Legal Data Security and Avoiding Data Breaches
Legal Data Security & Avoiding Data Breaches

Data security of documents and case files are of utmost concern to most law firms, which typically have to manage huge mounds of client data. Any incidence of cybercrime can put reputation at stake and might cause negative implications for law firm clients.

Data protection is a looming topic and is at the top of the mind of every law practice firm. The 2019 ABA Cybersecurity Tech Report, suggests 26% of law firms experienced some form of data breach. There are ways to handle data safely as a matter of professional obligation and ethical responsibility and take steps to ensure complete security of valuable information that every law firm possesses. They may include trade secrets, transactional matters, documents, personally identifiable information (PII) and such other privileged data.

Centralization makes it Easy for Data Handling:

Specific platforms for law firm management, billing or operations, typically act as a single-point repository for data. Whether it is about having data on one platform, or it is about deleting unnecessary data from this centralized repository, after the period of engagement ends is an excellent way to start to manage data.

Data Categorization:

Analyse scope for potential disposition and categorize data to assess applicable retention schedules, legal preservation obligations, business value. Start categorizing based on objective, identifiable criteria that enables differentiating data.

Defensive Deletion of Data:

Retaining data for a period no longer than necessary and deleting client information, including contact details and papers, is once no longer than relevant. The retention of digital data is to be read akin to physical les and documents, which most law rms retain for a specific period after the client engagement comes to an end.

Operational Steps:

Always, use and enforce strong password rules. Fortunately, most legal technology software has features requiring strong passwords. Consider access control if necessary, and conduct regular reviews of the existing software to identify and address risks. Ensuring that former employees no longer have access to files and ensuring operational efciency of the rewalls and anti-virus software can protect data to a large extent.