Legal departments and law firms have a significant amount of sensitive information stored in their computers, including bank information, medical records, patent disputes, employee contracts, etc.. This kind of information makes them ripe targets for hackers seeking to steal and monetize the information.
The Impact of a Data Breach
Inherently, the legal community is tasked with protecting its clients information. The loss or breach of sensitive data not only jeopardizes the clients' security, it can also damage the reputation of your business. This puts your business at great risk of losing money and clientele. In 2017, the American Bar Association reported that 38% of respondents lost billable hours, while 34% paid consulting fees to recover following a breach. Additionally, 15% had files lost or destroyed, and 23% reported having to replace hardware or software. This makes it remarkably clear that law firms and legal departments have a responsibility to improve their current information governance policies and efforts to avoid data breaches.
Policies to Fit Your Needs
Improved information governance policies are not one-size-fits-all. They will look different for each organization and should be scaled to match the size and requirements of the firm it's being created for. Even a tiny law firm should spend some time designing a security program to tackle the sensitive information they hold and the people/technology used to handle that information. Additionally, procedures need to be followed to ensure information is being stored securely.
Implementation is Key
Recognizing the needs for this added security is terrific, but follow through is necessary in order to achieve security success. Oftentimes, businesses fall short in their implementation due to a lack of communication, inadequate training, or outdated policies and practice. This ensures that the business falls short of typical client expectations and agreements.
Steps to Safeguarding Your Business
There are a few steps that can help you be certain that your clients' information is safe. This includes teaming up to ensure that the information governance policy is covering all of the information types that your organization ecompasses, understanding the risks involved with the types of information your organization holds, developing an information governance policy tailored to you and focused on the most sensitive information your specific business retains, and define and automate your retention periods so that nothing unnecessary is held on to for longer than necessary.
Digital Document Management
Through digital document management, legal professionals are able to automate their retention, saving time and money. This digital solution should be able to automatically classify the information as it is input, then send timely notifications when information is either incomplete or ready to be destroyed. Contact DRS to learn how to manage and protect your sensitive information today!