You know that mysterious closet in your office? The one that sits untouched with blinking lights? It’s the closet that holds the entire computer network infrastructure for your law firm, and it’s time someone pays attention to that space filled with incredibly vulnerable technology.
On-premise network environments, where the business owns and houses all of the necessary networking equipment on-site, are the most common firm network infrastructure setups. But there’s a problem with this setup, and it occurs all too often: out of sight, out of mind.
Your team is busy handling the day-to-day challenges of running a successful practice; there’s no time to think about IT, especially not when your equipment is tucked away in a server room or closet. But neglecting your firm’s on-prem network infrastructure is a major security risk.
Here are six must-haves to protect your law firm’s on-prem network infrastructure:
1. House your equipment in a secure area
You never know who’s walking through your building, and with tactics like social engineering, not everyone has good intentions. Lock up your networking equipment!
The location where you store your equipment is the first line of defense against a physical attack, and it needs to be secure. Only allow authorized employees to access this room. You should ensure that your server room or closet is protected by a key fob or passcode, and only share your codes with the employees authorized to manage your IT infrastructure.
2. Protect your equipment from disasters
If a fire or bad storm took out your firm’s building today, would you lose all of your business data? Just as your server room needs to be protected from people, it also needs to be secured against Mother Nature. Be sure your IT equipment is housed somewhere that is well-protected from the elements.
Protecting your network environment from disaster includes installing the right fire prevention measures. A clean agent fire suppression system extinguishes fires without damaging your sensitive IT equipment.
3. Ensure your data is backed up off-site
For law firms, your data is your business. If a disaster or other accident were to destroy your network infrastructure, you could lose your firm—unless you have all of your data backed up off-site.
Disaster recovery is a critical measure for maintaining business continuity. No law firm can afford the downtime that comes from an IT disaster. Backing up your data off-site or in the cloud ensures that you can get back to helping clients as quickly as possible.
4. Properly cool and maintain the network environment
If there’s one thing to know about your server room, it’s this: server rooms are not storage closets.
Keeping the server room organized, clean, and properly cooled is an important part of protecting your equipment. Don’t risk damaging your IT equipment by failing to maintain the proper environment. Beyond hurting the equipment itself, which is costly to replace, a dusty, cramped, or too-warm environment could contribute to sparking a fire that damages other parts of the building.
5. Set up automatic alerts for disruptions
When something goes wrong, you need to know about it right away. Set up automatic alerts that warn you of any disruptions, whether it’s forced entry to the room, a sudden temperature spike, or failure of a piece of equipment.
6. Make all necessary updates and upgrades
Technology is changing constantly, and there’s no hard-and-fast rule about exactly when you should perform updates. But if your law firm owns your networking equipment, you need to understand that making the proper software updates and equipment upgrades is a big part of protecting your IT.
There are a few indicators you can follow that will help you determine when it’s time for an upgrade:
- Performance: Noticing any regular slow-downs or crashes?
- End of Life: Is the software still supported?
- New Technology: Has any technology entered the market that will make your firm more efficient, more productive, and more profitable?
If your law firm owns your networking equipment, implement these six must-haves today in order to protect your business data. Not sure whether you have the right pieces in place? Contact SymQuest today to request a Network Assessment.