The volume of documents being shared electronically is ever increasing, and in parallel so are the levels of awareness around document security. In particular, the risks associated with hidden ‘metadata’ – or data about data - within documents are becoming more and more recognized, whether that be track changes in Word or notes in a PowerPoint. 

This is particularly important in the legal sector as the documents attorneys share often contain high-value intellectual property, or highly sensitive information. The surge in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, which means more attorneys are working on a mobile device and outside the traditional confines of the office, also presents data security risks.

BYOD: What's the problem?

With the BYOD trend more users are sharing files via consumer file sharing applications that they use at home, for work, and this is a problem. It becomes IT’s problem when they lose control of what is shared. This has a direct impact on compliance and also prevents a visible audit trail - two of the basic tenets of any secure document sharing application. Having the right measures in place that allow attorneys to feel secure about what they’re sharing normally falls on the firm. Their role is to protect corporate IP, ensure compliance, and build coherent security policies, developed in line with users’ needs and behavior. In response, firms need to provision a sanctioned application that is as easy to use as consumer applications, but totally secure.

A case in point - we were approached by a large legal firm in Southern California whose IT department understood the appeal of consumer file sharing applications and was keen to provide their lawyers with an IT-sanctioned alternative. They selected Workshare Professional 8 because it not only supported their users working on mobile devices securely, but it also gave its attorneys access to Workshare’s patented ‘Deltaview’ technology, allowing them to compare versions of documents on laptops, mobiles and tablets.

Read more about the BYOD trend in our Workforce Mobilization White Paper.

Read full article published in ABA Journal here

Barrie Hadfield