Author: Joyce Brafford

In the Aftermath Of a Cyber Attack, What Do You Tell the State Bar?

By Joyce Brafford

Your law firm’s security has been breached, and you see that a scammer is trying to steal client funds. It may be wire fraud, a phishing attack or something totally different. But you know that the firm’s security is being tested against a bad actor. You must take action. What should you do, and what are your ethical obligations?

I reached out to Deanna Brocker of the Brocker Law Firm in Raleigh, and she shared some practical advice for anyone who finds themselves in this situation. The Brocker Law Firm concentrates in professional and occupational licensing, ethics and disciplinary matters. The firm also advises and represents professional clients in various related areas, including prospective ethics counseling, private ethics opinions, expert witness testimony, firm disputes, North Carolina State Bar grievance defense and attorney discipline defense.

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Defend Your Firm Against WannaCry and Other Cyber Attacks

 By Joyce Brafford

A malicious program called WannaCry has affected more than 200,000 people, businesses and institutions in 150 countries in recent days. Through a bit of luck, an antivirus professional found a kill switch for the primary program. But other variants are still working. Global attacks may have slowed, but they haven’t stopped. Your law firm needs to update its software and get prepared for the inevitable onslaught of similar programs in the future.

Here’s what we know about WannaCry, and what you need to know to stay safe.

Name and Aliases: WannaCry, WannaDecryptor, WCry and WannaCrypt

Operating Systems at Risk: Windows, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 and Windows 8. The latest version of Windows does not have the exploited vulnerability. If you are running any of the unsupported systems, or Windows 8, download the security patch immediately. You can find guidance from Microsoft here.

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5 Reasons You Should Invest in Technology Training for Your Office

By Joyce Brafford

What’s your average billable rate? $250? $450? What if you could generate an additional two hours every week? What about five hours? Hours reclaimed with the assistance of software add up. We’re talking about a student loan payment, a vacation for your family, or even the ability to hire another staff member.

That money – those opportunities – are on the line if you forgo basic training on your software. I’m not asking you to be a computer engineer. I’m suggesting that you are missing important resources within the programs you use every day.

For instance, how quickly can you:

  • Remove all the unusual formatting from a document?
  • Convert a document to a PDF, then convert it back to Word?
  • Send a form letter to a client using a template and merge fields?

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A Practice Management Expert’s Top Gift Ideas for Techies

By Joyce Brafford

Tech gurus know that nothing pleases a fellow techie like a new gadget for the holidays. Here are my top five picks for the techies you love. Although, you just may keep a few for yourself.

For the Cord Cutter: Mohu Releaf 30, $29.99

This is a wonderful gift for anyone who has, or is thinking about, ditching the cable box. Mohu has a variety of products, but the Releaf is a great place to start your shopping. Built from recycled cable boxes and with a range of 30 miles, it’s a gift that will allow the recipient to cut the cable cord, cut their monthly utilities and stay in touch with local news and events.  http://releaf.gomohu.com/

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Single Platform Seeks Smart Lawyer: The Case for the iPhone-Only Law Office, Part 1

When was the last time you checked your phone? Was it in the last hour? The last 15 minutes? The last 5? Are you reading this article on your phone right now? Chances are, if you’re a Boomer or a Millennial, you check your phone more than 20 times a day (even during meal times). In fact, according to a report based on a recent Nielsen Poll, the worst offenders aren’t teenagers, they’re people aged 25-54.

Now, I’m not here to cast aspersions, or to chastise you in front of your peers. Just the opposite, in fact. I know that none of us are likely to untether from the grid. We use our phones to respond to clients, take notes at depositions, videochat with remote business associates. We have good reasons to be on our phones, and we’re not going to stop using them. So we must create business practices that adhere to the current reality. And for this reality, I postulate that we create iPhone Only law offices. Why?

  1. Lawyers use mobile devices, and ignoring the implications of working on a smartphone is irresponsible.
  2. Using a single platform is better for almost any business, including law firms.
  3. Security, Security and … Security.

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