Should I Be Concerned about Computer Security with My Patent Attorney?
Probably, since Patent Law is sensitive by nature. Our Patent Attorneys take security issues seriously.
You don’t need to be on the leading edge of technology to realize that security breaches occur on a regular basis. If big name
companies have trouble securing data, what type of concerns should I have when dealing with my patent law firm?
The good news is that when you work with a smaller patent law firm in Michigan
there is a much higher chance that the
have a cohesive law firm information security policy in place
The more people
involved in an organization, the higher the chance that someone in the organization will inadvertently do something that
will be vulnerable to an attack. While phishing
are prevalent, a less subtle, but more frequent security breach can occur if an email is either addressed incorrectly, or the
wrong attachment is used. We have even heard of security recommendations that frown on email attachments altogether.
We take several steps to minimize security risks in our law firm data security policy. We use a common address book for
all of our clients. Each computer accesses the common address book. When we no longer represent a client, we delete
the appropriate email addresses from our common address book. This reduces the chance of sending an email to an old
client that includes confidential information from a new client.
There are several alternatives to email attachments. One is to use encrypted links. There are several services
available. We can create a link to a document, such as a PDF file, that can be accessed for a limited time. This allows
risk management by not having attachments available on an email server for long periods of time. I was recently
surprised how quickly an attachment from an email sent in 2008 popped up on my screen. If the wrong attachment is
included in the link, there is a possibility of fixing the issue before any security issue occurs.
For more sophisticated clients, we can use a shared folder. The service we use for shared folders has not had any
security breaches to date. We believe our policies help us as a
Boutique IP Law Firm
Password management is always an issue as well. We use strong passwords for all of our publicly available accounts
Another issue that comes up some times is whether all of the emails being sent are to the same domain. With the auto fill features on modern email tools, it is easy to start typing one persons name, but have several similar sounding names show the option to auto populate. This is especially true when you are a busy Patent Attorney in Michigan. We found a plug-in that works with our Mozilla Thunderbird application that automatically flags emails that are not all addressed to the same domain. Sometimes this is intended, but the plug-in helps when that is not the intention. This is just another security feature that we have implemented based on our model security protocol - create a policy, follow the policy, and revise the policy. This holds true for many risk management situations.