. Implement the right tools to handle the appropriate risk of breach. As explained by Dr. Johnson, the Warriors broke records last year with their skill and performance, yet they saw the need to add an additional tool to their bench with Kevin Durant, who is consistently helping them in this war against the Cavaliers. Check your cybersecurity toolbox and make sure that you are upgrading it appropriately.
Who knew that basketball could teach you some valuable lessons about your law practice? To learn more about TimeSolv’s commitment to cybersecurity, click here and sign up for a free trial. You will not be disappointed – and enjoy the rest of the finals!
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, The Legal Writing Studio, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.