It’s been a week now since we met many of you in person at the American Bar Association’s annual TECHSHOW in Chicago. The big message we came away with? Encrypt everything. It could come off as blunt or cumbersome, if the threats from snoops, thieves and idiots weren’t growing by the day. Applied with simplicity, encryption of data itself should be the default when it comes to protecting everyone and everything. We’re still pondering this idea and how it fits with the exciting stuff we’re planning in updates of Viivo. But the attorneys and tech people at the ABA event (and RSA before that) gave us a jolt on our own direction based on discussions with our largest pool of users, small firms and solo practitioners. Here are some of our lasting impressions:

  • First and foremost, accolades to former Nixon White House counsel and author John W. Dean for his insightful and funny (start with a microphone joke!) historical keynote on legal ethics. The ABA Journal did the legwork of recapping the talk. We were struck with this quote in particular: “Technology changes, but I have not noticed significant changes in human nature. What happened then happens just as easily today.”
  • Separately, Catherine Sanders Reach of the Chicago Bar Association and Philip Favro, senior discovery counsel at Recommind, did awesome jobs of presenting the pitfalls attorneys and their clients face with protection and the cloud. The cloud and BYOD carry a “Wild West” mentality, which understandably shakes up risk-averse attorneys.
  • Diane Ebersole of the Michigan Bar Association gave a good intro on Dropbox and security options to a room filled with attorneys and legal industry workers at all ranges of technical aptitude. We strongly agree with her assessment on adding a layer of encryption for Dropbox or other clouds. In her words: “That’s the beauty of these applications. It’s your key.”
  • We’ve been lucky enough for our discussions on-site to turn into online “ink”. Here are a few spots you can read others’ take on security applications and Viivo: The Droid Lawyer; Lawyerist; The Source (Lisa Solomon, Esq. newsletter); and a shout-out for our engraved Leathermen giveaway by The MacLawyer.
  • Our team was not as big of a fan of Harold’s Chicken Shack as others at the event. Luckily, there was Harry Caray’s and Kuma’s. So, what was your big security takeaway? List it in the comments below or share it in the new PKWARE Google Plus community, “Secure Your Data.”