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Managing confidential information in law firms: changes and challenges

Managing confidential information in law firms changes and challenges 2
Nearly every matter a legal firm represents involves receiving or generating some type of confidential information. Lawyers who are provided such sensitive client information have an ethical and commercial obligation to keep their data and the data of their clients safe, secure and confidential.

Most practices have a protocol for addressing documents while the case is current, but once the matter is closed, these files need to be properly indexed and stored. Firms must take steps to ensure that confidential files are kept in securely but can be accessed if again needed in a timely manner.

Document management for legal firms needs to include the collection, transmission, maintenance, storage and destruction of client information, including documents stored in hard copy, electronically, or remotely.[1]

The Law Council of Australia see that client data management is integral to the continuity of any practice.

“Data is rapidly becoming the most important commodity in the information age and its integrity is entrusted to us all. It is important to your and your clients’ success that all data can be verified as untampered and secured from any outside element.

It is part of every lawyer’s professional responsibility to keep their client’s data safe.” [2]

The efficient and comprehensive keeping of your sensitive information is paramount to complying with both professional and general legal obligations.

Partnering with a professional, reliable and comprehensive information management service such as Compu-Stor immediately eliminates any discrepancies that may arise from well-intentioned but fallible in-house system.

Compu-Stor are industry leading professionals in providing a range of services to manage your sensitive and private business information. Our full suite of services cover some of the most impactful areas of business compliance, including:

DOCUMENT IMAGING

One of the most time-consuming yet necessary steps in any information management system is document imaging. By outsourcing such a central component, your business will be more able to meet compliance obligations without the risk of unsecured or inconsistent procedures.

DATA BACKUP AND RECOVERY

Securing your information for long-term retrieval is beneficial as well as mandatory in most enterprises. Losing data can be catastrophic to a business, especially those with mandated reporting and legal requirements such as seen in medical fields. Compu-Stor’s data backup and retrieval services ensure that your information will always be accessible if the worst was to happen.

DOCUMENT STORAGE

Storing information is a monumental task. The quantity of information propagated even by a small business requires dedicated platforms for soft copy documentation, and expansive storage areas for hard copy files. Compu-Stor have safe, secure and comprehensive storage capacities for every type of document storage including environmentally and security-controlled areas. We also offer our cusotmers an online management system known as CIMS, which allows authorised users to securely access their documents and information remotely over the internet.

DOCUMENT DESTRUCTION

As much as the keeping of business information in line with obligations is important, destroying it also requires the same commitment to compliance adherence. Compu-Stor provides efficient and secure document destruction services that satisfy every compliance need to ensure sensitivity and integrity of information privacy.

Keeping your business well within its obligations and compliance is one way to ensure success on a day-to-day basis as well as for the future. Call Compu-Stor today to see how we can help you maximise your productivity in-line with your compliance requirements.

The Law Society of Australia strongly recommends firms seek independent expert help in this area. “If you feel that you don’t, or your practice doesn’t have an adequate understanding of how your data should be secured, or if you are not familiar with the technology or the types of questions you should be asking to gauge whether the data you hold is adequately secured, consider obtaining independent expert help as soon as possible.”[3]

[1] http://www.lawtechnologytoday.org/2015/06/3-policies-to-protect-confidential-information-in-the-digital-age/

[2] http://lca.lawcouncil.asn.au/lawcouncil/cyber-precedent-risk-management/cyber-precedent-your-firm-their-data

[3] http://lca.lawcouncil.asn.au/lawcouncil/cyber-precedent-risk-management/cyber-precedent-your-firm-their-data