5 Reasons Why Lawyers Need to Use Encryption

As Gene Spafford famously stated, “The ultimate security system is one that is powered off, encased in concrete, and guarded by armed personnel — even then, there may still be doubts about it.” In today’s digital age, where sensitive information is transmitted and stored electronically, encryption is essential for protecting clients’ information and law firms. Particularly for lawyers who are a prime target for cyber-attacks. According to a survey by the American Bar Association, nearly half of the small law firms have experienced a data breach, often due to inadequate security measures.

The good news is there is a solution to this problem. By implementing encryption, lawyers can safeguard legal documents, maintain client confidentiality, and comply with data protection laws. This is critical information you cannot ignore if you’re a lawyer. This article outlines reasons why encryption is necessary for law firms. However, before we delve into this, let’s first define what encryption is.

Encryption is transforming information using an encryption algorithm and a key, making the data unreadable to anyone who does not possess the key. One of the most widely used encryption algorithms is the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), which the U.S. government uses to protect classified information. AES is considered very secure and is widely used in various industries. This article will examine the top 5 reasons why lawyers must use encryption to protect their practice and clients.

5 Reasons to use encryption

1.Confidentiality and Client Privacy

As a lawyer, one of your primary duties is to maintain the confidentiality of client communications and protect client privacy. This includes any information you receive from your clients and any communication you have with them. Encryption is crucial for ensuring that this information remains private and secure.

According to a survey by Mimecast, 96% of organizations were targeted by an email-related phishing attempt. This highlights the importance of securing email communication, particularly regarding sensitive information attached to an email. By encrypting email, lawyers can prevent third parties from intercepting and reading their messages. This is especially important when transmitting legal documents or personal details.

In addition to protecting communication channels, encryption can also be used to secure the storage of client information. A study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million, based on a survey of more than 700 organizations across 17 countries. The study also reported that the average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information is $148 million. The legal costs were considered the most expensive aspect of a breach.

By encrypting client information, lawyers can prevent unauthorized access and reduce the risk of a data breach. This is especially important given the sensitive nature of legal documents and the potential consequences of a breach, such as financial losses and damage to reputation.

Overall, encryption is an essential tool for maintaining the confidentiality of client communications and protecting client privacy. Using encryption, lawyers can fulfill their professional obligation to keep client information private and secure and whilst reducing the risk of data breaches and other cyber threats.

2. Facilitation of remote work

If you’re a lawyer, chances are you’ve been working from home lately. And with the rise of remote work, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your client’s confidential information stays secure. One way to do that is by using encryption.

Encryption is a way to scramble your data, so authorized parties can only read it. You might need to access client information from various devices when you’re working remotely. Encryption can help keep that information safe, even if your device is lost or stolen.

According to a recent study by the American Bar Association, 82% of legal professionals were working remotely in 2020. That’s a 20% increase from the previous year. And 75% of solo and small firm lawyers used mobile devices to access client data, while 64% of large firm lawyers were doing the same.

But it’s not just about the rise of remote work. According to a study by the International Association of Privacy Professionals, data breaches in the legal sector have increased by 11% in the last year. And many of those breaches were caused by unsecured mobile devices.

That’s why it’s so important to use encryption when you’re working remotely. It can help protect your client information from breaches and keep it safe if your device is lost or stolen. And it’s not just about using encryption; it’s about staying informed about the latest encryption techniques and developments in the field, so you can ensure your data remains secure at all times.

So, if you’re a lawyer working remotely, don’t take any chances with your client information. Use encryption to keep it safe, and stay up to date on the latest security developments to ensure the security of your data.

 

3. Compliance with laws and regulations.

As a lawyer, it is crucial to comply with data protection laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). These laws and regulations require organizations to implement appropriate measures to safeguard personal data. Encryption is an effective way to meet these requirements and protect against data breaches.

The GDPR, which came into effect in 2018, applies to all organizations that process the personal data of EU residents. Regardless of where the organization is located. Under the GDPR, organizations must implement “appropriate technical and organizational measures” to protect personal data. This includes the use of encryption for storing and transmitting personal data.

