Who doesn’t like an all-inclusive package?
ALANYC supports ALA members working throughout New York City by providing high quality, competency-based education and opportunities to develop and enhance leadership and organizational skills through Chapter participation.
As you plan your educational year, keep in mind all of the members-only content available to you including:
Barbarians at the Gate: The Case for a Comprehensive Security Posture
By Jacob Borger
Former CEO of Cisco, John Chambers, made a sweeping claim that there are only two types of companies; those who have been hacked and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked. Given the almost daily revelations of new incursions at even the largest companies, it would be difficult to disagree with this assertion. As the I.T. frontline for a small, medium, or even large Firm, what can you do against the combined weight of today’s cyber-threats? While I wish there was an easy answer to this question, we believe that our mothers were on the right track, wear layers.
As a legal specific consultancy, we are exposed to Firm of all sizes and specializations. In nearly every instance, the Firm has concerns regarding its security posture and wants to harden its attack surface. The problem we see, however, is that the technology and work habits are mutating faster than the organizations ability to keep up.
It was not so long ago that a well configured firewall and complex passwords which expired every ninety days represented the acme of network security. Today these aren’t even table stakes. As our applications march inevitably to the cloud, we must respond to meet the challenge. We must become more sophisticated and more nuanced in how we view network security as we expand our understanding of what exactly makes up a network.
To begin a realistic assessment of your security exposure you must begin with the question, do I know exactly where all my data lives? Even when all your data sat within your four walls it still found a way to “leak” out. As access to corporate data becomes more distributed this situation only gets worse.
A modern security posture must place equal importance on both data repository, be it public or private cloud, and endpoint. Tens of thousands of dollars spent in security at the datacenter is of little value if nothing is invested in the attorney’s increasingly mobile workstation. This machine should be just as secure off the network as on. To control access to local data we have a plethora of choices ranging from hard-drive access via Bit locker, the deployment of one of the many MDM solutions, enabling two-factor authentication with RSA or Duo, or investing in the new kid on the block, Windows Hello for Business.
Moving up the stack, think about how connections are made to your data. As we move to the cloud will your users be well served by a Citrix, VMware or remote desktop connection to a datacenter? Will this even make sense when they would simply be making a hop back out to the cloud? We must embrace the reality that the local workstation becomes the hub for data transfer, not the datacenter. Again, look at layering your solutions with tools like Duo/RSA, ADFS, Azure AD, Direct Access and Auto-VPN.
While this article may have painted a fairly bleak picture of the security landscape I believe we have cause for hope. Increasingly, our vendors and partners are adopting a security first mindset in their development and implementations. Rather than an afterthought, security is a baked in part of the solution. Access to these solutions is also becoming much more democratized. Superior security is no longer the privilege of those with the deepest pockets. Truly excellent results are well within the reach of every Firm and just like momma said, remember your layers.
Adam is a partner and CIO at Adaptive Solutions, Inc. He oversees the company’s Professional Services, Cloud and Managed Services and Support Services teams to pair the appropriate technology portfolio with a Firm’s culture and business needs, ensuring projects and outcomes provide significant value to the organization.
Going Long: Thought Leadership’s Role in Your Marketing Strategy
By Patricia Ann Nagy
When you’re doing content marketing, short may be sweet, but longer turns out to be stronger. As law Firms ramp up their business development and marketing efforts in the scramble for competitive advantage, there are many avenues to pursue as they respond to the challenge of “differentiate or die.”
Content creation remains a pillar of these amplified marketing efforts. At least one-fifth of the Firms responding to the most recent joint survey by the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) and Bloomberg Law listed content generation and management as the top area of investment over the last two years. That could include – but isn’t limited to — blog posts, social media outlets like Twitter and LinkedIn, and commentary in trade publications.
Something important – and a little surprising in a business climate where nearly limitless information is accessible in the seconds it take a web site to load – is that longer content often gets better results. Marketing experts have explored this phenomenon, which runs counter to a media climate where the leader of the free world communicates in 140-character bursts and social media prowess is measured by the brief effort it takes to click a “like” button. Results vary, to be sure, but when it works, it works well. Neil Patel, a social media guru who founded the analytics Firm KISS Metrics and Crazy Egg, says changes to Google’s search algorithm have helped longer pieces of content shine in search results and remain effective over longer periods of time.
For law Firms, genuine thought leadership (content that reflects real thought and demonstrates industry leadership) can reach clients and potential clients best. What better way to demonstrate your Firm’s depth of knowledge than insightful pieces that reflect your strongest practice areas? There’s no magic formula for successful, effective thought leadership, but here are some commonly shared principles from around the legal industry:
A 2,500-word analysis of regulatory changes in pharmaceutical licensing might not win a lawsuit, but if your Firm depends on growing revenue though working with biotech startup clients, that content will display your best attorney’s analytical prowess, establish and reinforce your industry expertise, and help define Firm strategy. Whether it’s found through a link on Twitter, a catchy headline on a LinkedIn post, or it’s headlining a well-maintained blog on the Firm website, it’s the same message. If it’s done right, it will grab and hold the right readers’ attention, and begin a discussion that could lead to new business.
But what’s the best way to create that content and use it to your Firm’s strategic advantage? While plenty of attorneys are engaging writers – President Abraham Lincoln, poet Wallace Stevens, and the mystery novelists Lisa Scottoline and John Grisham come to mind – the current legal business climate doesn’t leave much time for penning desktop sonnets or generating engaging marketing content.
Particularly if your Firm doesn’t have a strong culture of publishing, it may be useful to get some outside help. Content co-creation can combine your Firm’s subject matter expertise with the skills of marketers and writers who can tailor that knowledge to the appropriate audience. An outside consultant can also work with your marketing department to increase the visibility and reach of your thought leadership, and help measure the effectiveness of your targeting efforts.
Regardless of whether thought leadership is done entirely in-house or gets an outside boost, it’s a vital pillar of today’s legal marketing strategy. And in an age of Tweets and high-speed communications, it should comfort leading legal minds that a persuasive, well-expressed argument can still have the desired impact and help give your Firm a path to standing out from the competition.
Patricia Ann Nagy is the founder of Proxy Public Relations LLC. She can be reached at [email protected]