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    April 9th, 2008

    ♫ Listen, do you want to know a secret
    Do you promise not to tell, woh, oh, oh
    Closer, let me whisper in your ear…♫

    Words and music by Lennon-McCartney

    In my Practice Tips column for March, 2008 in the Benchers Bulletin, the newsletter of The Law Society of British Columbia, I wrote on “Electronic devices – encryption and client confidentiality issues” for lawyers. In that article I discussed the distressingly regular occurrence of a lawyer’s computer being stolen or ‘lost’. I recommended that lawyers start installing and using whole disk encryption (either software or hardware) technologies to ensure that there is an additional level of security between the client confidential information on that computer and any unauthorized person who tries to access that information.

    Accordingly, it was gratifying to see that InfoWorld in an article posted April 7, 2008 entitled: Are Extra Laptop Features Worth It? stated:

    “Our verdict: For any industry in which security is paramount or even legally obligated (the medical, legal, and governmental fields, for starters), the additional cost of hardware encryption is minuscule when weighed against the technology’s ease of use and its role in avoidance of liability.”

    In my opinion, all lawyers should be looking at whole-disk encryption for their portable devices (laptops, flash drives etc) and should be considering it for their office networks as well (there have been instances when desktop computers have been stolen – even in broad daylight – from lawyer’s offices).

    Contemplate, if you will, having to tell your clients that a computer containing their personal information has been stolen and that they should consider steps to guard against identity theft and the compromising of their personal information. This conversation is *so* much easier when you can also tell them that the entire disk in question has been encrypted using a state-of-the-art system and is very unlikely to be hacked. As they say in those TV ads, the cost of encryption – minuscule; the sense of relief – *priceless*.

    And the clients can rest assured that there isn’t someone out there saying “psst….do you want to know a secret?”..

    This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 9th, 2008 at 11:41 am and is filed under Law Firm Strategy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    One Response to “Do You Want to Know a Secret?…”
    1. David Bilinsky - Thoughtful Legal Management Says:

      [...] friend and fellow blogger Jim Calloway picked up on my blog post Do You Want to Know a Secret?…on whole-disk encryption for lawyer’s laptops, flash drives and portable devices in his blog [...]

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