Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ALM on Law Firm Data Security : The Very Real Internal Threats

ALM's Legal Intelligencer series on information security continues. Part 2: "Law Firms' Prime Data Security Threat: Their Own Employees" --
  • "Law firms' efforts to protect client data from breaches may be less dramatic than a typical Hollywood blockbuster, but they entail complex productions when it comes to ensuring the physical and cyber security of their clients' information."
  • "And while those in IT say the threats from hackers in places such as China or Russia are real, the biggest threat to a law firm's information security comes from its own employees. As many who spoke to The Legal noted, firms are in the midst of a balancing act between protecting data on one hand and running an efficient business that doesn't resemble what one person referred to as a 'police state.'"
  • "Scott Vernick, a Fox Rothschild partner whose practice focuses on data security issues, said law firms need to think of themselves as any other business when it comes to security threats. 'To a certain extent, we've always been highly mindful of the confidential nature of client data, but I don't know that that's translated completely to the thinking that we are just like any other business and so we have to think about data security like any other business,/ Vernick said."
  • "Blank Rome has been thinking about this issue, and hired in August a director of information security to develop and run a security management program for the firm. Robert Weaver, Blank Rome's new director of information security, said most programs that follow a standardized method will hit all of a typical client's needs. 'Having said that, law firms have the very unique challenge of having a variety of clients with a variety of needs,' Weaver said. 'So you can't create a one-size-fits-all program and apply it to an entire firm. That's the challenge of doing what's right for everybody and enabling the firm to operate in an effective and efficient manner.'"

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