FYI: Playing it Safe With Encryption

Confidentiality is the bedrock of the attorney-client relationship. However, this privilege is at risk during the routine transmission of an electronic communication. Email encryption reduces this risk. Email encryption obscures the content of the email in order to prevent people other than the sender and the receptor from reading the content. Additionally some encryption programs will provide proof that the document was received and disable the forwarding option so that the message cannot be forwarded. Increased availability and affordability make encryption an accessible option for safeguarding attorney/client privilege.

System encryption makes the data of a desktop or laptop computer inaccessible or illegible without a passkey regardless of the application in which the file was created. The passkey should be a complex, yet memorable (to you) combination of letters and numbers. Also, don't forget your email enabled mobile phone. There are a number of encryption options for mobile phones. See FYI: Security on the Go.

Lastly, make sure that your backup medium is secure as well. Many portable storage drives will allow you to encrypt the data that you backup. Iomega, is one manufacturer of smart, portable encrypted storage solutions.

The best encryption methods in the world are useless if not routinely implemented. A Computerworld article just reported a breach at Internet security giant VeriSign. While VeriSign, according to the website, “… enables and protects billions of interactions every day across the world’s voice and data networks”, this distinction did not prevent an unencrypted laptop containing the personal information of VeriSign Inc.'s current and former employees from being stolen. A security culture is imperative for all organizations. None are exempt

Security Resources

E-Mail Encryption

System Encryption

Mobile Storage Encryption