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2016 Bus. L. Today 1 (2016)
Encryption for Lawyers

handle is hein.journals/busiltom2016 and id is 307 raw text is: 
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      i..i~ac VN5xYv t                       e    r s



IBv Doorhie Gajuoip and tRk Brdh2C


Wh cy Si'al. Lan,'ye rs i -i ntt.-t,-d i,

When you send information (an e-mail
message. a perhaps a file) electronically, it
most likely passes ihrough wires that are
used publicly by many parties, or airwaves
that are essentially radios, This means that
someone may be able to intercept the in-
formation along the path and read it. in
order to protect information from intercep-
tion by tnintended pa ries, technology was
developed that makes the information un-
readable by normal means. This is called
encryption. As will be seen below, en-
cryption also has other uses that are impor-
tant to lawyers, including message or docu-
ment verification and identity verification.
  In the past, encryption has been almost
solely in the realm of technical experts.
Governments and companies have used
encryption to one extent or anottier to pro.-
tect communications. However, today even
some phone apps include encryption. The
question is what do lawyers really need to
understand about encryption in order to
improve how they practice in light of new
technology, rules, regulations, and ethical
responsibilities? Whether you are a solo
practitioner in criminal law or an in -house
corporate attorney at a Fortune 100 com-


pany, encryption affects many of the issues
you encounter, whether you realize it or not.
  Encryption is a way to make commtnica-
tions that are intended to be private actually
remain private. Think of a client comrig
to your office. You are 2 to speak with
them about a highly senstive matter. You
meet them in the lobby and take them up
to yotr office, You don't discuss the matter
in the lobby, the elevator, or even your firm
lobby, until you reach your office or a con-
ference room and shut the door. Encryption
is the sante as shutting the door to keel) com-
munications private.

Why Eyc,- 'tNo, Necess-,'-&$y
Encryption may be used to obscure informa-
tion so that only the intended parties are able
to review the information in the clear 'Ihis
may take place on a device, or during trans-
mission across networks or the Internet. [n--
cryption may also be used to confirm identi-
ties of a party or a device. Digital signatures
are a good example of this use. Data may
be authenticated through the use of encryp-
tion. Encryption may be used to show that
a docunent is an original and has not been
changed.
  Lawvers neced to understand the basic
concepts upon which encryption is based.


his wi Ul help t hem understand how their
companies are using encryption, how ad-
versaries Jn litigation may have niade deci -
sions, or errors, in the use of encryption,
how to protect their clients' information,
and how to protect themselves.
  More than ever before, personal and con -
fidential infornation is transmitted over
the Internet in clear text and potentially
exposed. Many people today increasingly
rely on technology, but do not fully under-
stand the importance of data. software, and
systems security. Moreover, even security
professionals have trouble using programs
and tools intended for security puiposes.
As a result, several companies have recently
suffered major data breaches resulting in
high profile litigation. Damages can be mas-
sive and additional losses can include credit
nmonitoring for all customers (direct and in-
direct), years of systemic and obt'usiVe au-
dits, long-term impact to profitability/reve-
nue projections, systemic and conpanywide
obtrusive audits to identify and correct not
just the source of the leak but other broken
business processes that were discovered dur-
ing these audits, data theft and desiTuct ion of
files, servers, and storage systems. A basic
knowledge of encryption and cybersecurrty
is necessary to help a user understand how


JNt. 2212


Published in Business Law Today, June 2016. Cr 2016 by the Armerican Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any  1
portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an eiectrorim database or retrieval system without the express written
consent of the American Bar Association.

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