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Law Firm Operations

Email Security: How to Protect Sensitive Client Information

Team Litify
Law Firm Operations

Email Security: How to Protect Sensitive Client Information

Team Litify

In 2022, the cost of data breaches worldwide reached an all-time high of $4.35 million per breach on average, based on data from IBM and the Ponemon Institute. In the US alone, average costs were even higher, at $9.44 million per beach — more than twice the global average.

In today's digital age, an increasing amount of sensitive, or even confidential, information is being shared and communicated electronically. While this helps expedite many procedures, it also increases opportunity for exposing such private information. It's your responsibility, your obligation, to ensure its safety during transit and in storage. As data breaches have risen in both cost and frequency, it's critical to keep your organization's cybersecurity efforts in compliance — and this includes your email communications.

From cybersecurity to email security

Email hacking, in particular, remains a hot topic, and the American Bar Association (ABA) responded with a formal ethics opinion on “Securing Communication of Protected Client Information.” It includes such language as:

  • it's "not always reasonable to rely on the use of unencrypted email" in row 138
  • a section devoted to determining "how electronic communications about clients matters should be protected" in row 202
  • "alternatively, lawyers can consider the use of a well-vetted and secure third-party cloud-based file storage system to exchange documents normally attached to emails" in row 212

No email platform is fully protected from security breaches. Email communications involve a large number of moving parts and offer too many "entry points" for hackers to exploit, many of which are not under your control no matter how diligent you are. For example, if someone you trust got hacked, they could unknowing send you malicious files or links that could give hackers access to your system. To further illustrate this point, this study found that 60% of companies said they've experienced more than one data breach in the span of two years' time.

Infosec Institute spear-phishing attacks by company size

All it takes is for one piece of malicious code to sneak into one of your employee's inbox to put your entire company's data and your clients’ private information at risk. Not to mention, when a breach happens and an email account got hacked, not only the documents you're currently working on are at risk but every single document you've ever emailed could also get compromised!

Creating a secure IT environment for information transfer using emails with an on-premise server is costly and very challenging. Even if you manage to set up a secure server environment, you have to ensure that all your employees are following the security protocols at all times. Not to mention, no matter how secure your IT environment is, you don’t have control of your clients’. It takes only one client to make one mistake to create a domino effect of irreparable damage.

A more secure way for email and document management

As a response to the insecure nature of email communication, ABA recommends lawyers to “consider the use of a well-vetted and secure third-party cloud-based file storage system to exchange documents normally attached to emails.” To prevent important data from being hacked via emails or stolen from hardware, more and more companies are relying on cloud solutions to manage and store sensitive information.

Using cloud-based platforms to handle file transfer both internally and with clients is the best way to ensure that your information is secure from the prying eyes of malicious hackers, and here’s why:

  • Your information is protected by endpoint security protocols, such as multi-factor authentication to ensure that only authorized clients and personnel can access the designated files and data.
  • You can rest assured that your data is safeguarded in a secure environment by a professional team of IT experts, 24/7/365.
  • Even if hackers manage to breach your email system, they won’t be able to obtain your sensitive client information because these files aren’t stored on your email server.
  • You don’t have to worry about upgrading your hardware or software to comply with fast-evolving industry standards.
  • You can be sure that your files and data are backed up with a comprehensive recovery plan.
  • Your data and files are encrypted during transit and storage for extra security.
  • You’re protected against ransomware – even if hackers can get into your server, there’s no file for them to hold hostage because your information isn’t stored locally.

Not all cloud platforms are created equal

According to Gartner, cloud-based solutions that are managed properly are more secure than on-premise solutions.

That’s why we chose to build the Litify platform on top of Salesforce, the #1 cloud-based business software. Salesforce is the leading CRM platform trusted by numerous government agencies and global corporations. We've harnessed the power of their business software and put it to work for the legal industry as an enterprise-grade cloud solution for law firms and legal departments.

Besides the many benefits offered by cloud-based computing, Litify clients can take advantage of the robust security available through the Salesforce platform. For added protection, our team doesn’t have access to your files and data, which live on the Salesforce cloud and are only accessible by those authorized by your company.

Our team at Litify is ready to help you meet the standard of today’s IT security best practices and protect your firm’s and your clients’ sensitive information from prying hackers. Schedule a live demo to see our software in action.

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