Similarly, HIPAA applies to healthcare organizations and their business associates and requires the implementation of security measures to protect the confidentiality and integrity of personal health information. Encryption is one of the security measures recommended explicitly by HIPAA to protect electronic personal health information.

Overall, encryption is essential for complying with data protection laws and regulations, such as the GDPR and HIPAA. Using encryption, lawyers can ensure that they meet their legal obligations to protect personal data and prevent data breaches. Using solutions such as Confisense and Uloq, organizations can ensure that they meet their legal obligations to protect personal data and avoid data breaches.

 

4. Prevention of data breaches

Encryption is an effective tool for preventing data breaches and reducing the risk of cyber-attacks in the legal industry. Data breaches can have severe consequences for organizations, including financial losses, damage to reputation, and legal liabilities. In the legal industry, data breaches can be particularly damaging as they can compromise client confidentiality and the integrity of legal documents. By encrypting client information and legal documents, lawyers can prevent unauthorized access and reduce the risk of data breaches. This is especially important given the sensitive nature of legal documents and the potential consequences of a breach.

According to a report by the International Association of Privacy Professionals(IAPP), data breaches in the legal sector have increased by 11% in the last year. Many of these breaches result from unsecured mobile devices. Additionally, a study by the American Bar Association (ABA) found that the legal industry is particularly at risk for cyber-attacks, with 60% of law firms reporting that they have been victims of cyber-attack.

The cost of data breaches can also be significant for organizations. According to the 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach for a U.S. company is $8.64 million, with the legal industry having an average price of $13 million.

The use of encryption can play an essential role in mitigating the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks. It allows for secure data transmission over the internet and storage on mobile devices. It also ensures that in case of loss or theft of a device, the data stored on it remains unreadable to unauthorized parties.

Lawyers are encouraged to use encryption when transmitting or storing data, as well as to regularly update their mobile device security settings and install security software. It helps to ensure the security of sensitive client information and legal documents. In addition, it is also essential for legal professionals to stay informed about the latest encryption techniques and developments in the field to ensure that the data remains secure at all times.

5. Ease of use

Modern encryption software is user-friendly and easy to use, making it a practical and convenient solution for lawyers. It is easy to install and set up, with clear instructions and step-by-step guides and can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. The software is also easy to use daily, with intuitive interfaces, drag-and-drop functionality, and the ability to encrypt and decrypt files easily. This allows lawyers to protect their clients and practices without adding additional complexity to their workflow.

Confisense and Uloq is designed to be simple and intuitive, making it easy for users to navigate and access their encrypted data. The interface is organized into clear and concise sections, making it easy for users to understand and use the encryption solutions. The minimalistic design and clean lines make it easy to find the features and tools needed to access the data.

The user interface also includes access to various helpful tutorials and guides to help users understand the encryption solutions and how to use them effectively. This includes step-by-step instructions on how to encrypt and decrypt data and how to share encrypted data with other contacts through secure key exchange protocols. The tutorials are easy to follow and understand, even for those unfamiliar with encryption.

Get Confisense tutorials here.

Conclusion

In this article, we’ve explored the top 5 reasons why lawyers must use encryption to protect their clients and practices. These reasons include maintaining the confidentiality of client communications and protecting client privacy, securing legal documents and preventing unauthorized access or tampering, complying with data protection laws and regulations, preventing data breaches and reducing the risk of cyber-attacks, and the ease of use of modern encryption software.

We also outlined that encryption is an essential tool for lawyers that should not be overlooked. Using encryption, lawyers can fulfill their professional obligation to

1. Protect sensitive information

2. Reduce the risk of data breaches and other cyber threats,

3. Stay compliant with data protection laws and regulations.

We encourage all lawyers to consider using encryption to safeguard their clients and practices. With the increasing reliance on electronic communication and storage, encryption is necessary for protecting against cyber threats and ensuring the security and confidentiality of sensitive information.

 

Confisense is a powerful and secure encryption solution that utilizes environmental authorization and passwordless authentication. It also uses advanced encryption techniques and secure key exchange protocols to protect sensitive data. If you’re looking for a secure way to protect your sensitive data, consider using Confisense.

Get Confisense for FREE here.

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