“What Will You Do When Your Law Firm Is Breached?” by Sensei’s Sharon Nelson and John Simek was featured in the June 2018 edition of the Wyoming Lawyer Magazine. The Wyoming Lawyer Magazine is a publication of the Wyoming State Bar.
Excerpt: Note that we did NOT title this article, “What Will You Do If Your Law Firm is Breached?” The reason is simple – experiencing a data breach is not an “if” – it is a “when.” Just ask the IRS and the Office of Personnel Management. Mind you, their approach to information security was sloppy. Lawyers cannot afford, ethically, to have slipshod security when protecting confidential data.
“Cybersecurity for Real Estate Practitioners” by Sensei’s Sharon Nelson and John Simek was featured in the Spring 2018 issue of The Fee Simple. The Fee Simple is published semiannually for distribution to members of the Real Property Section of the Virginia State Bar.
Excerpt: When we were asked to do an article dealing with cybersecurity for real estate attorneys, money was the first thing that came to mind. Real estate lawyers deal with a lot of financial transactions – and a lot of money. “Bad guys” have the opportunity to prey on real estate transactions by intercepting money transfers or even modifying sales documents to achieve a better price. While there is specific guidance for real estate attorneys, some general cybersecurity practices are also appropriate.
Sharon Nelson, John Simek, and Jim McCauley’s article, “Is It Ethical for Lawyers to Accept Bitcoins and Other Cryptocurrencies?” was featured recently in Slaw Magazine. Slaw is a Canadian online legal magazine.
Excerpt: Cryptocurrencies are created by a process called mining – by becoming a miner of cryptocurrencies, you make money (not much unless you are a major league miner). We won’t go into all of the technology that is used to create and verify the transactions since it will probably make your head hurt. Mining is accomplished by executing complicated mathematic operations which takes a lot of processing power. Hence the new phenomenon of cryptojacking in which miners hijack the computing resources of unknowing victims so they can mine cryptocurrencies. And yes, your network could be victimized and there is little chance you would know unless so much power is used that your network slows down!
Today there are a lot of different cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is still one of the most well-known and popular. However, other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Monero, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash, etc., are gaining in popularity. They promise to scale better than Bitcoin and provide stronger anonymous protections. As of April 26, 2018, the amazing number of different cryptocurrencies is 1,759 according to investing.com’s current list located at https://www.investing.com/crypto/currencies. With all the various “flavors” of digital currencies, we’re sure you’ll find one to your liking.
All cryptocurrency transactions are recorded in a computer file called a blockchain, which is synonymous to a ledger that deals with conventional money. Users send and receive bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies from their mobile device, computer or web application by using wallet software. You can even use cloud services to host and manage your wallet(s). Frankly, we prefer to have direct control and keep our wallet(s) stored on local devices. Don’t forget to backup your wallet(s).
“The Dark Side of Cloud Computing” by Sensei’s Sharon Nelson and John Simek was featured in the May 2018 issue of The Legal Secretary. The Legal Secretary is a publication of Legal Secretaries, Inc (LSI) which has approximately 1,500 members and members-at-large and 37 local associations throughout the state of California. LSI is dedicated to educating legal secretaries and promoting high ethical standards among law office support staff in the legal community. LSI’s motto “Excellence through Education” is paramount in the goals and objectives of this organization.
Excerpt: We have said for many years that the cloud will generally protect a law firm’s data better than the law firm would itself. As more and more law firms adopt Microsoft Office 365, thereby moving to the cloud, we have come to the conclusion that a few words of caution are in order when law firms entrust their data to the cloud.
With huge volumes of law firm confidential data (and data from other verticals) moving to the cloud, it is no wonder that the bad guys are taking aim at the clouds. And there seems to be a shift afoot, in which the main responsibility for protecting corporate data in the cloud belongs to the cloud customer rather than the cloud provider.
The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) recently issued the latest version of its Treacherous 12 Top Threats to Cloud Computing Plus: Industry Insights report.
While there are many security concerns in the cloud, CSA’s list focuses on 12 concerns specifically related to the shared, on-demand nature of cloud computing. CSA conducted a survey of industry experts to gather professional opinions on the greatest security issues involving cloud computing. In order of severity, here are the 12 risks.
Sensei’s John Simek was recently featured in “Tech Tips: Collaborating Well With Others” by Joan Feldman with Attorney at Work.
Excerpt: One of the hottest tools for collaboration is, of course, Slack. Some describe Slack as an instant messaging and collaboration tool on steroids. You create channels within Slack to organize message threads. The channels can be public or private. Direct messages (individually or a group) are also available, and you can reference files in a message to allow direct access to the data. Slack — which can be installed on your desktop or accessed via a mobile app —has been used by the ABA TECHSHOW Planning Boards for several years. This year, the 2019 Planning Board will use Slack as a collaboration tool to communicate all aspects of the conference from the first days of planning all the way through the final conference session.
Futurelawyer is a blog authored by Richard M. Georges that focuses on “future technology for the lawyer of today.” On May 22, Richard featured a Ride the Lightning (RTL) post entitled, “Say What? U.S. Cell Carriers Selling Access to Your Real-Time Phone Location Data” in his own blog post. Ride the Lightning is an electronic evidence and cybersecurity blog by Sensei’s Sharon Nelson.
Excerpt: Ride The Lightning: Say What? U.S. Cell Carriers Selling Access to Your Real-Time Phone Location Data. LocationSmart is buying your real-time location data from your cell phone carrier. And, it is perfectly legal. If you carry a phone, you can be found, wherever you are. In some cases, this could be life saving, as emergency personnel could find you. But, in the hands of a rogue employee, such as a former police sheriff who spied on phone location data without a warrant, it is scary. LocationSmart hides behind an alleged requirement of explicit consent from the user, such as clicking on a text message app, or, and this is the iffy part, implied consent based on a case by case decision such as a motorist in trouble. But, there are so many holes in this system that additional regulation is needed. Of course, there is also the FutureLawyer solution. I have so many smartphones laying around that I could just distribute them in many locations. Call it location spoofing. Catch me if you can. Seriously, we all need to educate ourselves about our technology. 1984 may not be in the past at all.
Having the ability to break into a terrorist’s phone sounds good, but what happens when the FBI’s access to your phone leaves you vulnerable to cyber attacks? In this episode of Digital Detectives, hosts Sharon Nelson and John Simek talk to Nate Cardozo about the FBI’s stance on encryption including their desired ability to access our phones, the First Amendment issues involved, and the implications of the FBI vs Apple San Bernardino confrontation. They also discuss the role of public and policy maker ignorance about technology and encryption in the struggle between the FBI and privacy.
Sensei is excited to be a Bronze sponsor for Lawyerpalooza this year! Lawyerpalooza is a free annual event hosted by the FBA Young Lawyers Section. This year, the event will be at Nottoway Park Hunter House in Vienna, VA on Saturday, June 2 from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM. All net proceeds will benefit The Honorable David T. Stitt Scholarship Fund for the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.
Collaboration is becoming increasingly important within the legal field especially with emerging technology that makes it easier than ever. In this episode of The Digital Edge, hosts Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway talk to Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell, authors of The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, about collaboration, why it’s necessary for lawyers, and the tools attorneys need to make their teamwork efficient. They also discuss what has been driving lawyers more and more towards collaboration techniques and how collaboration can assist with case management.