As more sectors adopt and encourage mobile working policies, their need to secure and protect their corporate data increases. Sure, a productive workforce depends on having the autonomy to access and share information on the go, but at what cost?

According to the most recent survey by the International Legal Technology Association, 67 percent of respondents said that security management is one of their top challenges, and it’s hardly surprising. Earlier this year we learned that more than a quarter of law firms have now reported a security breach, showing the need for higher levels of preventative cybersecurity.
Struggling to find the sweet spot between mobility and security? This is where content filtering fits in.

Content filtering; it’s all about visibility

The chances are your existing IT policy provides visibility into what your employees can and can’t access within your network. So you can relax? Not quite. Shadow IT is a term used to describe IT systems and solutions used and built without explicit organizational approval, and it’s happening all the time. Our Mobile Data Report found that someone connects to an insecure WiFi hotspot twice a day in your average 100 person law firm.
If your employees are regularly connecting to unknown networks from mobile devices when they’re working remotely, then your internal policy is almost redundant. You wouldn’t take out an insurance policy that solely protects your car whilst it’s parked in your driveway, so why take the same risk with the security of your personal information?
Historically, the legal sector has adopted more flexible content policies to enable the wealth of case research carried out each day, but things have started to change. Content filtering gives you insight into the applications and services your employees are accessing, wherever they’re located, giving the power back to your network administrators. What they do with that knowledge is up to them.
Firms have realized that visibility = power. You don’t necessarily need to block certain websites and applications, you just need an idea of who’s looking at what. In our latest Mobile Data Report, we analyzed the top apps by mobile data usage across a sample of Law firms that we work with. We found that social apps were the most popular, with video and photo coming up in second place. Here are the top 20 apps we saw these companies using:

Sure, case lawyers may need access to certain sites and applications for research, but when you’re potentially placing highly confidential data at risk you’ve got to be pragmatic. Do your finance team require the same browsing rights day-to-day? Are your employees always accessing these sites and apps in the name of research? Content filtering allows you to create and manage policies that match your business needs.

You’ve got to be proactive

In their Market Guide on Mobile Threat Defense Solutions, Gartner make it extremely clear that time is running out for enterprises that do not yet have sufficient protection for corporate-owned devices. If your mobile security does not proactively run vulnerability assessments or scan your applications to detect device behavioral anomalies then you’re leaving your device open to Malware, Phishing attempts, and other breaches.
The legal sector is no stranger to attacks. Our research showed that in the average 100-device law firm a phishing website is clicked on twice a day and an insecure app or mobile site is used by an employee 48 times a day.
At Wandera we have a wealth of research informing us which type of apps are more likely to leak data and expose organizations to danger. This means we can proactively scan and monitor applications and services that could open vulnerabilities within a network, and flag an attack in real-time.
High-risk sites and applications can be blocked, eliminating the risk of threats – preventing third parties from accessing your personal and private information.

Burning a hole in your pocket

Not all applications are created equal, especially when it comes to data consumption. We’ve seen consistent growth in the amount of mobile data consumed over this year, and it’s a trend we think will grow and grow. Research we conducted earlier this year showed for every $100 spent on a corporate mobile phone bill, $20 is spent on social media.
A mobile workforce usually results in higher data costs, especially if your employees are regularly roaming. Controlling costs is a recurring theme we see for many organizations and it’s an issue our legal partners often site. Last year we worked with Australian Law Firm DLA Piper to get their data consumption in check, resulting in AU$202,000 annualized saving.  

What next for law firms?

What it all boils down to are cost and security. Wandera provides more than 25 of the top 100 law firms with mobile security and data management solutions. Law firms are now expected to implement threat defense solutions and ensure they have a robust mobile security strategy in place, especially in light of the upcoming GDPR legislation and a pressing need to prevent data leakage incidents.