Network Security: An Oxymoron?

Published May/June 2007, Legal Management

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only unknowns are the type of disaster, when it will occur, and how disruptive it will be. Whether it's a hurricane, a fire, a broken water pipe, or a more subtle danger, the real issue is ensuring the firm's survival.

While some disasters cannot be prevented, others can – such as the loss of data network capability. Failure to reasonably anticipate and be prepared to service clients in the wake of a disaster that jeopardizes your data network is arguably a failure both in the overall duty to act competently and in clients' best interests. Network survival and firm survival are thus one in the same.

Famous UCLA basketball coach John Wooden once said, "Failing to plan is planning to fail." Keeping your data network secure is an issue that goes far beyond firewalls, encryption, and passwords. Network security should be conceived and carried out in the context of a comprehensive plan that addresses every aspect of keeping that network functioning: technology safeguards, disaster planning, organizational development, modernization program, and more. In that spirit, let me suggest 10 areas on which every law firm manager should focus in order to ensure network security and survival, and the firm's security and survival.

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