We’re chatting with Bianca Dowdell-Munro, co-owner and COO of Legally Yours, a legal services marketplace and customer of MailGuard.
Bianca, can you start by telling us about your role at Legally Yours and how long have you been there?
Legally Yours was founded in 2014 by our CEO, Karen Finch, and Mira Stammers. I ran another business at that time in wealth management, financial planning, plus accounting practices, and I used the services of Legally Yours for those businesses. Because Legally Yours is fixed fee, it really aligned with the ethos of my other businesses.
I first came across Legally Yours in 2015 and I was in awe of what Mira and Karen were trying to create in what has been traditionally a billable hour profession. All of my clients have used their services since.
In 2019 Karen and I caught up and there was an opportunity for me to join, so we did a complete re-structure, re-registered the business and there have been a lot of changes to our platform since March 2020.
Essentially Legally Yours is a dual-sided marketplace. On one side you have the ability for consumers to connect with lawyers and the guarantee that we provide is that the services will be fixed fee. It’s all about communication and community for clients, rather than the traditional model of just offering billable hours. They can simply find a lawyer online, and then they are presented with a fixed fee agreement before they need to make any formal commitments.
It’s about making that engagement easier for the customer. They can weigh up the value of the matter, which may be tens of thousands of dollars, compared to the fixed fee proposed which will get them the resolution that they’re looking for, at a fraction of the cost. The same is true for business owners who can easily access those same services for business documents, shareholder agreements, and similar, with the confidence of a guaranteed fixed fee. It removes the uncertainty.
On the other side we have a community-based platform called the LY Hub that’s for lawyers, so they have the opportunity to network with peers, earn CPD points, do lunch & learns, learn about innovations in the sector. There are loads of small to medium firms in the community, and that’s really our sweet spot because they’re the businesses that are really embracing and driving the change that we want to see in the sector. We offer a central hub for those firms to access anything that they need to start their business, run their business, or grow their business.
And what do you love about working with Legally Yours?
I believe wholeheartedly in its purpose.
It’s about allowing people to have access to justice based on what their needs are, giving them control and allowing them to make informed choices about whether they want to pursue a particular matter, with transparency and confidence, based on a guaranteed fixed fee.
Regarding cybersecurity, how important is it to Legally Yours?
It’s incredibly important for us. We collect a lot of data. We have a payment gateway, and sensitive lawyer and client information, so cybersecurity is vital.
Prior to MailGuard, was your team receiving malicious emails? Have you experienced any incidents or near misses?
In my previous business, a client was close to being defrauded due to a sophisticated and very elaborate email scam requesting a withdrawal of funds. So, I’ve always been incredibly mindful of those risks. And yes, at Legally Yours we had emails coming through with links and attachments that we were particularly concerned about.
It’s not just the risk for us as business owners, but for other staff members also who may not be as diligent. We need to ensure that any malicious attempt or fraud attempt is null and void, and securely defended.
And we advocate cybersecurity to peers and clients, especially since we’re in the legal sector, and Karen is President of ALTA (Australian Legal Technology Association), so we do need to walk the walk and be diligent with it.
What did Legally Yours do for email security before MailGuard?
We’re a Microsoft 365 customer, and we were relying on the native security in those services, but as I mentioned, links and attachments were still coming through to our staff, so it wasn’t enough.
Why did you decide to go with MailGuard?
With the escalating risk environment, we can’t afford to be complacent and simply hope that it doesn’t happen to us. At the end of the day, we’re looking after our business, and the data that comes off the back end of our platform for customers and legal firms. MailGuard was a crucial choice to better protect our emails and our data.
Can you describe the MailGuard implementation process for Legally Yours?
I did it myself. The team were very impressed with me, so kudos for that!
It was incredibly easy, for someone who is not normally our go to for tech.
It was really easy, it was great.
Is MailGuard stopping the malicious emails that Legally Yours was concerned about?
100%, most definitely. We have peace of mind knowing that MailGuard is scanning our emails and stopping those nasty links and attachments from coming through.
And as a Microsoft 365 customer, how important is it to Legally Yours that MailGuard works closely as a partner with Microsoft?
A major concern was how it integrates with Microsoft, and it truly has been a seamless transition.
Is speed to detect threats important to Legally Yours, and if so, why?
Yes, because sometimes I see threats that land in the inbox, and you might go to click. That’s the biggest fear that we have, that other staff members might not hesitate. Speed is critical, and I can vouch for the fact that MailGuard’s speed is certainly working for us
Would you recommend MailGuard to others? Why?
Definitely, MailGuard’s service and customer engagement is absolutely incredible. The way that all of the team has dealt with us has been incredible. The crew has been incredible. I don’t think there are many organisations out there that would deliver like MailGuard has.
You guys know what you’re doing, you’ve got the tech and the people piece right. It’s wonderful.
Do you have any other advice for business leaders or infosec professionals looking to boost their own cyber resilience?
If you have any hesitation, I can vouch for MailGuard, for the technology and the company. We have had nothing but an incredible experience right from the very first implementation. It has been a great experience the whole way through.
Bianca, thanks so much for making the time to share your experience with us today.
One email is all that it takes
All that it takes to devastate your business is a cleverly worded email message that can steal sensitive user credentials or disrupt your business operations. If scammers can trick one person in your company into clicking on a malicious link or attachment, they can gain access to your data or inflict damage on your business.
For a few dollars per staff member per month, you can protect your business with MailGuard's predictive and advanced email security. Talk to a solution consultant at MailGuard today about securing your company's inboxes.
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