A strong security policy is one thing. Employees’ actual security behaviors are often quite another. In the complex and rapidly changing world of cyber security, experts say that training is essential to keep workers up to speed – and ensure your business stays safe.
How do you teach employees security tactics, and make sure they actually utilize them? Try these five tips to start: <READ MORE>
The phrase “cloud computing” is ubiquitous. Instagram. Dropbox. Google Apps. Evernote. Netflix. There is little in every day life not touched by cloud computing. That’s increasingly true for the practice of law and running a law firm as well. Here’s what you need to know to get the most of cloud computing applications, with an eye on ethics and client confidentiality.
The Basics of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing, broadly defined, is a category of software and services delivered over the Internet rather than installed locally on a user’s computer. Cloud computing offers a variety of potential advantages, including:
Low upfront costs.
Access from any device with an Internet connection.
Simple setup and configuration.
Built-in disaster preparedness.
Using cloud computing applications in your practice can give you freedom and flexibility. For example, it removes the worry of losing a day of work for solo and small firm lawyers, and it lets cross-country or otherwise disparate teams collaborate efficiently at mid-size and large law firms. Because cloud computing places data–particularly client data–on remote servers outside of the lawyer’s direct control, it is also cause for some concern regarding client confidentiality and the applicable rules of professional conduct. Each lawyer considering using cloud-based tools will need to weigh those concerns and make sure they’re confident they’re taking reasonable steps to protect their clients. Further reading: Lawyers and the Cloud: 3 Myths Debunked
Google is ready to give New Year gift to the Internet users, who are concerned about their privacy and security. The Chromium Project’s security team has marked all HTTP web pages as insecure and is planning to explicitly and actively inform users that HTTP connections provide no data security protections. There are also projects like Let’s Encrypt, launched by the non-profit foundation EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) in collaboration with big and reputed companies including Mozilla, Cisco, and Akamai to offer free HTTPS/SSL certificates for those running servers on the Internet at the beginning of 2015. <READ MORE>
Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, the best deal we see this holiday season comes from the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) with their annual report, ILTA’s 2014 Technology Survey. This granddaddy of legal technology deployment & usage benchmarks has it all … 454 law firms (33% of the ILTA membership representing more than 106,000 attorneys and 217,000 total users) responding to almost 200 questions about what technologies they are using to run their firms; expert commentary by ILTA staff and member firms to support the findings and useful technology trending and ‘un’ trending info based on ‘compare and contrast’ exercises with previous survey editions. And, oh yeah, if that hasn’t sold you already, the entire 300 page PDF ‘opus’ is free of charge … a more than gracious ILTA legal technology community service gesture.
While we have not had the chance to dive in to the freshly published (released to ILTA members today!) findings, we did receive some survey themes from ILTA’s executive director and tech survey ‘MC’ Randi Mayes worth sharing here:
Security: ILTA has seen a strong trend in security over the last few years, and it continues in 2014. Initiatives like security audits and web filtering have become the norm (now at 73% and 81% of responding firms, respectively,) and hard drive encryption (now above 50%) are becoming much more common. As the survey executive summary notes, to a large degree, firms’ security agendas are being pressed by clients and regulators, and the recent government privacy and security sanctions of blue chip financial services and telecommunications companies will only accelerate security as priority #1. <READ MORE>
Having established a level of trust and familiarity with electronic health records over the past few years, increasing numbers of U.S. patients are looking for more advanced features from their EHRs, according to a new survey from the National Partnership for Women & Families. <READ MORE>
If you’ve ever been to #MILOfest, you may have wondered why Dropbox doesn’t sponsor it. Talk to lawyers at a tech conference, and you hear it just as often. It is arguably the preferred file-sharing and storage app for lawyers. Microsoft Office is still dominates, too, so a partnership between the two is exciting. <READ MORE>
Turnover costs in the legal industry are massive, more so than some other industries for several reasons. The hiring process is one of them. Having changed very little over the last several decades, the process rarely includes more than an employer looking at the law school a candidate attended, grades earned, and an interview. The Right Profile recently released a white paper titled Assessing Lawyer Traits & Finding a Fit for Success, which is the result of a six-month Attorney Trait study the group performed to better help law firms and attorneys with turnover issues. Addressing the hiring process is one aspect that the research says is needed in order to lessen turnover rates, among several other points.
The paper notes that turnover costs in the legal industry are roughly $9.1 billion annually. That is gargantuan considering that figure applies just the 400 largest firms in
the United States. When considering the 50- to 100-attorney firms, that figure grows to $13 billion. Law firms are still hiring from schools they historically hire from; they need better tools to find the right employees. The metrics applied to future lawyers have also not changed. The paper states:
“Although roughly 80 percent of the Fortune 500 and 89 percent of the Fortune 100 companies use psychometric assessments in their hiring process, law firms are loath to modernize their ways. Less than 5 percent of the Am Law 250 currently uses assessments during the hiring process, and none uses instruments purpose-built for the legal profession.” <READ MORE>
Social media can be a double-edged sword for businesses. Using it intelligently can help you engage with customers on a level that other marketing tactics can’t match. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be strategic — and judicious — about what you say and how you say it on your website, blog, and social media channels. How do you stop social media mistakes from damaging your brand? Learn from these organizations’ damaging gaffes. <READ MORE>
If you have someone, or a few people, for whom it is difficult to buy, listen to this podcast. Don’t let the “tech toys for the holidays” fool you. Save/tag/bookmark/however you store things for future reference, this post, as it will come in handy whenever you need gift ideas, or to get gifts for others.
In this edition of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway present their favorite tech toys for the holidays. Nelson and Calloway have each picked out their choice of new electronics for themselves or loved ones. These new gadgets range in practicality from the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 to a bacon scented alarm clock and they range in price from a $20 Bluetooth Shower Speakerphone/Radio to a glass yacht that you can’t afford if you care how much it costs. Other products include a tablet, an Apple integrated flash drive, a cheap drone, noise-cancelling headphones, a flux capacitor USB port for your car, rhumbas for your grill and driveway, and even a Yeti cup. Tune in for inspiration and awe on the direction technology is heading. Who knows, you might hear about a new tech toy you have to have! <Listen To Podcast>
The data breaches of 2014 have yet to fade into memory, and we already have 2015 looming. Experian’s 2015 Data Breach Industry Forecast gives us much to anticipate, and I’ve asked security experts to weigh in with their thoughts for the coming year as well.
Experian highlights a number of key factors that will drive or contribute to data breaches in 2015. A few of them aren’t surprising: Organizations are focusing too much on external attacks when insiders are a significantly bigger threat, and attackers are likely to go after cloud-based services and data. A few new factors, however, merit your attention.
First, there is a looming deadline of October, 2015 for retailers to upgrade to point-of-sale systems capable of processing chip-and-PIN credit cards. As banks and credit card issuers adopt more secure chip-and-PIN cards, and more consumers have them in hand, it will be significantly more difficult to clone cards or perpetrate credit card fraud. That’s why Experian expects cybercriminals to increase the volume of attacks early in 2015, to compromise as much as possible while they still can.
The third thing that stands out in the Experian report is an increased focus on healthcare breaches. Electronic medical records, and the explosion of health or fitness-related wearable devices make sensitive personal health information more vulnerable than ever to being compromised or exposed. <READ MORE>