IT and security for the legal sector require a unique approach.
Why are their requirements any different to other businesses handling data electronically, you ask?
It’s simple…Compliance and data protection.
Let’s start with this simple fact, for example – the fine for lost data or a breach of client confidentiality can be as high as £500,000.
It’s fair to say, then, that the stakes are pretty high. The legal sector has a greater responsibility to confidentiality, client privilege and data protection that most other business sectors.
As well as the fundamentals of data protection legislation that affects all businesses, a legal firm or barristers’ chambers has to adhere to strict client confidentiality and protection of evidence. Legal and regulatory compliance is an absolute necessity for security and integrity of information in everything that they do. Firms must meet compliance standards as set out by the Information Commissioners Office, the Bar Council and The Attorney General.
Lawyers host information that pertains to their clients and the matter they are defending or suing for on their behalf. It is the responsibility of every legal practice to ensure the confidentiality of this sensitive information, and design protocol to prevent it reaching the wrong people.
It’s important, here, to distinguish between confidential information and privileged information. Often, confidential information must, by law, be disclosed to both parties, while privileged information is sacred to lawyer and client.
Data encryption, robust and secure User IDs and passwords and biometric verification are common ways to ensure confidentiality across all businesses. Additionally, though, Chambers and legal firms should minimise the number of places where sensitive information appears. Extremely sensitive documents might also be taken to protect for cloud data, storage and mobile devices, especially in the case of highly sensitive information. Access must be restricted to authorised parties only and the level of stringency should be assessed according to the damage that could be done should data fall into the wrong hands.
Want to know more? Look out for our upcoming article ‘What is Compliance?’, coming soon to the Intelligence Centre.
As experts in providing IT support services to the legal sector, we guarantee a security system that is fully compliant with government bodies. We’ll set out a roadmap to peace of mind for both you and your clients. Working with a variety of leading technology providers our experts will provide unbiased advice helping you develop a comprehensive IT security strategy to ensure your organisation gets protected, and stays protected.