Tip Sheet: FIVE Solution Features to Consider

Prioritize document control and security

A law firm IT administrator needs to wear a lot of hats to be successful. Network maintenance, third-party vendor management, and data security are just a few of the responsibilities.

Data security is a common top priority due to the volume and nature of information that is handled during legal review. A workflow solution designed for document control and security can help law firms limit access to private client data without adding a lot of work to overwhelmed IT teams.

Choosing the right solution for your firm can be time-consuming. Here are five important features to consider when implementing a secure, easy-to-manage document control solution.

1. Documents are stored, managed, and accessed within the perimeters of a secure ecosystem.

Leverage a secure content ecosystem with regulated workflows, defined access perimeters, and comprehensive oversight. Authorized employees can access documents based on their assigned privileges, and content interactions should be logged for accountability. A comprehensive ecosystem should provide users with a means to securely interact with their clients’ sensitive materials (even those that originate in paper form), minimize its productivity footprint, and give administrators workflow oversight and management controls.

Security policies related to documents are common among law firms, and there are different solutions in the market. Not all of them meet the above criteria.



documents/ record management and retention


email use


internet use/ computer use

Source: American Bar Association 2016 Legal Technology Survey

2. Easy-to-use security features.

Technology, document-workflow solutions, and office equipment that has easy-to-use, built-in security features (such as badge scanners on printers) can help enhance security efforts because user compliance tends to be higher.

If security requirements are cumbersome—or there is no time or resources to train employees—people may be tempted to use less-secure workarounds. It’s especially important that office equipment has security features that are transparent to the user and are not disruptive.

A Data Breach Could Cost More Than $7 million

$7.35 million

Average cost of breach of private data for U.S. organizations in 2017

Root Causes of a Data Breach in 2017*


malicious or criminal attack


system glitch


human error

Source: Ponemon Institute 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study, June 2017
*based on benchmark sample

3. Fast and extensive accountability.

Activist groups, disgruntled employees or clients, and cyber criminals have many means of accessing client information. They could take client documents from anywhere at any time: a desktop, a laptop, a mobile device, a table in a copier room, or during a file-sharing session.

An effective document management and security solution should provide quick access to details about a document, such as who accessed it last, what they did with it, and when.

Even if no private client information is in jeopardy, having fast and extensive document traceability can be an important capability for helping to limit accidental exposure because it can provide quick insight on what happened when a document is misfiled or missing.

Law Firms: Top 10 Cybersecurity Threats IN 2017

Lack of security awareness

3rd party providers and cloud systems


RoGUe employees


Nation-state espionage

Human accidental error

Technology obsolescence

Weak or lacking password management

Remote workers’ variable security standards

Source: Logicforce "Top 10 Law Firm Cyber Security Threats Right Now"

4. Secure authentication for external access to sensitive content.

You can require user authentication when documents will leave or will be accessed from outside of the ecosystem; for example, when documents are shared with outside counsel and are viewed on a mobile device, or when copies are ready for output at a printer.

This can be a key capability as both clients and law partners expect on-the-go document accessibility as mobile device use increases.

Smartphone Usage is Exploding


of Americans own smartphones.

Source: Pew Research Center, “Mobile Fact Sheet,” January 12, 2017


Law firms are dealing with numerous challenges that are prompting transitions, according to 2017 Altman Weil research. Sixty-five percent of surveyed firms reported that demand for legal services is not back to pre-recession levels, but more than half believe headcount growth is a requirement for continued success.

Finding a solution that can grow with a firm can minimize the need to change technologies as their needs change. Look for solutions that:

  • Can integrate with existing hardware and software
  • Can easily allow you to add new users and delete old users as needed
  • Come with robust service and support
  • Are easy for new users to learn without dedicated training
  • Have a longstanding history of serving the legal vertical
  • Have consistent user experiences across the device models

More Users to Monitor and Train?


firm partners believe headcount growth is a requirement

Source: Altman Weil 2017 Law Firms in Transition Survey

Document Security Doesn’t Have to Hurt

IT administrators don’t need to take on a painful project to help limit access to private client information. Easy-to-implement and manage document workflow systems can provide a consolidated ecosystem for documents with a variety of security options that can be configured to align with firm security and compliance policies; offer single-view visibility into what’s happening with client documents; as well as give control to IT or office administrators to help limit and manage document access and activities.

Canon U.S.A. does not provide legal counsel or regulatory compliance consultancy, including without limitation, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, GLBA, Check 21 or the USA Patriot Act. Each customer must have its own qualified counsel determine the advisability of a particular solution as it relates to regulatory and statutory compliance.

Canon products offer certain security features, yet many variables can impact the security of your devices and data. Canon does not warrant that use of its features will prevent security issues. Nothing herein should be construed as legal or regulatory advice concerning applicable laws; customers must have their own qualified counsel determine the feasibility of a solution as it relates to regulatory and statutory compliance. Some security features may impact functionality/performance; you may want to test these settings in your environment.

Neither Canon Inc., or Canon U.S.A., Inc. represent or warrant any third-party product or feature referenced hereunder.

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