- An overview of current best-of- breed and budget friendly legal technology products
- Legal productivity software
- A guide to backing up your data – for business continuity reasons and to protect yourself against ransomware
- A look at the growing popularity of Office 365
- Data security – what reasonable measures should you be taking in light of the new ethics rules?
- Cloud computing pros and cons
- Where the legal technology world will be in 2018 and beyond
Archives for February 2018
#SenseiSherlock was delighted to see College of Law Practice Management President Bill Migneron as the Board of Trustees, on which Sharon serves, commenced its meeting in Fort Lauderdale.
“Are Alexa and Her Friends Safe to Use in Your Law Office?” by Sensei’s Sharon Nelson and John Simek was featured in the February 2018 edition of the Wyoming Lawyer Magazine. The Wyoming Lawyer Magazine is a publication of the Wyoming State Bar.
Excerpt: Alexa is just one of the virtual assistants available for lawyers today. There’s also Google Home/Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana and Samsung’s Bixby on the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Siri was the first on the market but has rapidly lost ground to Alexa and Google Assistant, the two big players in the virtual assistant offerings. Google has the advantage for research since it has access to the power of Google search. Alexa is a better integration device, especially with the addition of “skills” that allow it to connect to other services and apps. Bixby is the newest player in the virtual assistant space and promises to have some unique features that don’t exist in the others. One such feature is the ability to take a picture of something in a foreign language (e.g. road sign, business advertisement, etc.) and Bixby will translate it for you.
Read the entire article here (article on page 40).
Not all legal disputes require the input of a lawyer. Some don’t even need the input of a human. Online dispute resolution (ODR), or the use of technology to solve basic disputes, is considered by some to be an access to justice solution. In this episode of The Digital Edge, hosts Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway talk to Colin Rule about how ODR works and its potential to fill access to justice needs. They also discuss where ODR originally came from, the difference between between ODR and alternative dispute resolution, and how mobile access will expand the use of this technology.
Sharon Nelson, John Simek, and David Ries’s article, “What to Do When Your Data is Breached” was featured recently in Slaw Magazine. Slaw is a Canadian online legal magazine.
Excerpt: “When, not if.” This mantra among cybersecurity experts recognizes the ever-increasing incidence of data breaches. In an address at a major information security conference in 2012, then director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Robert Mueller put it this way: “I am convinced that there are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be. And even they are converging into one category: companies that have been hacked and will be hacked again.”
Mueller’s observation is true for attorneys and law firms as well as small businesses through Fortune 500 companies. There have now been numerous reports of law firm data breaches. The FBI has reported that it is seeing hundreds of law firms being increasingly targeted by hackers. Law firm breaches have ranged from simple (like those resulting from a lost or stolen laptop or mobile device) to highly sophisticated (like the deep penetration of a law firm network, with access to everything, for a year or more).
Lawyers and law firms are beginning to recognize this new reality, but all too often they expose themselves to unnecessary risk simply because they don’t have a response plan for security incidents and data breaches. Attorneys have ethical and common law duties to employ competent and reasonable measures to safeguard information relating to clients. Many attorneys also have contractual and regulatory requirements for security. Attorneys also have ethical and common law duties to notify clients if client data has been breached.
Compliance with these duties includes implementing and maintaining comprehensive information security programs, including incident response plans, for law practices of all sizes, from solos to the largest firms. The security programs and response plans should be appropriately scaled to the size of the firm and the sensitivity of the information.
LawSites is a blog created by Bob Ambrogi that posts news and reviews of websites of interest to the legal profession. Bob is a lawyer and consultant that has been writing and speaking about the internet, social media and legal technology for about 20 years. Recently, Bob featured Law Practice Magazine’s TECHSHOW issue in his post, which features the article “Ransomware: How Many Bitcoins Are in Your Wallet?” by Sharon Nelson and John Simek.
Excerpt: Now online is the TECHSHOW issue of Law Practice magazine, the publication of the ABA’s Law Practice Division. I was co-editor of this issue, along with Mary E. Vandenack.
- Practical Magic: Law’s Hands-on AI Revolution, by James A. Sherer and Ed Walters.
- Ransomware: How Many Bitcoins Are in Your Wallet? by Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek.
- ABA TECHSHOW 2018: Why This Year Is Special, an interview by Aaron Street with this year’s TECHSHOW co-chairs Debbie Foster and Tom Mighell.
- Office 365: What You Need to Know, by Ben Schorr.
- Managing the E-Discovery Processing Phase, by Courtney Ward-Reichard.
- Thinking Smartly About Smart Contracts, by Dennis Kennedy.
Authors: Sharon D. Nelson Esq., John W. Simek and Michael C. Maschke
The only book of its kind that helps solo and small firm lawyers find the best technology for their dollar, this annual guide provides the most current and clearly presented information and recommendations on computers, servers, networking equipment, legal software, printers, security products, smartphones, tablets, and anything else a law office might need.
- Updated recommendations on hardware and software for PCs and Macs
- Securing your data (even from our own government)
- The latest in social media—from an acknowledged social media expert
- The evolving smartphone market, and which ones work best for lawyers
- The security issues and benefits of cloud computing
- Favorite utilities and apps for lawyers
- The direction of legal technology in 2018, and more
#SenseiSherlock thanked Alex Moss from the DC Bar for helping Sharon and John get set up to give a cybersecurity presentation.
“Ransomware: No Honor Among Thieves and More Expensive” by Sensei’s Sharon Nelson and John Simek was featured in the Winter 2017 Newsletter of the Northern Virginia Association of Legal Administrators (NOVA ALA). The NOVA ALA, chartered in 1980, is composed of legal professionals and is affiliated with the National Association of Legal Administrators, a non-profit organization with over 10,000 members worldwide. The goal of the Association of Legal Administrators is to improve the quality of management in legal service organizations; promote and enhance the competence of professionalism of legal administrators; and represent professional legal management and managers to the legal community and the community at large.
Excerpt: The FBI says that ransomware nets cybercriminals $1 billion a year. No wonder so many people want a piece of that pie.
Computerworld recently reported that hackers spreading ransomware are getting greedier. In 2016, the average ransom demand to provide the decryption key for encrypted data rose to $1,077, up from $294 the year before, according to a report from security firm Symantec. Symantec also reported a 36% increase in ransomware in 2016 from the prior year. We are aware of small law firms in Virginia that paid $1200 and $3000 to get their data back – the damage being furthered by the length of time it took to restore the data.
Helping to fuel the ransomware boom is the digital black market, where hackers can sell ransomware kits for as little as $10 and as much as $1,800, making it easier for other cybercriminals who can't code to get a piece of the action.
See the entire newsletter here. (Sensei article on page 10)
On January 19, Sharon Nelson and her blog Ride the Lightning were featured in iPhone J.D.’s “In the News” post. iPhone J.D. is the oldest and largest website for lawyers using iPhones and iPads. iPhone J.D. is published by Jeff Richardson, an attorney in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Excerpt: And now, the news of note from the past week:
- South Carolina attorney Justin Kahn has a daughter who is in high school, Rebecca Kahn, who somehow managed to score an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook, as detailed in this article.
- In the latest episode of the Mac Power Users podcast, Florida attorney Kate Floyd and California attorney David Sparks discuss apps and workflows for being more productive with an iPad.
- Virginia attorney Sharon Nelson discusses the new policies announced by Customs and Border Protection on searching your iPhone when you return to the U.S. I discussed the impact this has on attorneys in this post.