Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Law Firm Information Governance & Technology Challenges

Following yesterday's note about our recent webinar on proposed ABA Model Rule changes and implications for law firm information management, security and compliance efforts, comes a few interesting articles on information governance:

"Info Governance Model Expands Privacy, Security Roles" --
  • "Data privacy and security have been listed as necessary assets in the Information Governance Reference Model (IGRM) since its 2009 development by the Minnesota-based Electronic Discovery Reference Model organization. But previous versions of the model (which includes business and technology processes) did not prescribe that managers who are dedicated to privacy and security functions should be on the teams shaping these policies."
  • "'The updated model now includes privacy and security as primary functions,' the EDRM announcement states. 'When these stakeholders are not working in concert, information accumulates rapidly and indefinitely, which adds significant cost and risk and undermines the ability to get value,' the EDRM announcement stated."
  • "'Access, transport, and use limitations are not understood by employees with information custody or collections responsibility, and customer's or employee's rights are impacted,' the document states. 'The type and nature of data in a system or process is poorly understood, leading to incomplete or inaccurate application of retention, preservation, privacy, and collection and disposition policy.'"
"Managing Mobile Risk" --
  • "Of the top themes presented at this summer's International Legal Technology Association conference... [Slides available via this link.] While nearly every law firm urges clients to manage their data properly — as in having a formal information lifecycle management program in place — a large number of firms don't practice what they preach. A variety of new technologies have facilitated the breakneck growth of data volumes and they are shared and stored in locations outside the physical (presumably secure) firm walls. But this model no longer works — firms are beginning to recognize that the risk is too high to ignore."
  • "Controlling information is not a new concept for law firms and their personnel. But today's unmanaged mobility — in the form of BYOD (bring your own device) to work programs — and equally unmanaged use of popular Web services such as Dropbox and Evernote — represent a seemingly unstoppable phenomenon. This creates a set of issues that must be addressed before an information governance firestorm hits."
  • "Clearly, mobile is here to stay — and firms will encourage collaboration via these devices. It just makes plain business sense to do so. However it is critical that firms take a formal stance on data lifecycle management, and the larger information governance. If defined and controlled well, data collaboration and content delivery on mobile devices will not introduce any more risk than the data residing on the firm's servers, desktops, and laptops."

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