Technological advancements offer lawyers with more resourceful processes to store, send out, process and use documents and other information. However, with technological advancements, one can say that private and confidential client information becomes potentially exposed if law firms fail to execute basic data encryption modus operandi. Abundant law firms use a selection of cloud services to record or process their bills, draft or store documents, or conduct any other professional activities. Even if a law firm does not save any data in the cloud, what do they do if a desktop or laptop gets stolen or compromised? By putting into operation and enforcing a suitable encryption policy at a law firm, they can help decrease risk and avoid a costly – or even overwhelming – the revelation of the clients’ classified information.
Why Do Law Firms Need Encryption?
Lawyers are at all cost obliged to shield the confidentiality of their clients’ information, and law firms have to pay close consideration to privacy than the average business. If law firms do not safeguard their client communications and other data, they could infringe the attorney-client privilege, be unable to find clients, be subject to unprofessional conduct actions, damage their reputation, and possibly also lose their license to carry out the law. Different communication methods pose various threats, and we can take for instance that sharing information via email raises a dissimilar security concern than that information which is sent across a private chat feature on a website. Similarly, storing data on a local computer or server demands various precautions than storing data in the cloud via services like DropBox or OneDrive.
The Meaning of Encryption
In conventional terms, encryption is a meaningful way to alter documents and other data into a language that only the user knows. Encoding converts readable text, records, or other data into unreadable, distributed code. The underlying thread in the multiple encryption techniques is that conventional writings or additional information is orderly scrambled into something appearing to be indecipherable nonsense. The method used to systematically interfuse the characteristic data is known as an “encryption algorithm” or “cipher.”
The same cipher or encryption algorithm can then be employed to unscramble the ostensible gibberish back into current data. The secret algorithm often requires the employment of a “key” that works with the algorithm to open the scrambled data. There are now many complex encryption algorithms and classifications providing various levels of security in different circumstances.
Encryption When Being Transferred
Today everyone knows that the information that is shared or exchanged through the internet carries the risk of being deciphered by numerous thir parties or hackers. Hence this data that is sent via the internet or intranet needs to be encrypted.
Encryption of data in transition – for example, from a web browser to a company’s website – is described “encryption in transit” or “end-to-end encryption.” Attorneys should make sure when working with numerous online service providers that the vendors and their applications use encryption in transition or end-to-end encryption. However, prosecutors should also be conscious that encryption in transit only preserves data when it is transferred from their browser to the vendor’s website, and not at any separate time.
Encryption When Data is Being Stored
Countless people do not understand that the dormant, saved emails, reports, and other information on their devices, also carry the hazard of being subjected to a data breach. Encryption of data at rest is usually used to guard information stored on hard drives, drives, laptops, and mobile devices while those machines are not turned on, or being used or accessed. Hackers find data at rest an engaging target because the often-undeciphered files include essential financial knowledge and agent data. If a lawyer’s desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone is taken, the results can be even more calamitous. One can say that the lawyers need to continuously keep themselves aware of which are the latest malware that will be hitting them and how it can affect them. If they are not technologically updated, they might miss out on a lot of important updates.