Security Snapshot: Threats and Opportunities

Joshua Poje is the Director of the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center, where he provides technology and practice management guidance to attorneys throughout the country. He serves as editor of the annual ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, the most comprehensive annual survey of lawyer technology use. He is a frequent speaker on technology topics at national and state bar conferences, and has authored numerous articles and guides on topics ranging from the ethics of cloud computing to data security. He also blogs about legal technology and practice management issues on Law Technology Today.

In an era where hard drives are increasingly replacing file cabinets, lawyers are by necessity keepers and protectors of large amounts of data.  And though the data they hold is often of particular sensitivity, few lawyers have special training or skills in data security or IT.  How can lawyers meet their ethical and professional responsibilities to safeguard their data and the data of their clients while accepting the simple reality that they are not technology gurus?  What policies, procedures and tools have they put in place to aid them?  How often do they fall victim to security breaches?

These are some of the questions that the ABA’s Legal Technology Survey Report seeks to address each year.  The Report, produced by the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center, is divided into six topical volumes ranging from basic technology to specialized tools used in litigation and mobile practice.  Data security and integrity is addressed most directly in the first volume, Technology Basics.

What follows is a brief review of the security topics from this year’s Report, with an examination of some of the more interesting and illuminating demographic breakdowns. 

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2013 Legal Technology Survey Report