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Lawyers Fall Short in Protecting Client Confidences in a Mobile Age

Lawyers have an ethical obligation to safeguard client confidences, yet most are falling short when it comes to protecting clients' privileged information in a this on-the-go age. The results of a recent survey of U.K. law firms by Credant Technology show that 24 percent of U.K. firms admit to misplacing at least one mobile device containing confidential information. Yet at least two-thirds of the lawyers surveyed continue to use mobile devices -- such as BlackBerrys, laptop computers and USB memory sticks -- to store confidential information.

According to the survey, most lawyers do protect their mobile devices with a password. However, according to Robert Schifreen, an IT security consultant (and former hacker) quoted in this press release:

Passwords are just inadequate if you have confidential sensitive information residing on a mobile device. You can download cracking software from google that can break the average password in less than 30 minutes. These findings show just how naïve the legal profession is when it comes to data security and I suspect other professions are just as bad, if not worse! The only answer is, if you store sensitive data, you must encrypt it.

So what can lawyers do to protect confidential client data?  Credant offers these tips:

-- Encrypt the data on every device you carry if it's sensitive.

-- Get a solution which can detect devices trying to connect to the enterprise and sync up with corporate data.

-- Make sure the encryption solution is transparent to end-users and doesn't interfere with any of your operational activities.

-- IT departments should never leave data security up to the end user.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on October 27, 2008 at 04:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

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