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Microsoft's New Server Can Serve Lawyers

One thing for sure about the future of legal tech, there will be upgrades.

In that tradition, Microsoft has announced its newest edition of SQL 2017 -- a server that features software upgrades that may serve lawyers well. It is not a lawyer product, per se, but it has tools that can help attorneys manage their workloads.

The most promising features for the legal profession, according to reports, are improved analytics and artificial intelligence that may even predict outcomes.

3 Digital Security Resources for Lawyers

One thing is for sure about technology: it will become outdated.

It usually happens just as you think you understand the "old" technology. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say "they" plan it that way -- like automakers plan cars to fall apart exactly one day after the warranties expire.

Addison Cameron-Huff, who blogs as a "tech lawyer, Torotonian, entrepreneur and programmer," tries to keep current with lawyerly technologies. After running a webinar titled "Digital Security for the 2017 Lawyer," he posted a list of resources from the presentation on his blog site.

Fortunately for the learning curve, some oldies have made a comeback. Here are a few:

Megaupload Data Trapped on Servers for Five Years

Kyle Goodwin, a videographer of high school sports, got T-boned along the information super highway.

He was stopped at an information intersection when a reckless driver rear-ended him and sent him helplessly into internet traffic. A crossing vehicle smashed into him and there he sat -- or at least his video information sat -- stuck in a third-party server.

Unfortunately, it's been five years and his digital videos are still trapped in the same place. In internet years, that is like five lifetimes.

You want to protect your firm and your client data from cyberattacks. An ounce of prevention, as they say, is worth a pound of cure. But prevention is only one part of a full cybersecurity plan.

Detection is just as important. After all, if you can't tell when someone's gotten through your defenses, you can't properly respond to a cyberattack. And for many organizations, detection is a serious weakness. Most companies don't recognize that their data has been breached until months after the event.

Age Discrimination Is Built Into Some Job Search Websites

It makes some sense that a technical gaffe caused online job sites to winnow out older workers.

The drop down menu on one job site only scrolled back to 1956 for applicants to indicate a graduation date on their resumes. Most tech workers these days weren't even born back then.

Unfortunately for the online companies, the math did not work out right for Illinois' top prosecutor. Attorney General Lisa Madigan sent letters to six job sites about the problem, which involved potential violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

"Today's workforce includes many people working in their 70s and 80s," Madigan said. "Barring older people from commonly used job search sites because of their age is discriminatory and negatively impacts our economy."

Will Electronic Wills Be Legal Soon?

This is not your father's will.

Electronic wills, as proposed in the Florida Electronic Wills Act, are created in an electronic form, including e-signatures for testators with remote witnesses and notaries. In other words, the document will be made in a virtual world.

If Florida enacts the law, it will become the second state in the country to expressly authorize electronic wills. While technology is pushing legal innovation everywhere, not all probate lawyers are ready to adopt the electronic will just yet.

When is a search warrant valid for documents stored in the cloud? That's not a simple question to answer, particularly given to recent, divergent rulings. In July, the Second Circuit ruled that the federal government could not force Microsoft to turn over emails stored on the cloud -- or rather, Microsoft's server in Ireland. Just a week after an equally divided Second Circuit declined to rehear the case en banc, a U.S. district court in Philadelphia came to the opposite conclusion, ordering Google to comply with a warrant for documents stored on the cloud.

Can these two rulings be reconciled?

Espionage Charges Leveled at Former NSA Contractor for Stealing Hacking Tools

Harold T. Martin III has been facing up to 10 years in prison for allegedly stealing classified government information, but he may soon face another 30 years as prosecutors plan to file espionage charges against him.

In any case, the former contractor for the National Security Agency is not going anywhere for a long time. Unlike Eric Snowden who fled the country after he leaked classified information, Martin is in jail.

Dispel Cybersecurity Myths at the Law Firm

In Greek mythology, Phobos was the bloody god of fear in war. Worshipers built him a temple of skulls. His name brought panic and flight.

Thousands of years later, Phobos spawned the word "phobias." It means an irrational fear of something or someone. Today, fears of being hacked and encountering cyber-terrorism have created their own myths.

The cybersecurity threats are real, but not all fears were created equal. Here are a few myths:

Top 3 Tips to Keep Legal Documents Secure

Not so long ago, cybersecurity was not even a word in the dictionary. Type the word into a Google search now and you will see more than 25 million results in less than a second.

Punctuated by the occasional 1.5 billion email hacks at Yahoo or other internet service provider, cybersecurity is probably the main concern in information technology today. It is the word in IT.

For attorneys, whose profession is built on tenets such as attorney-client confidentiality, cybersecurity is more important than ever. Client files, financial information, and endless stores of digital documents must be safeguarded.

Here are some top tips to keep your legal documents secure: