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UK law firms voice information security concerns

UK law firms voice information security concerns

 10 November, 2008

·         Growth of information and rise in mobile working causes worry for legal IT executives

·         Despite concerns, only 42 per cent of law firms plan to increase spend on information security

 

 Research by Workshare – the global leader in content protection and control – today reveals that 69 per cent of IT executives working in UK law firms are not confident in their firm’s ability to maintain client confidentiality.  When asked to identify specific issues, most said they were concerned about internal risks such as employees sending confidential information via e-mail either accidently or maliciously. 

These concerns look set to grow in coming months as the amount of information handled by the legal sector increases.  In the past 12 months, the majority (89 per cent) of legal firms have seen a rise in the amount of information they handle while 84 per cent have seen an increase in mobile working practices.  Mobile working poses a particular threat since laptops and smart phones are increasingly used by lawyers and can easily be lost or stolen. 

When asked whether a publicly disclosed data breach would have a negative impact on their firm’s reputation, 98 per cent stated that it would.  Meanwhile, 72 per cent felt that a publicly disclosed data breach could have the potential to cost their firm millions of pounds in lost revenue.  Additionally, nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of UK law firms believe that data protection legislation needs to be reformed to ensure organisations take responsibility for sensitive client data such as financial results or contracts. 

Although the survey revealed that 42 per cent of IT executives are planning to increase spend on information management and security, Jan Durant, director of IT at Lewis Silkin, believes it is important that firms invest in cost effective solutions.  “If the UK legal sector is to maintain high levels of client confidence it needs to actively demonstrate that it can keep data secure even when it sits with third parties outside the corporate network.  Failure to implement information security and management solutions now could have serious long-term implications in months to come as the number of risks increase.” 

Matt Brown, vice president at Workshare agrees:  “Striking a balance between employee flexibility and information security must become a top priority for legal firms of all sizes.  Solutions that allow organisations to address this balance are essential if firms are to remain in control of their data at all times.”  

About the survey

Workshare surveyed the views of 104 IT executives working in UK law firms in October 2008. 

About Workshare
Workshare, a global leader in Content Protection and Control, provides solutions to over 11,000 organizations worldwide.  Workshare enables businesses and individuals to easily control and manage information securely. More than 60 percent of the Fortune 1000 and 85 percent of the Global Professional Services 250 rely on Workshare solutions to increase productivity and protect their confidential information; ultimately securing their brand reputation and customer relationships. The company has offices in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, London, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and Australia. For more information, visit www.workshare.com

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