Posted Mar 30, 2012 11:58 am CDT
While synchronicity, security and data breach concerns are justified in these days of working on desktop, laptop, mobile phone and tablet, lawyers can reasonably protect sensitive data by taking a few fairly simple precautions, according to presenters at an ABA Techshow session Thursday titled, “Who’s on First: Keeping Workflow (and Work) Safe and Synchronized Over Multiple Devices and Platforms.”
“If it’s mobile and it has any data on it that you may not want other people to have, it needs to be encrypted,” said speaker Ben M. Schorr, CEO of consulting firm Roland Schorr & Tower, who added that enabling full-disk encryption is easy and a standard procedure when any of his employees are issued company laptops. TechCrypt and SecretSynch are two data security programs suggested by Schorr, who advised lawyers to use personal, mobile Internet connections instead of public ones.
“Take reasonable precautions, but don’t not use the tool because you are afraid of security issues,” Schorr said. While a simple password won’t stop professional thieves, it’s a good first defense for lost or forgotten devices—one many lawyers fail to utilize.
For extra security assurance, lawyers can program some mobile devices to delete all information stored after a certain number of incorrect password attempts, added co-presenter Victor Medina, chief counseling attorney at Medina Law Group.
Another tip: Don’t store more than you need. One security breach example cited was when the University of Hawaii stored student Social Security numbers in a database for parking permits that was later hacked.
Among the suggested applications for easy synching among multiple devices were Dropbox and SpiderOak, cloud-based file sharing programs with different encryption standards, Live Mesh, Evernote, iCloud, Microsoft OneNote, LogMeIn and GoToMyPc.
Although there are no absolutes when it comes to data security, the duo encouraged attendees to be open to embracing the use of mobile technology in their legal practices.
“Lawyers reserve a lot of their judgment and decision-making abilities for clients, but lose it when it comes to technology,” Medina said. “For most of us, the solutions available and the ways to put protections around them are enough for our practices.”