3 Tips on Implementing a Strong Need-to-Know Information Security Policy



The systems and tools required for law firms to protect client information are changing dramatically. Today’s modern law firms are moving to implement advanced security models to address external and internal security threats that meet clients’ security expectations. This includes removing open access to information — where most users have access to documents and other work product by default — and replacing it with a system of “need-to-know” access.

At iManage, we work closely with law firm and corporate legal department clients around the globe every day and strongly recommend the implementation of a need-to-know information security policy, rather than utilizing the traditional open approach. This enables firms of all sizes to keep critical information safe, reduce the damage caused by a successful breach and pass strict client security audits.

It’s important for firms to take steps sooner rather than later to prevent breaches; once a breach occurs, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to limit the damage in terms of content exposure and firm reputation.  Here are three top tips we want to share as best practices to help law firms make this transition more effectively:

Ensure all work product can only be accessed in a secure manner. Firms need to encrypt their work product — not just when it is at rest but also while it is in motion. They also need to make sure users who can access work product are both authorized to do so and authenticated (via two-phase or multifactor authentication, for example), to be who they say they are.

Strictly manage access to work product. Firms must ensure users can only access what they really need to know by implementing strict policies that limit access to and between data sets. As we stress with our law firm clients, they should build the policy with the expectation that a breach is inevitable.

Analyze all work product activity. Firms also need to enforce access as well as analyze activity to determine if there has been a breach. There are powerful adaptive behavioral modeling and machine learning based tools that could indicate an attack is ongoing or a malicious employee is operating inside the firm.

As we move into a world where need-to-know security is becoming more non-negotiable, firms today really require a better way to manage the increasing volume and complexity of security policies. Learn more about security and information governance solutions from iManage or download our recent whitepaper.

Learn more from iManage

More details on security and information governance solutions from iManage can be found here.

Solutions include:

  • iManage Security Policy Manager — Easily manage global security policies at scale, including need-to-know access, ethical walls and internal segregation to minimize the impact of a security breach.
  • iManage Threat Manager — 24/7 continuous protection of sensitive data from internal and external threats from any device anywhere.
  • iManage Records Manager — Manage physical and electronic assets for retention and governance.

Contact iManage to further discuss how iManage solutions, designed with input from hundreds of users to ensure superior usability, helps professionals improve productivity, make better decisions, and work smarter.


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