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Learn how technology is evolving in the legal industry and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.
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As clients are demanding greater protection of their information, law firms must incorporate email encryption into their processes. Law firms have not been at the forefront of utilizing email encryption despite having the responsibility for protecting highly confidential client information. Traditional email encryption solutions have not been easy to adopt because they are complicated to use and deploy, and can cause frustrating client communications. However, with growing frequency of security incidents impacting their clients, law firms must adapt because clients are demanding, and expecting, greater security of sensitive information. This whitepaper will detail how secure email encryption has evolved into a tool that law firms can use to differentiate themselves from the competition and drive new business.
Firms that continue to trail behind with adopting a secure email service may increasingly lose new business opportunities to more proactive competitors. Should a firm be the cause of a breach, Federal (e.g., HIPAA and GLBA) and State regulations (e.g., state Bar Associations) can be enacted to assess financial penalties, malpractice claims and potentially disciplinary action. In today’s environment, organizations in every industry, including legal, must have a security program that meets internationally accepted best practices and standards. How Email Encryption Has Evolved
To be fair, one can almost understand why law firms have been slow to adopt legacy encryption solutions. Traditional encryption solutions have a well earned reputation for being difficult-to-use and deploy, can cause frustrating customer communications while still leaving firms exposed to security risk and unprepared for e-discovery and potential litigation. Who would want to spend IT budget and dedicate resources to receive that? Organizations in other industries have felt the same pain; however, they are now rapidly adopting next-generation secure email services with encryption solutions that have evolved in the following ways.
It’s About More Than Just Email Encryption
AppRiver's Email Encryption protects and impacts much more than email. It encompasses secure mobile and tablet messaging, secure large file transfer, policy-based encryption, secure web forms and the automated delivery of secure e-statements. It’s an integrated strategy for secure communication from any device and any location that replaces a disjointed set of ad-hoc tools that are riddled with security gaps.
AES-256 encryption is only the starting point. Organizations need greater control over messages and attachments, and most importantly, tools to remediate inevitable user error. Email Encryption can provide additional controls such as preventing messages from being forwarded or replied to, password protection of the message and attachments, message recall even after a message has been read, and content filtering to stop mistakes before they happen.
Productivity and Security
In addition to security, Email Encryption can help bring tremendous value by accelerating processes. Real-time tracking in Email Encryption enables staff and clients to know exactly when any action has been taken on a message and advance workflows. Being able to send an encrypted large file (e.g., 5 GB) with a secure message reduces the need to use inefficient mail and courier services. You and your clients will be able to send secure messages from the office, at home using Gmail or Outlook.com, at the airport on an unsecure network or while on the move via a mobile or tablet. Workflows never have to slow down because of security, which means that you ultimately deliver faster for your clients.
One of the most interesting ways that Email Encryption has evolved is that it has the potential to improve how you communicate with clients. Real-time tracking of messages activity gives clients unique transparency so they always know what’s happening in a workflow. You can give your clients large file transfer capability, so they can easily bypass frustrating corporate email size restrictions. You can also give clients access to the same email plugins, mobile apps, browser extensions and desktop clients that internal employees can use. Gone are the days when clients have to be driven to an external portal to read and reply to a message. They can have a secure message decrypted right into their customary inbox or mobile device, which makes Email Encryption as easy and familiar as traditional email.
eDiscovery and Archiving
Legacy solutions have struggled to archive encrypted data and also typically force organizations to create separate mail stores. These limitations have left organizations woefully unprepared for eDiscovery and at risk for compliance fines due to improper record retention. Email Encryption can now create a single mail store as well as automatically decrypt messages into any archiving solution so that organizations can properly retain and retrieve secure messages in the event of litigation or an audit.
In the Cloud
Cloud-based solutions have become the defacto deployment model for email encryption because the large majority of organizations prefer a faster, easier deployment with no hardware infrastructure that interferes with their current network architecture. Cloud deployments also do not strain limited IT resources and are much easier to scale and upgrade in multiple global data jurisdictions. Organizations in heavily regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services are turning to cloud-based email encryption because of the value compared to on-prem solutions.
How to Choose an Email Encryption Provider
Once you are ready to evaluate email encryption solutions, here are a few key criteria and considerations to keep in mind.
1. Simple Deployment
Deployment should be fast and even possible in a matter of minutes. If the solution needs more than a few days to deploy then there is the risk of complexity running up high implementation fees and causing delays.
No hardware to install and no architecture changes makes your life a lot easier. Having to install hardware that affects your network usually requires painstaking internal scrutiny and an approvals process that can take many months by itself. Even data loss prevention features (i.e., content filtering/policy-based encryption) should not require any hardware to install.
2. Ease of Use and Access
If a solution is easy to use, user training should not be necessary. A secure web portal should be accessible from any browser without being connected to a VPN. Internal and external users should also be able to send and receive secure messages and attachments from their customary inbox without navigating to a separate browser. Integrations with the following should be available:
- MS Outlook, Office 365 and Outlook Web Access
- Gmail, Yahoo and Outlook.com
- Blackberry, Android, iOS and Windows Phone
- Windows and Mac desktop
3. Multi-layered Security
- AES-256 Encryption
- Options to block message forwards and replies
- Optional password protection for messages and attachments - ideal for use with delegated inboxes and shared machines
- True message and attachment recall even after they have been read that doesn’t require recipient’s permission
- Content filtering and policy-based encryption
4. Productivity Features
- Real-time, time-stamped tracking of all message activity available in the user interface for internal and external users.
- Secure large file transfer for internal and external users.
- Mobile and tablet apps for internal and external users.
- Secure web forms and e-statements that can replace paper documents that need to be mailed.
- eDiscovery has options to store decrypted messages within MS Outlook or Office 365 to create a single mail store
- Ability to auto decrypt secure messages and attachments into any third-party archiving solution
- Ability to support journaling of notifications
It’s time for the legal industry to shed its image as information security laggards. Proactive investment in security demonstrates that law firms are taking their responsibility to protect client information with new found resolve. Firms that utilize innovative email encryption can differentiate themselves in the battle to win new clients by delivering not only security and compliance, but also more efficient workflows and improved client communication.
AppRiver's Email Encryption
Email can travel a long way before it hits your inbox. With Email Encryption from AppRiver, you'll avoid prying eyes along the way.
Features and benefits:
- Secure, fast and easy to use
- Protects confidential information and helps ensure regulatory compliance
- Provides delivery slip and registered mail options
- Features centralized management and reporting
- Enables large file attachment encryption and delivery
- One-click encryption
- Includes Outlook plug-in, Windows and Mac desktop agents, browser plug-ins
- Full-featured functionality for mobile devices including iPhones, iPads, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Android and more
- Compatible with Office 365
- Includes Phenomenal Care® from our US-based team, 24 hours a day, every day
AppRiver's Phenomenal Sales advisors can provide information on which features are available with our Email Encryption service. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
About Email Encryption
AppRiver believes that email security should complement your email, not complicate it. Our cloud-based solutions for secure file transfer and email encryption work seamlessly with any email to enable secure communication and collaboration anytime, anywhere.
Personal information provided by individuals will remain confidential to AppRiver.