The speed with which the Internet has become important to lawyers and their clients is almost unbelievable. The ubiquity of digital platforms and the Internet that is doing business is changing many businesses. The law is also no exception here. Cybersecurity plays a role in the work of lawyers.
Our profession has been permanently transformed by Internet-based technologies. While in many ways a blessing in terms of empowerment, it does have to pay a price. These are threats to data in mobile devices, computers, and information systems used by lawyers. Such security violations, commonly known as “hacking”, have reached an all-time high.
The good news is that there has been high competition in the field of technical software, with new forms of attacks based on destructive software known as “malware”.
Not everyone is aware of the latest advancements in hardware computer defense and software programming. Here is the suggestion that you should know about the latest advances in data and computer hardware. Such awareness enhances the benefit of the legal professional by establishing a strong relationship with clients based on the principle of “mutual benefit”.
Another suggestion for lawyers is to prioritize the focus on the concept of cybersecurity, ‘a new phenomenon that is changing the way legal work is done. The lawyers who are competent should have a better understanding of all the techniques that are available to them in today’s time and which they are using. Lawyers should change their regulatory framework.
Another important area for the legal professional to be vigilant in the field of digital privacy. Digital law about changing digital privacy. Much change can be expected from them, especially when Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) attacks and defense software apps and tools that have come in for cybersecurity.
Brakes have become so prevalent that today there is a common saying in cyberspace: “There are two types of companies: those who have been hacked and they know it and those who have been hacked and they don’t know it.” (McAfee Software, 2014)
As clients have demands on the security of their data, they are reasonably attracted to the most up-to-date firm. Thus for reasons to best serve clients and attract the best customers, lawyers will be obliged to protect client information from cyber attack.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”) gives guidelines for cybersecurity used by the government. NIST standards are voluntary, but the implementation of the standards should be sufficient for most law firms whose clients have lost even a bit of data.
A higher standard may be required for some firms, which demand higher levels of data security. These will also be the most desirable customers, as they are getting enough valuable information to hack! The NIST standards include a section on “competence”. Competence encompasses the general duty of having the ability to work with clients at a contracted or generally accepted professional level.
Competence “Legal knowledge, completeness, representation, and skill require proper preparation.” It also includes the ability to select and use technology, including cybersecurity.
The standard of communication also applies to lawyers’ use of technology. This requires appropriate communication “how the customer’s objectives can be met, including the use of technology”.
A lawyer makes reasonable efforts to prevent unauthorized use or unintentional or unauthorized access to information related to the client’s representation. The lawyer must meet the minimum standard of moral and common law duties that place the strongest safeguards of client information.