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Articles filed under Mobile computing

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Clients are demanding Apps for real-time communications, lawyers need them for remote working. But how do we improve the security of apps in order to prevent any data security breaches?

Law firms are prime targets for cyber-attacks due to the amount of money they hold for clients and the sensitive information they control. Clearly, remote access to data on mobile devices can significantly increase security-related risks.

Mobile apps for lawyers

Software as a Service (SAAS) and apps are becoming increasingly popular among solicitors.

Legal practitioners have developed a clear preference for mobile-friendly applications that are directly available from the web.

DPS Software have developed secure SaaS solutions and apps which solve the issue of mobility without compromising data security.

laptop, tablet, smartphone

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to the growing trend of employees using their personal laptops, smartphones and other communications devices in the workplace or elsewhere for work-related purposes. The related Bring Your Own App (BYOA) is essentially the software version of BYOD, where an employee uses personal (often cloud-based) software for work purposes, which could be something as simple as forwarding work-related emails to a personal Gmail address. According to recent research, more than half of UK workers have already adopted BYOD, and employers are increasingly asking their lawyers for advice on managing the employment law aspects. Both BYOD and BYOA throw up similar issues concerning security, privacy and ownership.

Over the last few years, apps have proliferated on smartphones and tablets and there are now over a million individual apps available for both Apple and Android devices. Although generally only games and entertainment apps receive attention from the press, there are also many apps available for professionals, including lawyers. It’s worth noting that the […]

In the old days it was relatively easy to determine what devices were connected to the corporate network; they were large and cumbersome. Indeed, it was difficult for new devices to be connected to the network without the assistance of the corporate IT department; the confusing array of IP addresses and ports and the obscure art of modem configuration meant that it was well beyond most of us to do this.

For those who did require remote access, a pair of dedicated modems was needed and a telephone line which would remain stable and undropped for hours. I remember needing a line to remain connected for 7 hours, knowing that a click on the line meant that we would have to start again. Access to the network from outside could only be achieved through modems so, to ensure the integrity of the network, all that needed to be done was to check that there were no unexpected modems connected to phone sockets in the building.

If users were to be allowed mobile devices, these were in general confined to senior staff – none of whom could ever work out how to circumvent the controls. Mobile phones were just phones which were cordless. The IT department had total control over the devices used, what software was on them (if any) and nothing which was not IT controlled was allowed to access the network. Few users worked, or were expected to work, remotely.

Oh, how it has all changed!

As the number of people who own smartphones and tablets rises astronomically, law firms should be thinking about implementing a mobile site, creating an app or at least ensuring that their web site is responsive. If they do not, they risk frustrating users and losing valuable business.

Recent studies have shown that more and more people are using a variety of devices to browse the internet and that they’re using specific devices at specific times of the day, eg a smartphone during their commute or a tablet in the evening.

Google has also indicated that it will be giving priority to mobile-enabled sites in search results delivered to smartphone and tablet devices, thus ensuring that users see the most useful set of results.

My new Microsoft Surface RT was delivered on 31 October 2012. Not since I was a young boy opening the box to a Dragon computer or a BBC Micro had I so anticipated owning a new computer. (I never got a Sinclair ZX Spectrum or a Commodore 64.)

What are “apps” and what relevance do they have for the legal sector?

Apple’s iPad was released in the UK on 28 May 2010. Since then I have used mine daily in my practice as a corporate lawyer, both in and out of the office. So after a year and a half of this, what is the point for lawyers? Are tablets just a gimmick or are they on the verge of magically revolutionising legal practice?

The iLegal iPhone application, created by Timothy Leigh, a law student currently studying the Legal Practice Course, aims to provide you with the law in your pocket – or at least access to the UK’s revised primary legislation as taken from the UK Statutory Law Database (SLD).

Mobile devices have impacted the legal profession as much as the rest of the business world. The number of concurrent advances in mobile device technology is so great that to summarise them in one article is a feat beyond me. Instead, I will highlight some of the most notable developments and consider some the key points that the lawyer on the go should know about these technologies.