Phone calls are an essential part of the legal business. Whether handling contract negotiations, settlement details, or getting ready for a trial, getting someone on the phone can be a very powerful tool.
Of course, sometimes calls come in when attorneys are in a meeting with a client, on a plane, in a hearing, or are otherwise unavailable. It’s convenient to let the caller provide information to your voicemail system, but once sensitive details have been recorded, you need to keep them confidential.
Because they’re often accessed via a phone rather than a computer, it’s easy to forget that voicemails can be vulnerable to attack. Ultimately they’re just another type of file and can be a target for breaches just like emails or other documents stored on your firm’s server. Bad actors (or malicious employees) can forward them outside the system. Mobile phones can be misplaced or stolen, putting voice messages stored on them at risk.
Not only does that mean key information has been leaked, but a voice recording of a client describing sensitive or confidential details about a case or a deal can be a powerful weapon in the wrong hands.
Beyond the standard cybersecurity steps, there are additional steps you can take to keep your organization and your clients’ private information safe. Implementing advanced Unified Communications systems can protect you with functions that pair ease of access with defenses against intrusion or accidental breaches – secure voice messaging, central (rather than on-device) storage, and flexible hosting to suit your security needs.
Keep Private Calls Private with Secure Messaging
Unified Messaging has become the modern voicemail gold standard because of its ability to increase staff efficiency and reduce response time for client inquiries by delivering incoming emails, voicemails (with transcription), and faxes into a single inbox. Unfortunately, this functionality can bring additional risks as it sends data from point to point.
Implementing a Secure Messaging system can help by allowing recordings to be marked as private, preventing them from being forwarded outside the system (i.e. they can be sent to other staff members, but not to outside numbers). This makes it more difficult to leak them (intentionally or accidentally). When voicemails are delivered to inboxes across systems, Secure Messaging can leverage encrypted email (TLS) and secure RTP to make sure they get there safety.
Separating Mobile Voice Messages from Mobile Phones
It is now commonplace for voicemails to be accessed via software applications on mobile devices rather than actually calling in to a voicemail system. This is certainly more convenient, but it can open another breach risk: device loss or theft. When voicemails are stored on the portable device, they become vulnerable, and once the device is gone, it can be difficult for your organization to solve the problem remotely.
Systems that store voicemail on a central server, then feed it to outside devices (rather than storing the files on them) provide a solution: access can be easily severed at the source in the event the device is lost or stolen.
Maintaining Physical Storage Control
It’s true that cloud voicemail is becoming more commonly used, and providers tend to offer good security. However, there are still situations where being able to host your voicemail on-premises may have political advantages. For example, particularly sensitive large clients may want to know that voicemails they leave will reside with you rather than with a third party. This could be due to regulatory concerns (such as HIPAA, GDPR, or SOX), or because they consider their content to be of particularly high value (as in the case of intellectual property attorneys working for global tech corporations).
If your organization primarily handles work for a few major clients, or companies in regulated or high-security industries, this may be an important consideration when you make changes to your system.
Of course, any data stored in-house is your direct responsibility to protect, so this option may not be the best unless your firm is committed to maintaining high cybersecurity standards with your infrastructure. For smaller organizations, keeping such things in locked-down data centers may be a simpler, more affordable, and more secure option.
Flexible, Secure, Powerful Messaging for Your Organization
The XMedius XM Connect suite of Unified Communications applications allows your organization to benefit from Secure Messaging, streaming rather than storing mobile access, flexible hosting options (Cloud or on-premises), secure data transmission, and more.
To add even more value, XM Connect also features intelligent call forwarding (single number reach), which can automatically adapt to your staff’s shifts in location, schedule, and presence. Leveraging this information, XM Connect can deliver calls in the way that makes the most sense at any given time. When you’re away from your desk, the system will automatically call your cell phone instead. In a meeting? Calendar integration means the system can send a silent alert so you know if you need to step out. This makes it less likely that valued clients will have to leave voicemail in the first place, instead putting them in touch the person they’re trying to reach and making them feel better cared for.
The system offers further capabilities, including customer-service enhancing speech recognition enhanced automated attendant, IVR, high availability/geo-redundancy, and others. Reach out to us to learn how the XM Connect UC solution can be customized to suit your organization’s needs and budget.