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Consumer Technology Customized for Lawyers

January 31, 2012

Matthew Kesner, Chief Information Officer at Fenwick & West, was recently quoted in the Law Technology News article, "Resistance is Futile: Law Firms Adapt to Lawyer Demands f​or Consumer Technology."

The article discusses how different law firms deal with the changing technology world and lawyers who want to use the latest gadgets. Finding the balance between protecting a firm's security and pleasing their lawyers is difficult, but as Kesner says, "we try to be humble enough to realize that workers might actually know better what they need than those of us providing the tools."

Firms have found ways to help keep their businesses secure on mobile devices, such as the ability to remotely delete all information on the device in case it was lost or stolen, or write its own security certificate for the device to use when it is connected to the company server.

Fenwick & West has found that by using Good Technology, a program that allows user access to encrypted e-mail, calendar and contact data, the firm is able to support every smartphone that has come out in the past three years. "What we arrived at was that we needed to remotely wipe these things, secure them with a good password, and encrypt business communications back and forth," said Kesner.

With the increase in popularity for different mobile applications comes the increase in concern for malware. Software is tested before becoming available to consumers, but firms are not dismissing the threat. "There have been a few reports of malware directed at mobile devices, though we haven't actually seen it here," said Kesner. "So far we don't put antivirus software on [mobile devices] but we are watching that, and assuming it will become a need pretty quickly."