For many attorneys, the availability of new technologies has led to increased digitization and online storage of documents and data related to past and current cases. These advances can allow members of the legal team to access information remotely to allow anytime, anywhere editing and updating of critical information. Implementation of cloud computing strategies and centralized data storage requires added attention to security for sensitive client information. Here are five helpful tips for protecting legal data in the modern computing marketplace.
Engage your employees
An important first step in establishing best security practices for your legal practice is to bring your staff members on board with your new policies. Explaining in clear and simple language the steps required of your legal team and the reasons behind these security measures can increase staff buy-in and can ensure the most positive results for your practice. By presenting the same information in printed form, you can reduce the risk of errors by your valued legal team.
Prioritize your data
Not all data is created equal. Determining the most critical information and making arrangements to protect and back up this data can help you manage the next steps of your security implementation more effectively.
Create tiered levels of access
Maintaining certain information on a need-to-know basis can help your legal practice protect sensitive client information from unauthorized access or accidental disclosure. By creating tiers of access within your organization to provide added control over your data, you can reduce the risks to your clients and the potential legal liabilities for your law office.
Evaluate your cloud services provider
If you choose to store case information with a third-party cloud services provider, it is critically important to read the fine print regarding how your data will be protected in various scenarios, including the following:
- What happens to your data if the cloud services provider is forced to shut down for financial or other reasons?
- Who has access to your data at the remote location?
- Will your data be stored alongside that of other clients or on a separate server?
- How is your information protected against unauthorized access from outside and inside the provider offices?
- Are redundancies and backups in place to ensure the integrity of your data even if a specific server is corrupted or fails altogether?
Ensuring continuous access to and protection for information stored in the cloud is essential for your overall data security plan.
Seek professional help
The intricacies of encryption can be challenging even for the most computer-savvy individuals. By working with a professional firm to manage and oversee your data security needs, you can often achieve better results and increased safety for sensitive client information.
These five steps can form the foundation of a solid security strategy for your practice and can ensure that you stay on the right side of confidentiality requirements and protection of your legal data.