Sarah Coates-Madden talks to Russell Richardson, specialists in secure shredding, about the rules, good practice and reasons for ensuring safe storage and destruction of documents. The article focuses on documents held by law firms, but similar principles apply across most businesses.
Human error is the biggest known cause of data breaches across all business sectors, according to research. Accidental loss, misplacement and damage of documents can have catastrophic results for the legal profession, so secure data storage is essential.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that the legal sector was responsible for 8% of the 3,263 data incidents reported in the last quarter of 2018-19.
Aside from ‘other non-cyber’ incidents, the most common cause of a data breach was data posted or faxed to the incorrect recipient, accounting for 16% of cases. Next was data emailed to the incorrect recipient, at 12%.
Sarah Coates-Madden, Dispute Resolution Solicitor at Bhayani Law said: “Confidentiality is one of the key duties that solicitors owe to their clients. It is bigger than GDPR and has been around for much longer.
“In my experience, most solicitors take this very seriously, as not only does it affect their clients, it affects their own professional reputation and credibility, and that of their firm.”