Mobile security: how two UK law firms are protecting data on the move, while improving productivity and service
May 06, 2014 Technology News(PRLEAP.COM) May 6, 2014 - Steve Whiter, Director of cross-platform mobility specialists Appurity, explores the challenge of mobility for the legal profession.
Like most industries, the legal sector is coming to terms with the rapid rise of mobile technology. But for law firms, the challenge of keeping data and client files secure on mobile devices is even greater than for companies in the commercial world.
Of course, all our customers take data security seriously. But few of them operate in sectors as tightly regulated as the legal profession. Even fewer work with files as sensitive as those that lawyers deal with every day.
Our legal clients have all been faced with the same paradox. They must secure networks from end to end, but they must also provide partners and other client-facing staff with the digital services that allow them to deliver the prompt, personalised service clients expect today.
Taylor Vinters embraces bring-your-own
Taylor Vinters is an international law firm with offices in London, Singapore and around the science and technology parks of Cambridge. They consulted us about a migration to the BlackBerry 10 platform, while also providing security and support to the personally-owned Android and Apple devices that many employees wanted to use in the office.
It was the strong security of BlackBerry, and the fact that BigHand dictation and other apps performed best on the platform, that convinced IT Director Steve Sumner that BlackBerry Enterprise Services 10 (BES 10) was the way forward for the firm.
"A lot of our clients are involved in scientific and technological research, so security and confidentiality are critical concerns," Steve told us. "We know the BlackBerry security environment and it's ideal for us.
"There's minimal risk of eavesdropping and if devices are lost or stolen we have remote locate and wipe. It's easy for us to manage and it's reassuring for our clients that our people are working with secure devices."
Users at Taylor Vinters have welcomed the new OS10 BlackBerry smartphones: the Q5, Q10 and Z10. As well as BigHand, the devices will run Microsoft Sharepoint and other client applications. They also run legal and other news feeds.
"Mobile technology has transformed our profession," said Steve Sumner. "Smartphones, laptops and tablets have become indispensable business tools, so your choice of platform is a key strategic decision."
Clyde & Co commits to compliance and apps
Clyde & Co, a global law firm specialising in corporate law, also consulted Appurity about a move to BES 10. The firm has offices all over the world, with 1,300 lawyers in 33 cities and a network hub in London.
For Clyde & Co, AES encryption, remote wipe and the ability to run essential apps on a secure and resilient platform all made BlackBerry the corporate platform of choice.
Aaron Donaldson, 3rd Line Support Team Leader for Clyde & Co, said: "We have 1,400 company-issued BES 5 and BlackBerry OS7 devices. Now we can manage them and the new BES 5 and BES 10 devices through a single interface."
The other big driver for choosing BlackBerry was the range of apps that are optimised for the platform. As well as BigHand, the Enterprise IM app, which allows Microsoft Office Communicator to run on BlackBerry, has become the standard mobile communication and collaboration channel for Clyde & Co users.
"It's actually harder to switch apps than devices," explained Aaron Donaldson. "The logistics of a hardware change are challenging, but there's a cultural side to a change of software that has a much deeper impact on the business.
"With the new devices and BES 10, our users can carry on using the apps they're used to, and get better interfaces and helpful new features too."
The freedom to work with mobile technologies is made possible with strong security. But as Clyde & Co and Taylor Vinters have found, it is possible to achieve the productivity gains and improvements in service that mobile offers, while still enforcing the compliant, robust security policies that clients expect.
For more information about Appurity's secure mobile working solutions for the legal sector, call 0330 660 0227. Or visit www.appurity.co.uk.