Why Data Security is Important for Legal Tech (ABA Rule 1.6 and Beyond)
Digital security matters. A recent report cited by The Washington Post noted that global data security breaches cost companies and organizations more than $1 trillion per year in direct economic losses. The intangible loss to reputation can be even more severe. When new tech is rolled out by a business or an organization, it is imperative that cybersecurity receives adequate attention. Cybersecurity is important in every industry—but especially for those who practice law, especially when taking into account industry standards such as ABA Rule 1.6.
At Lupl, we are an open industry platform designed specifically for legal work. We are focused on meeting the unique needs of lawyers and other legal professionals. Our team is committed to the strongest cybersecurity practices. Data security matters—especially for lawyers and law firms. In this article, you will find an overview of the most important things to know about data security, legal practice, and how Lupl can help you protect sensitive information.
An Overview of Data Security
Simply defined by IBM, data security is the “practice of protecting digital information from unauthorized access, corruption, or theft throughout its entire lifecycle.” As the use of technology continues to expand across industries, the importance of proper cybersecurity practices also continues to grow. There is so much sensitive information stored digitally—from personal identifying details to financial records. Unfortunately, there are a number of different unscrupulous actors that are continuously attempting to take advantage of data security vulnerabilities.
With the proper implementation, law firms and legal organizations can put strong practices in place to protect sensitive digital information from unauthorized access. This includes everything from internal firm documents to employee information to client records. Any legal tech that a firm or organization uses should have adequate cybersecurity protection. Beyond that, it is imperative you and your firm have well-considered practices and policies in place to protect sensitive digital information from unauthorized access, corruption, or outright theft.
Lawyers and Law Firms Have a Professional Duty to Protect Sensitive Client Information (ABA Rule 1.6)
Data security matters for every industry. There are no exceptions. Whenever sensitive digital information is transferred, accessed, or produced, it needs to be properly protected. All companies and organizations have a responsibility to put effective cybersecurity strategies in place. At the same time, it is important to emphasize that lawyers and law firms are subject to some additional data security regulations. Most notably, attorneys have a professional duty to protect the sensitive information of their clients. It is a professional rule of conduct cited by the American Bar Association (ABA) (Rule 1.6 Confidentiality of Information) and state bar associations.
As stated clearly by the ABA’s Rule 1.6(2), it is “a fundamental principle in the client-lawyer relationship is that, in the absence of the client’s informed consent, the lawyer must not reveal information relating to the representation.” A data security breach could constitute a violation of this ever-important professional rule of conduct for legal professionals. An attorney—law firm, legal department, legal organization, etc—that fails to take cybersecurity seriously could run afoul of their state’s bar association. The good news is that there are solutions available for lawyers and law firms: With the right legal technology in place, you can rest assured that sensitive client information will be kept secure from unauthorized access.
When Data Security for Legal Tech Fails: An Example
As noted previously, global data security breaches cost parties more than $1 trillion in damage each year. Unfortunately, the legal industry sees more than its fair share of serious cybersecurity attacks. In 2021, the law department of the nation’s largest city was the victim of a major data security breach. According to a report from The New York Times, the New York City Law Department was hacked and sensitive information was exposed. Alarmingly, the breach occurred because hackers exploited an easily-fixable cybersecurity vulnerability. Here is what is know about the data breach:
- Employee Information Was Misused: An investigation revealed that the source of the New York City Law Department data security breach was a single employee. Hackers stole one employee’s login credentials. From there, they were able to gain access to the entire system. Notably, the department has more than 1,000 total employees.
- Systematic Errors: With better data security practices, the damage could have been limited. However, the New York City Law Department lacked some basic cybersecurity practices. Among other things, the legal department failed to require two-factor authentication. A relatively simple cybersecurity tool that can dramatically reduce the risk of a hacker getting into a system with stolen credentials.
- Serious Damage: The fallout from the cybersecurity breach was significant: Officials in New York City were forced to take the entire legal department “offline” in order to resolve the issues. Many thousands of legal professionals were affected and thousands of working hours were lost. This on top of the other tangible and intangible damages.
Of course, the New York City Law Department is far from the only legal organization that has been victimized by a data security attack. Private law firms, non-profit legal organizations, and public agencies have all been impacted by cybersecurity flaws in recent years. As the damage related to a data security breach can be significant, it is essential that parties take proactive steps to implement the best data security practices.
Lupl: Innovative Legal Tech that Keeps Data Fully Secure
Lupl is a game-changing open industry platform designed to make collaborative legal work more efficient and more effective. A combination of tools involving communication, document sharing, project management, and project tracking, Lupl puts everything you need in one easy-to-access place. Our platform has strong cybersecurity protocols in place. Among other things, this includes:
- Strong System: Lupl has a comprehensive data security system in place to stop cybersecurity breaches. In too many cases, data breaches arise and spread because of systematic failures. Our legal tech addresses that problem.
- Protection of Your Information: Protection for personal information of our clients. The information shared by attorneys, law firms, and corporations that use Lupl is kept secure.
- Cryptographic Algorithmic Protection: As we offer a seamless collaborative platform for communicating and sharing documents, we go above and beyond to keep digital data safe. All transmission of data is done through cryptographic algorithms for additional protection.
- Staying Ahead: The reality is that hackers and cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to breach systems. At Lupl, we are committed to staying ahead. We conduct regular tests of our data security systems to ensure there are no weak points. Further, our team always implements the best digital security practices as things change and develop.
We put a high premium on data security. Our legal tech team knows how important data protection is for lawyers, law firms, and legal departments. You should be able to trust that the legal tech that you use will keep you sensitive data fully secure. Are you interested in learning more about Lupl? We are ready to work with you today: Get started now for free or request an in depth demonstration
Contact the Legal Tech Team at Lupl Today
At Lupl, we help lawyers and law firms move legal work forward. Our innovative platform offers a shared workspace that is designed specifically for legal professionals. Synchronization matters. Securely bring together everything that matters in one fully secure place. If you have any questions about data security, we can help. Give us a call or send us a direct message to learn more about our legal collaborative platform and our cyber security practices. We look forward to hearing from you.