Legal Automation

How to Manage Your Client Data in 2021

Consumer data has now become the world’s most valuable resource — “the oil of the digital age”. Naturally, the data must be managed and safeguarded accordingly. The consequences of failing to do so can be severe. Especially, when you are a legal professional, dealing with a lot of sensitive data; you need to manage client data effectively. After all, it can be a factor that contributes to overall business success. 

manage client data

Data protection- a necessity, not an afterthought

A law firm needs to ensure that it collects and manages data properly to avoid data breach issues and the resulting loss of customer trust. In fact, a new study from KPMG finds that nearly all U.S. consumers (97%) report that data privacy is a concern; the majority of whom believe data security is a basic human right in this digital age. 

Typically, data protection isn’t a top priority for small law firms. These firms do not believe that they need protection. They assume hacks and leaks only happen to big law firms, despite alarming statistics. Moreover, often, the long list of other business priorities leads to IT infrastructure and security investments being neglected.

However, as a business based on the founding concept of attorney-client privilege; it is necessary for a law firm to protect sensitive data. Sensitive data includes patent information, insider information, and other financial data. Moreover, law firms need to set up processes and internal workflows that manage client data effectively.

Times are changing. Law firms are moving from paper-based transactions to digital methods. They have started sharing files through emails, cloud servers, or other channels. In this case, it is not only important to introduce automation to streamline end-to-end transactions. It is also pivotal to have the right gatekeepers- people and processes- in place to ensure sensitive information remains protected. 

impact of law firm data breach

Compliances for data security:

Interestingly, it is not only clients who want to protect their data; with the rise of cyber crimes and threats, governements and statutory bodies have mandated various guidelines to ensure all businesses do their part to avoid the worst.

The most prominent of these compliances and guidelines seem to be the GDPR. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) harmonizes the data privacy laws. If you are a law firm with a focus on Europe or a business that processes personal data or monitors individuals in the EU, it is illegal to not comply with the GDPR. 

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act (SHIELD) are two legislations that may contribute to the changing scenario of data protection. 

Moreover, most of the countries are coming up with their own version of GDPR and security laws to protect their citizens against imminent online threats. 

world map showing the countries and their data privacy acts

What can law firms do to effectively manage client data:

With more and more legal work done remotely, law firms have realized the need to adopt a cloud-based CRM solution. Legodesk is slowly becoming the preferred tool for lawyers to manage their administration and clients more effectively.

Naturally, to make the platform world-ready and implementing our understanding of the importance of data protection; Legodesk offers built-in compliance management reducing risk:

With a secure instant messenger, we enable lawyers to track key conversations attached to each customer with additional bank-level security and encryption implemented in our servers. 

Moreover, with the offchance of data still being prone to attacks, we offer automated backups. It ensures that law firms have everything in case of a major breach that requires a hard reset. 

Role-based management allows Legodesk to track which database records were altered by which user Furthermore, it tracks the field values before and after an update, and the exact time when the record was changed. This allows administrators to understand what was done and when. In addition, this feature ensures that no authorized person or group can access sensitive information; and, you can lock down access prevent any kind of export or alteration to any particular files. 

Additionally, Legodesk prompts users to set passwords and provides regular reminders for password resets. With two-factor authentication, the platform also enhances login security and prevents unauthorized access. 

Your law firm’s data and your clients’ data need to be protected. It is essential to your role as a lawyer both ethically and professionally. New challenges are surfacing every day, putting law firms at risk. However, there is good news: firms can reduce risk and ensure their data is protected thanks to technology. And, our cloud-based software is an excellent way to secure your data.

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by Sushree Swagatika

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