Global Law Firm Case Study
The SaltDNA customer is a high profile, top-tier international legal practice dealing with issues around state responsibility, human rights, foreign corrupt practice and territorial disputes. It operates in more than a dozen countries and represents governments, international businesses and private customers.
Due to the complexity and global nature of clients the customer found that at least 30% of case related communications were being conducted via mobile devices. Many cross border calls were using open telecommunications networks or ‘free’ consumer based smartphone apps.
The customer had legitimate concerns about the confidentiality of information communicated using smartphones and tablets. The growing use of employee owned devices in the workplace was a major concern for the company. Despite a published best practice on communication policy there was high awareness that an attack on these communication channels was likely and would undeniably have a hugely damaging impact on the company.
The firm wanted a solution to provide secure global mobile communications to support the flow of highly sensitive information between personnel, clients and other authorised third parties.
After previously trialling a number of consumer style encryption applications the customer knew exactly what the selection criteria was:
- The highest grade open-source encryption technologies available for end to end communications.
- The ability to have closed user groups, outside of the end user’s own device address book was required to make secure connections between key witnesses and legal staff without exposing this relationship on their device.
- With new client contacts needing to be added regularly and old contacts no longer needing to use the system it was necessary to have a centrally controlled licensing and control mechanism for all users.
- Fast deployment to new users requiring private communications who are involved in complex cases across the globe.
In order to get up and running immediately, the firm decided to deploy using the hosted SaltDNA service. A dedicated account was created and the firm’s IT Manager took control of the customer portal to provision the initial users. The firm decided that all partners and solicitors would be contactable and visible to each other within a shared company circle of communication. A short 10 minute meeting was held with the key legal representatives on each case and the lines of communication were mapped out which included clients and witnesses in different circles. In some instances a witness could only see a single solicitor. The firm had a BYOD policy in place and the majority of its users were on the latest iPhone model and a small number on Androids. The IT Manager said:
The firm’s employees immediately adopted the SaltDNA system for internal communications when dealing with sensitive case information when it arrived out-of-hours. The firm then started to use it with their clients in a few of the existing high profile cases which had driven the purchase. According to a senior partner in the firm: