Cyber security in the legal sector
Cyber security and privacy was big news last month, with news of Microsoft’s subpoena still ringing in our ears. It has raised questions about the measures companies have in place to protect sensitive data, in particular highlighting concerns within regulated industries such as law. Data privacy and security among law firms continued to be a theme, with a number of articles emerging that tackled issues surrounding cyber security in the legal industry.
James McKenna of Morrison & Foester suggested that, aside from legal obligations when it comes to data protection, law firms benefit from having stringent data security because it will help them win more clients. In his article for Managing Partner, James argued that airtight cyber security will lead to growth for law firms, who will gain and retain more clientele than firms who don’t put as much emphasis on it.
Gillian Walton for Legal IT Professionals detailed the reasons why law firms can benefit from having ISO 27001 certification. Gillian explained that the certification demonstrates to clients that the firm is serious about protecting its clients’ data. Gillian explained that, even though ISO 27001 certification is not a legal requirement for a law firm to obtain, it does provide controls and guidance that will protect a law firm’s information. The same goes for law firms choosing cloud vendors; it is vital that the vendor is ISO 27001 certified as well, for the same reason. The certification guarantees the protection of data held by the cloud vendor.
Last month, LexisNexis published results of a survey they undertook among attorneys and legal professionals working in US-based law firms. The survey revealed that in spite of heightened concerns about security when it comes to sharing sensitive information online, law firms are not taking enough action to protect their or their clients’ data. A worrying 89% of firms reported that their main way to share confidential information is via unencrypted email. However, there is an increase in awareness surrounding security, and cloud-based secure file sharing platforms are becoming more prevalent among law firms. Cloud collaboration services such as HighQ Collaborate enable the secure transfer of documents and information inside and outside the organisation without the risks associated with email.
Working out loud with social tools
Simon Terry espoused the benefits of working out loud this month, in his blog post Working out loud creates value. He briefly detailed the value creation in enterprise social networks and listed the benefits, including inviting a community to form around people, and gives a work purpose to a professional social network. We wrote about this subject on our blog, where we went into more detail about the science behind working out loud and how it helps people get more work done.
In order to facilitate working out loud, organisations require the use of technology, specifically social tools. In his article for ZDNet, Dion Hinchcliffe explains the ways in which social tools have enabled businesses to become social. Dion points out that over the past few years, social business has ‘grown up’, and the changes effected have resulted in meaningful changes for businesses. Now, Dion suggests, social business is almost the norm and no longer are discussions surrounding social business to do with adoption, but rather around maximising the effectiveness of working social through raising awareness, educating leadership, and rethinking business processes.