The Information Commissioner’s Office has issued a warning to solicitors and barristers over the need to keep personal information secure, especially paper files, in the wake of “a number of data breaches” in recent months.
Law firms should ensure that compliance officers for legal practice are closely involved in information security policies, a study has advised after finding that a majority of firms contacted had already suffered data breaches.
Oyez Professional Services, in association with the IAAITC, recently conducted a comprehensive Information Security survey targeted at law firms across England and Wales. The results, which have now been published, highlight a worrying trend amongst law firms who seem to prefer to ignore the risks that their current security programmes expose them to.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been fined £120,000 after an in-house solicitor sent highly sensitive information about a child protection case to the wrong e-mail address, rather than the barrister for whom it was intended.
When in-house IT experts bang on about data security and the ingenious strategies hackers are deploying to hack into law firm computer systems, most partners groan inwardly and wait for the inevitable request for funds. The question of where to draw the line on IT security spending is a tricky one and there are no easy answers. As a general rule of thumb, a pinch of scepticism seems prudent about whatever spend the IT department deems essential – let us not forget the prolonged hysteria over the Millennium software bug, which was far from the existential threat to law firms the IT geeks claimed it would be.
Oyez Professional Services, the leading legal services provider, has developed a comprehensive toolkit that allows legal practices, whatever their size or technical requirements, to introduce a fully compliant information management security system in a step-by-step, methodical manner.