In an era of escalating internet crime and rising data vulnerabilities, safeguarding sensitive and confidential information within legal processes is of utmost importance. Particularly with the growing use of legal process outsourcing – which includes the handling of client data, legal documents, financial records, and proprietary information, making information communication security a critical priority.
It’s for this very reason that the American Bar Association (ABA) has set forth guidelines around data and security obligations for outside counsel, a robust set of rules of engagement designed to protect the attorney-client relationship and the industry at large. These rules of engagement touch on data deletion requirements, notification timeframes for data incidents, client data disclosure constraints, audits, third-party vendor approval, and data storage restrictions. How can law firms ensure secure collaboration, protect data, and uphold ethical responsibilities all while outsourcing legal services?
The Large Gap in Data Security Concerns With Work-From-Home Legal Staff
The business case for offshore legal outsourcing is strong: this practice has been proven to save firms up to 60% in staffing costs. However, legal outsourcing for individuals who work from home introduces several security concerns that law firms and legal departments need to consider.
A Heightened Risk of Unauthorized Access
When legal tasks are outsourced to individuals working from home, there’s a higher risk of unauthorized access to sensitive legal documents and client information. Home networks may lack the individual security protocols and data safety measures of office networks, making them more vulnerable to information security threats.
Lack of Controlled Environment
Work-from-home settings are typically less controlled than office environments. This can lead to unintended exposure of sensitive information to family members, visitors, or even physical theft of devices containing confidential information. Account passwords, notes, and other sensitive information may not be stored securely, as home offices typically lack physical security measures, like locked filing cabinets or secure document disposal methods, increasing the risk of physical data breaches.
Legal outsourcing staff who work from home raise significant regulatory and compliance concerns. Adhering to privacy and data security guidelines becomes a challenge, potentially leading to breaches of confidentiality, inadequate data deletion practices, and compromised audit capabilities. There’s a heightened risk of unauthorized engagement with unapproved third-party vendors, potentially exposing sensitive legal information.
A More Secure Alternative for Legal Outsourcing
iFive Global offers a structured and secure office facility that is superior to the security measures of work-from-home staff. There are several considerable advantages to working with an offshore partner that has deep layers of facility and information security, unattainable by staff who work from home.
Structured and Secure Environment
The iFive Global’s facility employs advanced security measures to ensure that only authorized personnel gain access. This is achieved through restricted building access using key card systems, guaranteeing that only those with the appropriate credentials can enter. iFive Global enforces a clean-desk policy, imposes limitations on personal cell-phone usage, and implements guidelines regarding the use of computers for personal purposes.
In addition to physical security, iFive Global’s facility works with their U.S. clients’ secure network and VPN connectivity. This ensures a verified and secured internet connection and establishes a protected environment for data exchange. This proactive approach guarantees that all aspects of the work environment align with quality information protection standards.
iFive Global offers runs with multiple ISP backups with proper redundancy to ensure that the business won’t face any downtime and the operations stay smooth and uninterrupted.
The Way Forward
iFive Global sets the gold standard in providing a secure alternative to work-from-home legal outsourcing. Their structured and secure office facility offers advanced security practices, surpassing the security measures typically available in home office settings, ensuring a controlled and protected environment for data exchange. This underscores their dedication to safeguarding sensitive legal information while upholding the highest levels of professionalism and security.