Law firms admit to losing confidential data on mobiles

A quarter of UK legal firms admit that they have misplaced at least one mobile device containing confidential documents.

A quarter of UK legal firms admit that they have misplaced at least one mobile device containing confidential documents, a survey has shown.

The lax attitude of legal firms towards data security leaves case-notes, contract details and client information at risk.

The survey, conducted on 100 legal firms by market research company The Survey Shop on behalf of UK IT security firm Credant Technologies, found that 90 percent of lawyers surveyed believe their data is fully protected by a password. Four percent of lawyers do not use any security whatsoever.

The information commissioner Richard Thomas recently reported 94 serious data breaches, including HSBC and Marks & Spencer, in the wake of the HM Revenue and Customs loss of two CDs containing 25 million records. The House of Commons justice committee earlier this year called for new reporting requirements forcing companies to report losses of data and new laws making significant security breaches - where reckless or repeated -- a criminal offense.

(See The 2007 security hall of shame)

The lawyers surveyed did not trust their own security measures, with 87 percent feeling that if their mobile device was lost, the data could be accessed. This was the case despite a third protecting their data with encryption techniques.

Robert Schifreen, the first person ever to be tried by a jury in connection with computer hacking and now an IT security consultant, argued that data encryption is an absolute necessity, given the ease of hacking. He claims that these findings demonstrate "how naive the legal profession is when it comes to data security. I suspect other professions are just as bad, if not worse."

One in five lawyers uses their own device to store clients' information. This is despite IT departments being unable to secure the devices, back them up or claim ownership of the information if the lawyer were to leave the organization.

Michael Callahan VP Global Marketing at Credant said: "Many personal mobile devices are being used by lawyers which clearly by-pass any security procedures set-up by the legal firm. This creates an uncontrollable environment for the IT security staff as they simply can't keep track of which devices they've secured and which they haven't."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Rafi Cooper

Computerworld UK
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?