Account and password management issues affect every market sector, but there’s often little focus on solutions to manage these problems for leaders in the legal ecosphere. This is unfortunate because law firms have much to benefit from account and password management solutions as practices deal with and handle highly sensitive client data, which needs to be kept secure.
Law firms also face a lot of rigor as associates help with the many tedious tasks of cases and litigation in practices from less experienced employees. For example, it is a common occurrence in a practice that interns from college or junior associates are asked to help sort out information or files of large cases and also perform research. These employees often are given limited access to systems to help with the tasks. With the frequent movement of these types of employees, it can be difficult and time consuming to deal with their accounts and access, while still ensuring they only have access to the information that they should.
Additionally, there are other employees who often work with a law firm in a junior position, waiting to move to a higher role dependent on the fact that they pass the state bar; these employees then also need changes in their accounts and access rights.
Another major issue law firms face is ensuring that access to client information is secure. There are many confidentiality laws that attorneys must adhere to, including the most known: the attorney client privilege. Law firms need to ensure that the information that their client shares with them is secure. This is why it is extremely important that no one can access this data who should not. Access rights are often overlooked or are not correct. For example, an employee that starts as an intern, moves up to a junior position, passes the bar, and then is a full-time employee all require different access rights to different systems and applications. When that employee leaves the firm, revoking access rights is often overlooked since this needs to be done manually.
Law practices, like businesses in other industries, also deal with numerous password issues, including several complex logins for multiple systems and needing to reset their passwords when employees are locked out of their accounts. Confounding matters, many law firms usually don’t have a large IT staff or departments, so when password issues arise, these can become a major hassle to deal with.
So how can these issues be resolved?
Eliminate Manual Tasks
Many firms automate their account and password management process so that everything is programmatically handled and nothing needs to be manually entered by an IT staff member. Automation can allow a manager to easily enter all employee information into a source system, check off which applications they need access to, and the accounts are automatically created. This ensures that accounts are quickly created, while also eliminating many mistakes. Then, when an employee is no longer with the firm, a manager can disable the account in the source system, and all connected accounts are automatically disabled, so that former employees can no longer access data.
Correct Any Access Issues
With an automated account management solution, law firms can easily generate a report to see exactly who has access rights to which systems at the organization. For example, an intern might accidently have access to secure client data. An overview report allows them to perform a quick check to ensure that there are no issues and make corrections, if needed. This ensures that the firms network is kept secure and that employees don’t inadvertently accumulate too many rights.
Easily Handle Passwords Issues
To deal with the many password issues that they encounter, some firms chose to implement password solutions, such as single sign-on (SSO) or self-service password reset solutions. These solutions allow employees to easily handle password issues without the need to contact the helpdesk. The employee simply answers several challenge questions and is then prompted to reset their password. In some cases, this functionality alone can save a full-time IT person at the firm. An SSO solution allows the employee to have a single password for all of their accounts, so that they don’t need to remember or write down numerous sets of credentials. This not only eliminates headache, but also security issues since anyone can easily find a list of the employee’s passwords if written on post-it notes. If they do forget their single password, the self-service functionality allows them to quickly and securely rest it on their own.
Overall, there are many account and password management solutions that can assist law firms with the many issues they face with creating accounts, changing access rights, disabling accounts and resetting passwords. These solutions allow small law firms the ability to effectively deal with password and account issues without needing and increasing headcount of the IT staff.