Digital Detectives

77% of Lawyers Can’t Be Trusted With Confidential Client Data

All lawyers have an ethical obligation to employ security measures when sharing information and data with their clients. Whether that means encrypting all important emails or properly researching cloud based file-sharing services like Dropbox, it is incumbent on lawyers to understand the levels of security available. LexisNexis recently did a survey on what tools lawyers and legal professionals are using to protect their clients’ privileged information. 77% of the lawyers surveyed did not have adequate security for their confidential client data. How important is encryption and what can lawyers do to change the way they share data?

On this episode of Digital DetectivesSharon Nelson and John Simek interview Bob Ambrogi, a lawyer and journalist who recently wrote about the LexisNexis survey. They ask him about the implications of the survey, what security measures lawyers should be taking, how frequently clients are hurt by lack of security, and why lawyers are generally resistant to learning about data encryption. Ambrogi explains that an overall lack of information, ignored ethics rulings, lack of time, and assumed difficulty are the reasons lawyers often refuse to learn how to safely share data. He encourages lawyers, especially the ones in small or solo firms, to seek out a consultant to learn about the relatively easy encryption tools and techniques. After all, no lawyer wants to be a part of the 77%.

Bob Ambrogi is a Massachusetts lawyer and journalist and has covered legal technology and the Internet for two decades. He writes the “Ambrogi on Tech” column for the ABA Journal and his blog LawSites, launched in 2002, is in the ABA Journal Blawg 100 Hall of Fame.  Since 2005, he has co-hosted the legal-affairs podcast Lawyer 2 Lawyer also on the Legal Talk Network.

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