During the past quarter, Ive had the privilege of hosting a series of ILTA
roadshows focused on security issues around file transfers. The roadshows held in Boston, New York and DC typically welcome around 20 IT professionals each from multiple law firms. The intimate size helps us all to have frank discussions about what keeps IT up at night.
On the forefront: Breaching client confidentiality and regulations.
Beyond the obvious dread of jeopardizing a law firms reputation and opening it up for massive fines, theres a personal take as well. IT leaders are realizing that they are responsible for technology safeguards that protect client data and comply with federal and state data privacy regulations.
The Culprits: Email and FTP Sites
Two methods of potentially risky file transfer kept surfacing during our conversations: Email and FTP sites.
The attendees expressed concern that there seems to be little regard from attorneys and staff when it comes to potential security breaches caused by using email and unsecured FTP sites to transfer client documents and files.
It is almost like the proverbial Sword of Damocles is hanging over legal ITs head. IT is only one wrong click or FTP error away from heavy fines and potential damage to law firms reputations.
Revenge of the Large Email Attachments
The 2010 ILTA member technology purchasing survey
identified email management as the biggest issue facing legal IT for the third year running and the roadshow attendees verified that the ever-increasing size of email attachments is a growing support issue.
Is this scenario familiar?An attorney tries to attach a 50 MB+ PDF to an email addressed to a client. If the email is lucky enough to traverse the firms exchange gateway, there is a good chance it will get bounced back due to recipient email size limitations. The attorney then receives an undeliverable message (sometimes not until the next day) and contacts IT for help. Cue the IT support drama!
Would you believe that one of the most popular remedies is to break up a large file into multiple smaller files and then send multiple email messages? This is a quick fix, yes, but doesnt speak to a law firms technical prowess.
And Dont Even Start us on FTPs
Another common option is for IT to erect an FTP site. After a communal groan, the attendees agreed FTP sites are often difficult to use, challenging to secure and an overall pain in the neck.
What do you think?
Does your law firm face challenges when transferring large files? What do you think are the leading security issues around this?
Leave a comment below so we can continue the conversation.
Coming to a City Near You
ILTA is planning more roadshows for Biscom so hopefully Ill be in your neck of the woods soon. Feel free to reach out to me at cmagliato at biscom.com
if you have a specific city in mind youd like to see us in. I will keep you posted.