Now that we can access data anywhere via the use of mobile devices attorneys must be very conscious of the potential for security breaches.
An interesting article that was published on the Law Technology News website recently looked at a number of different threat categories. The first one was that of human error.
Loss of a Mobile Device
People sometimes lose their cell phones, tablets, or laptops, it’s as simple as that. Many attorneys spend a lot of time on the go, and their mobile devices are extraordinarily useful on multiple levels as they are conducting day-to-day business.
At the same time, you have to ask yourself what data would be available to someone who found the device if you were to leave it behind somewhere. It is important to do everything possible to limit access to this information.
If a device is lost the firm should be contacted immediately because the information technology team may be able to remotely remove sensitive information.
Overt Attempts to Steal Data
In other cases individuals or entities overtly attempt to steal data by compromising mobile devices. There are different types of information that hackers can use for different purposes.
If a hacker was to somehow gain access to confidential attorney-client communications the consequences could be devastating for the attorney and his or her client.
This information could be used for extortion purposes on a personal level. On a business level stolen data could include trade secrets, proprietary information, access to networks and databases, etc.
Firms should take certain preventative measures in the age of digital mobility. One of these would be to create a security policy that everyone in the firm must adhere to with regard to the use of mobile devices.
This would include exactly what types of information can be accessed, the types of devices approved for use, and steps that members of the organization must take if a device is lost or stolen.
In addition, a mobile device management system should be implemented to ensure adherence to security best practices.
You should also prohibit people in the firm from using cloud-based commercial backup services. All data should stay secure within your own well-protected systems.
Our last suggestion would be to raise awareness by educating users about the consequences that could come about due to a single loss of focus or lapse in judgment when traveling with a mobile device.
We thank Steve Fletcher, who serves on the Law Technology News advisory board, for inspiring this post.
Chief Operating Officer
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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