This is the next post in my series on why attorneys should use Linux as their primary operating system. My last article explained how law firms can save money by switching to Linux. These savings can come in the form of lower software costs as well as a lower lifetime cost of ownership for a firm’s hardware. Last time I checked, saving money helps an attorney to do the happy dance! In this post I’ll dive into what I consider to be an absolutely crucial topic – the fact that switching to Linux can greatly improve a law firm’s security. Making the switch can help you revel in the ability to simply get your work done while your competitors find themselves looking at a computer which looks like this:

data breach

There are two reasons why switching to Linux will help your firm avoid these types of situations. The first is the fact that the OS is inherently more secure. Second, you’ll protect yourself from increasing cyber threats. Let’s get to it.

As I discussed in my last article, anti-virus software is generally considered unnecessary on many Linux systems. At the end of the day, one of the biggest threats to your firm is that you or your employees will download some type of malware or virus; the simple truth is that the biggest threat to cyber security is usually sitting in between the chair and the keyboard. So when your employees spend their time downloading junk that they say they’re not downloading, going to websites which they say they’re not visiting, and doing who knows what on your computers, you’re much more likely to be protected when you use a Linux based operating system. I could get into the explanations of why Linux is more secure, and as much fun as I would have writing that type of a “techie”article, the bottom line is that most attorneys are simply concerned with the yes or no question of whether a system is secure. When talking about Linux, the answer is “yes.”

It’s also important to understand that cyber threats are quickly escalating. I’m a big believer that there are three types of law firms. The first has been hacked and they know it. The second, which is highly common, is the firm which has been hacked at some point and doesn’t realize it. The third, which is probably a rare breed, is the one which hasn’t been hacked yet. Hacker crews are getting far more sophisticated with their attacks and law firms are a prime target for them, given the level of sensitive data they house. It’s only a matter of time before firms start getting exposed to domain wide attacks – by this I mean that a hacker will simply write an app that can simultaneously target every email address on a given domain. Such an app could quickly target every person, at every law firm, in a given city. So in other words, it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing stories about a lawyer who comes into work one day and finds out that all of their clients’ information is for sale on the “dark web.” By switching to a more secure operating system you can alleviate some of these risks. This means that using the most secure OS is now essential.

Have you considered Linux as a way of improving your law firm’s security? Please chime in through the comment form below.