As society becomes more digitally literate, law firm clients are demanding their attorneys do more than “talk the talk” when it comes to data privacy. ISO 27001 certified law firms are just one of the many ways attorneys are starting to “walk the walk” and get serious about security.
Many refer to ISO 27001 as the “gold standard” for information security certification. Though the process of obtaining ISO 27001 certification is rigorous, law firms stand to benefit from such an extensive review of their security practices. Moreover, getting the certification demonstrates to clients (both current and prospective) that your firm meets the highest security standards. However, if ISO 27001 certification is not feasible for your law firm, other options like Clio’s industry-leading security (including ISO 27001 certification) exist.
Read on to learn more about ISO 27001 certification, how it can benefit your law firm, and how legal practice management software can help.
What is ISO 27001 certification?
ISO 27001 is a global standard for managing information security, initially developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). While one of many standards under the ISO/IEC 27000 umbrella, ISO 27001 is considered the most well-known of these standards. The standard outlines requirements organizations should follow to establish, maintain, and monitor an information security management system, regardless of size.
Organizations interested in ISO 27001 certification don’t work directly with ISO or IEC. Instead, organizations that meet the standard’s requirements can retain an ISO certification body to certify them if they successfully complete an audit.
Steps needed for ISO 27001 certification
ISO 27001 certification begins by looking inwards. Organizations must complete an internal audit by establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving their information security management system (“ISMS”).
One recommended method for conducting an internal audit is known as the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” process:
- Plan: The organization identifies internal and external security challenges and prioritizes solutions. At this stage, the organization will develop its information security management system (“ISMS”).
- Do: The organization implements training, processes, procedures, and technology to help address the deficiencies outlined in the ISMS.
- Check: The organization analyzes the effect of implementing the ISMS.
- Act: The organization takes additional action based on the results of implementing the ISMS.
After an organization takes the steps outlined above, an ISO certification body will conduct an external audit. Before this stage, the organization seeking certification will have to gather documentation or evidence for the audit. This documentation or evidence will help prove that you have implemented policies and security controls in line with ISO 27001 standards (and that those policies and controls are working!). If the audit is successful, the organization will receive ISO 27001 certification.
ISO 27001 certification is a comprehensive undertaking. There will be months of planning and work involving every member of your organization. Keep in mind that you will also need to reapply for ISO 27001 certification every three years and continuously monitor your policies and security controls to ensure they’re standing up to threats.
Are law firms ISO certified?
Law firms don’t have to be ISO 27001 certified. However, ISO 27001 certified law firms benefit significantly from meeting the standard. ISO 27001 certification can help law firms strengthen client relationships, stand out amongst competitors, and avoid security breaches.
Read on further discussion of the benefits of ISO 27001 certified law firms.
The benefits of ISO 27001 certified law firms
ISO 27001 certification protects law firms
The most apparent benefit of ISO 27001 certification is that it helps law firms avoid security breaches! This security standard helps law firms identify the training, resources, and technology needed to secure their organization against attacks and inadvertent disclosure.
ISO 27001 certification protects clients
ISO 27001 certification demonstrates to your clients that you are meeting globally-accepted standards for information security. Proving a commitment to security can undoubtedly strengthen your client relationships—after all, building trust with your clients is a key component of a successful practice.
ISO 27001 certification boosts law firm business
ISO 27001 certified law firms may also be more attractive to prospective clients. Security-savvy clients want to work with organizations that can meet high standards for information security. In some cases, ISO 27001 certification may be non-negotiable for prospective clients.
ISO 27001 certification doesn’t have to be complicated
ISO 27001 certification may sound complex, but there are easy ways to ensure that you are storing data securely. For example, instead of obtaining ISO 27001 certification, you can use products that meet ISO 27001 certification requirements.
For example, Clio’s industry-leading security takes the guesswork out of data protection. By staying on top of the latest in cybersecurity, meeting various compliance requirements, and testing regularly, Clio is continuously committed to security. Clio’s hosting facilities are audited annually for ISO 27001 certification to ensure they employ advanced physical security measures such as biometrics, CCTV cameras, and 24/7 on-site security.
The last word on ISO 27001 certified law firms
As the gold standard for information security, ISO 27001 is an attractive certification for law firms. ISO 27001 certified law firms stand out from the crowd as businesses with increased security and commitment to data protection.
However, obtaining ISO 27001 certification is no easy task—that’s where Clio’s rigorous security standards come in. With Clio’s continued commitment to security testing, including ISO 27001 certification of its facilities, Clio can help your law firm maintain high levels of security and allow you to focus on what matters most—your clients.