Login | August 20, 2019

Solo and small firm tech survey part 2: Security

Technology for Lawyers

Published: February 1, 2019

The ABA released its 2018 annual legal tech survey. This is part 2 of the small (2-9)/solo section, which is where most of you reside.

Cloud security. Even though a majority of those surveyed now use some cloud computing in their practices, smartly, two-thirds of them are actually aware that putting confidential on the cloud may come with some security risks. Only 13 percent take no further security precautions. This is really excellent. Not all attorneys are up to date on the use of legal tech, but most of the ones that are apparently now realize that the use of technology goes hand-in-hand with security concerns.

And the survey showed that half of the attorneys who have not adopted cloud technology have not done so because of security concerns. Even so, another 10 percent of those surveyed will be starting cloud services next year.

So finally, maybe, people are getting this? Because 25 years ago, when I started writing about this with a lengthy interview with a white hat hacker, not one single law firm had any computer security in place.

Backup. About a third of solos and a little more than half of small firms have data retention plans in place. This should be 100 percent. It costs a couple of hundred bucks to buy a backup hard drive, folks.

Only about a fourth of these firms use password managers. Again, should be everyone. They are free and easy to use.

About a third of solos and forty-plus percent of small firms have had a data breach. That’s better that the large firms, right? About 100 percent of those have had a breach.

Still, a lot of this isn’t sinking in. Now, all attorneys are required to keep up enough on technology in order to conform to ethical rules. Still, only sixty percent of those surveyed thank that this is the case, apparently. And only around 40 percent of them engage in training on that technology—and most of that comes from Google searches. Four words: RTFM.

Yep, this is where we are. Much better than 20 years ago, but with a long, long way yet to go. So go out there and get there.