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Internationally Recognized Law Firm Provides Clients With Expert Counsel Efficiently and Securely

Coming to Terms With Email’s Limitations

Following a recent merger, this globally recognized law firm employs over 600 attorneys and operates in several U.S. markets. The firm has extensive corporate, financial, and litigation capabilities, and its attorneys provide mission-critical counsel to businesses in over 20 industries, as well as governments, trade associations, and private citizens all over the world.

“Kiteworks has really proven its worth in helping our people work more efficiently and securely.”

– Information Security Analyst

An Information Security Analyst at the firm is very aware that protecting clients’ sensitive information is a high-stakes affair. High-profile cases are the norm, with individual or corporate reputations and millions of dollars at risk. He is entrusted therefore in ensuring confidential client information is handled and shared securely, both internally and externally.

Protecting client information, however, wasn’t the firm’s first challenge. Prior to implementing Kiteworks in 2010, the firm relied on traditional email to send legal documents. Email worked fine, but only to a certain point. As files—namely, PDFs and images—became larger, the load on the firm’s Microsoft Exchange Servers increased. Error messages about file size limitations (Microsoft’s default limit is 20 megabytes) became a common occurrence, not only for the firm’s employees sending files externally but also for clients, opposing counsel, and trusted partners sending emails to the firm. For any law firm or business to be effective, it must be efficient. Email, as a file exchange mechanism, wasn’t getting the job done. Something had to change.

Lowering Costs and Raising Productivity With Kiteworks

Once the firm adopted Kiteworks, inefficient methods for large file transfers like file transfer protocol (FTP), USB thumb drives, and overnight couriers became almost obsolete. Attorneys, paralegals, and administrative staff no longer must submit an IT support ticket to set up an FTP account. The firm saves money on printing and shipping hard copies of documents and mitigates the risk of a thumb drive getting lost or infected with a virus. That’s because Kiteworks can accommodate any file type or size, up to 16 terabytes, and Kiteworks encrypts every file in transit and rest.

Case Study

Internationally Recognized Law Firm Provides Clients With Expert Counsel Efficiently and Securely

The Kiteworks Microsoft Outlook plugin provided the firm’s employees even more flexibility. With the Microsoft Outlook plugin, the Information Security Analyst and his colleagues don’t need to open Kiteworks to send a large file; they can send it through the email application they use all day, every day, with just the click of a button. He confirms, “With Kiteworks, our users no longer need to worry about whether Outlook can send—or receive—a large file. They also really like the freedom of staying within Outlook rather than needing to go into Kiteworks separately. It saves them valuable time, something we all crave.”

Serving Clients More Efficiently and Securely

Since implementing Kiteworks, the firm has increasingly encouraged its staff to use Kiteworks, not just to share large files but to share sensitive files. Of course, nearly every file the firm shares is sensitive. Every year, in fact, law firms all over the world create, review, and share terabytes of sensitive content like partnership agreements, employment contracts, corporate bylaws, depositions, settlement agreements, and much more.

And all of these confidential documents must be protected. The 2016 data leak of 11.5 million documents belonging to Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, nicknamed the “Panama Papers,” illustrates just how sensitive legal content can be and what can happen if that content is shared with unauthorized users. While the leak was internal and revealed extensive criminal activity, the firm’s IT infrastructure was riddled with security vulnerabilities. Regardless, even the most reputable law firm wants its clients’ sensitive information to remain private.

For cases and projects that involve multiple project members and documents, the firm utilizes Kiteworks’ secure shared folders for convenience, security, and governance. Attorneys and paralegals naturally generate lots of content, and that content must be made available to other project members. If documents aren’t stored in a central location and if access isn’t controlled or tracked, projects can get off track quickly, and sensitive client information can be exposed. These are risks this world- renowned law firm looks to avoid, and it does so with Kiteworks.

A centralized case or project folder that several employees and partners must access highlights a typical Kiteworks workflow at the firm. An Associate for example creates a folder and grants access permissions to project members, which may include other Associates, Paralegals, Partners, clients, opposing counsel, and others. Access permissions can vary between full editing capability down to “view only,” depending on the project member’s role. Folder members can request a file, edit documents within the folder,

Needs

  • Share documents securely, both internally and externally
  • Send and receive large files efficiently without taxing Microsoft Exchange Server
  • An easy-to-use solution for sharing sensitive information securely that ensures wide adoption

Kiteworks Solution

  • Microsoft Outlook plugin for ease of use and full protection of all sensitive content shared internally and externally
  • Secure email for sharing large files with no file size limitation
  • Secure shared folders featuring access privileges and activity tracking

Business Impact

  • Reduction in time and money allocated for supporting inefficient file transfer alternatives like FTP and couriers
  • Increased efficiency provided by the Microsoft Outlook plugin, enabling large and sensitive document sharing through Microsoft Outlook directly but powered and protected by Kiteworks on the back end
  • Improved governance over sensitive client information through secure shared folders that controls who can access documents and monitors who shares documents with whom
  • Reduced risk of confidential client information being intercepted or accessed by unauthorized users

Case Study

Internationally Recognized Law Firm Provides Clients With Expert Counsel Efficiently and Securely

compare changes between document versions, and be notified when a member downloads, edits, or uploads a file. In addition, an administrator can see which project member has shared a document externally and with whom, creating a full audit trail. As the Information Security Analyst notes, “Other systems aren’t ideal for keeping track of all the materials generated in relation to a case or matter. Kiteworks, however, has the critical governance tools that allow us to see who is accessing and downloading confidential client materials, who they’re sharing it with, and when. It’s a great tool.”

Since joining the firm three years ago, the Information Security Analyst has seen Kiteworks usage increase. “Previously, Kiteworks was used primarily by our attorneys and paralegals to share large, sensitive files externally. Today, it’s used throughout the firm. Attorneys and paralegals still use it, but now Accounting, HR, and other functions use the platform, too. Kiteworks has really proven its worth in helping our people work more efficiently and securely.”

“Kiteworks has the critical governance tools that allow us to see who is accessing and downloading confidential client materials, who they’re sharing it with, and when. It’s a great tool.”

– Information Security Analyst

www.kiteworks.com

September 2022


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