Sometimes one needs to zoom in to understand the big picture. This year we’ll continue to explore Information Governance, but through the lens of a particular industry segment – law firms – and a particular focus – data security.
Why law firms? Well, for a couple reasons. First, a weak link for many companies is applying Information Governance to their service providers, and private practice law firms are key service providers to companies across all industries. Second, many law firms have a ways to go in fully embracing Information Governance for themselves, and on their clients’ behalf.
And why law firm data security? Law firms have highly valuable information, and they are especially vulnerable to security exploits and incidents. Many firms are behind the curve in their security posture. The resulting risks and exposures are significant, both to the firms themselves and to the clients they serve. Also, law firms that take the steps needed for improved data security find themselves far down the road toward more effective Information Governance generally, which is a boon to the firms themselves and also to their clients.
So, here goes. We’ll first look at the current realities of data security in law firms, touching upon both the bad news and the good news. Next, we’ll focus on why security risk assessment is absolutely crucial for understanding the data security risks (threats, vulnerabilities, repercussions, and likelihoods) for law firms and their clients, and for prioritizing what must be done. From there, we’ll take up essential components of law firm security, including security policies; data retention and disposal; technical, physical, and administrative controls; monitoring and testing; training and awareness; incident response preparedness; and cyber insurance.
Along the way we’ll explore key considerations for both on-premises IT configurations and cloud environments; the unrelenting rise in connectivity and remote work; and the explosion of new apps and tools, coupled with the increasingly consumerized expectations of law firm lawyers and staff.
Lots to cover, for the benefit of law firms themselves and also the clients they serve. Stay tuned.