When you stick your head in the sand, you get a lousy tasting “sand”wich

The almost overly stale cliché that it is not good to stick your head in the sand applies to so many topics. But for lawyers, or at least a large number of them, mention technology and they want to scream “na na na na na” and ignore you. But more and more, sticking their heads in the sand won’t help lawyers. Lawyers are now bigger targets for cyberattacks, which is the point I highlight in my column in the May 1st issue of The Legal Intelligencer/Pennsylvania Law Weekly. The column, “Law Firms Must Be Proactive to Prevent Cyberattacks,” begins with a quiz, asking whether the readers know what these items are:

  • Back door/trap door
  • Cracks
  • DNS poisoning
  • Eavesdropping
  • Hackers
  • IP spoofing
  • Malware
  • Man-in-the-middle spoofing
  • Network sniffing
  • Password cracking
  • Phishing
  • Ransomware
  • Replay attacks
  • Social engineering
  • Spam
  • Spyware
  • System penetration
  • System tampering
  • TCP/IP hijacking
  • Trojan
  • Tunneling
  • Viruses
  • Website defacement
  • Worms

I bet most of us fail the test, unless we cheat and look on our smartphones.

That’s my point, technology is moving forward, and lawyers and their firms must also do so to avoid becoming the next victims of cyberattacks.

My law firm, the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC, and my consulting firm, Integrated Technology Services, LLC, help lawyers prepare for and to address the practical, legal and ethical issues they face. Even attacks on those smartphones.

But if what I say doesn’t scare you, consider the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which has again amended the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, to highlight that lawyers have an ethical duty to preserve confidentiality, which includes (obviously) preventing cyberattacks. Take a look at my article, and you’ll see exactly what lawyers (and all businesses) face. But if you just stick your head in the sand, keep your mouth closed tight, or you are likely to swallow an untasty “sand”wich.


About Dan Siegel

Dan Siegel authors the Technology column in The Philadelphia Lawyer, quarterly magazine of the Philadelphia Bar Association; he also authors the Technology column in Trial Magazine, the official publication of the American Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA)). Dan is a nationally-known writer and lecturer about technology in law offices and in litigation. Sensing the need for a firm to address the technology needs of attorneys, Dan opened Integrated Technology Services, LLC, which focuses exclusively upon ways for lawyers and legal support staff to handle cases more efficiently. An attorney since 1984, Dan serves in many technology-related positions. He is Vice-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association Law Practice Management Division and co-chairs its Practice Technology Committe. A solo practitioner, Dan chaired the Computer Committee at Anapol Schwartz in Philadelphia. Dan is also a certified Trainer for LiveNote and certified to support and train Time Matters, CaseMap, TimeMap and LegalFiles.
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