Data security in the legal sector is an increasing priority with a growing number of members of the legal profession being reported to the Information Commissioners Office for data protection issues. And with the potential consequences and fines for losing confidential information being so severe, it’s important to ensure all devices are adequately protected.
The Information Commissioners Office has the ability to serve a monetary penalty of up to £500,000 for a serious breach of the Data Protection Act, provided the incident had the potential to cause substantial damage or substantial distress to affected individuals – as barristers and solicitors are generally classed as data controllers in their own right, they are therefore legally responsible for the personal information they process
The statistics say it all 24 per cent of law firm data breaches are caused by malicious attacks and 75 per cent of all data loss incidents result from human error. With open plan offices and hot desking environments becoming more common than ever, there is an increased threat of data loss. It’s easy for an unauthorised individual sitting next to or simply passing by a device to catch a quick glance at confidential on screen data.
The boom in mobile working also means legal staff are more susceptible to the threat of a data breach when working on the move in public places, providing causal passers by and data thieves’ ample opportunity to sneak a peek at confidential onscreen information.
The Bar Council and Law Society have both recognised the growing issue, with the Bar Council issuing best practice guidelines including: ‘Where possible, computers should not be placed so that their screens can be overlooked, especially in public places’ and ‘You should use appropriate security technologies suitable for the particular device or application.’
There are a growing number of legal firms upgrading their visual security to adhere to these requirements and taking steps to secure their confidential on screen data. The 3M range of privacy filters provide a fast and effective way to protect laptops, desktop monitors and mobile devices from data thieves. Featuring patented 3M technology, 3M Privacy filters block the view of the screen from either side, and in the case of 3M Gold Filters from above too, ensuring all confidential onscreen information is secure.