Oct. 10, 2016 – We are in the business of gathering, preserving, and safekeeping confidential information. Not long ago that meant keeping our lips zipped and our doors and file cabinets locked, writes editorial board member Douglas Frazer in “Cybersecurity: What’s Behind Your Firewall?” Now, we have electronically stored information (ESI) to protect. This special focus issue is dedicated to that responsibility.
Cybersecurity is not an issue solely for big firms with big clients who do big deals, says Frazer. It’s an issue for solo practitioners, small and medium-sized firms, corporate counsel, and government lawyers. We all possess information that might be useful to our clients’ adversaries – or to any number of outsiders. It is not our intent to scare the beejeebers out of you. Rather, we hope you can take away useful pointers and tips and, with a minimum of fuss or expense, incorporate them into your practice.
- In “What’s Behind Your Firewall? Know Your Cyber Risks,” security experts Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek lay out recent statistics, explain why lawyers often fail to protect their systems and data, and summarize professional organizations’ current stances on cybersecurity. They also highlight the most common types of attacks and suggest ways to detect and respond to them.
- In “Let’s Be Reasonable: The Ethics of Cybersecurity,” State Bar assistant ethics counsel Aviva Meridian Kaiser and practice management advisor Tison Rhine summarize the Rules of Professional Responsibility that are implicated by a lawyer’s use of technology and discuss lawyers’ requirement to provide “reasonable” efforts to protect client information from unauthorized or inadvertent disclosure.
- Then, with the ethics rules in mind, in “7 Ways to Protect Your Data,” Rhine and Kaiser examine various cyber risks and their sources. They provide a practical checklist of concrete steps lawyers can take today to protect client and law firm information.
Legal technology consultant Jeff Krause, in “101 – Encryption: Easy and Inexpensive Document Security,” shows how with only small investments of money and time, lawyers can meet their ethical obligation to protect the confidentiality of emails they send to clients and other people.
We hope you take away useful pointers and tips and, with a minimum of fuss or expense, incorporate them into your practice.
Of course, the best defense is a strong offense. In “Prepare for Battle: Use This Cybersecurity Framework,” tech expert Bill Brousseau provides a framework for conducting a cybersecurity audit. You don’t have to start from scratch, just adapt it to your own organization or firm. And, in “Give TLC to Clients: Respond ASAP to Security Breaches,” WILMIC vice president Tom Watson says, as with many types of emergencies, planning what you’ll do if cyber criminals attack your firm will also reduce the likelihood of being hacked in the first place. He lists eight steps lawyers can take to prevent a future breach and discusses what to expect if you buy cyber liability insurance.
Thinking about expanding into a cybersecurity practice? In “Jennifer Rathburn: Building a Niche Data Security Practice,” you’ll see how one person’s practice in health care law expanded to data management, data breach and privacy, and security issues for business clients.
Also In This Issue …
Ethics: Email communication is convenient, Dean Dietrich says, but it carries ethical risks for lawyers who send messages too casually, in “To Email or Not to Email: What Are the Issues?”
President’s Message: Fran Deisinger urges lawyers to remind citizens of the critical difference between electing partisan politicians and selecting impartial judges, in “Be Ready to Speak Up: Judicial Elections and Selections.”
On Balance: In “Resilience Requires Recharging: 6 Ways to Power Up When You’re Crazy Busy,” Paula Davis-Laack provides some healthy ways to restore your mental and physical energy before your batteries die.
Final Thought: We all understand the need to secure data, but Kevin Palmersheim laments a poor memory when it comes to passwords, in “Open Ses@ame! (or Fluffy Gets It With a Toyota).”
Check out the full October Wisconsin Lawyer.