8 Tech Traps and Tips Every Practitioner Must Know Now that You’ve Tackled Remote Working

October 1, 2020

Practitioners have had to reimagine their firms with remote work environments, and soon a new form of office environment that will include remote work. Practitioners must balance the needs of the partners and staff with the safety and protection of the firm’s data. The firm is ultimately responsible for its own data security as well as client data they store. What computers do staff use? Should you provide staff with firm laptops and move to docking stations at the office? What should you to do about voice activated devices that could record attorney-client confidential communications? A growing problem that has become unavoidable lately is “Shadow IT”. Shadow IT has increased during this pandemic (devices and applications that access – or run on – the firm’s network but which are not approved by the Firm). Currently firms may be unable to monitor user activities and, in turn, this activity becomes a significant threat to data security and compliance. Users have improvised and found solutions on their own that may be not in compliance with IT policies. Users need enhanced training on safely working from remote locations. IT Departments need to listen to their users and come up with a game plan that balances security and ease of use. Back to work plans need to be considered. Firms need to inventory data that is stored on unapproved devices or storage (thumb drives, Dropbox, etc.), collect it and remove it from the unapproved source. How rotating offices impact tech decisions (you work in a new office each time you show up? Are you using electronic letterhead or printing letters on paper? Do you still hold original wills? Should you? What do ethics pronouncements say about obligations to safeguard data? What steps should you take NOW to demonstrate compliance? Business development has changed as a result of the remote work environment. Tips for business development in the new work structure will be offered.