Technologist - The FindLaw Legal Technology Blog

February 2010 Archives

By Abacus Data Systems

Hit with budget cuts while workloads increase, agencies are struggling to find ways to save money, without sacrificing the requisite quantity and quality of their work.

With AbacusLaw Prosecutor software, legal professionals in government agencies get the benefits of case management technology (lowering their cost per case and simultaneously handling more cases effectively), previously enjoyed only by private practice attorneys.

Cost and time saving benefits include:

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Social networking, via sites like Facebook and Twitter, is the current big thing.  Indeed, the popularity of such sites has caused nouns like the word "friend" to become verbs in the new social networking vocabulary. But is all well and good in the social networking universe?  Not necessarily, according to the latest Security Labs Report by M86 Security, a provider of Web and messaging products. Social networking attacks have become more common. 

The report reveals a recent increase in attacks through social networking sites due to a use of abbreviated URLs.  These shortened URLs apparently have emerged as a deployment choice of attackers because they facilitate the obscuring of malicious links and they take advantage of the trust of end users as a result of social engineering.

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

Perhaps very welcome news to legal employees is ButterflyVista's recent release of JobFish 2010; a windows application that facilitates the use of online job boards to seek employment opportunities. The program provides for easy locating of job openings, management of job listings, staying on top of contacts, monitoring applications, and goes so far as to help navigate unemployment insurance. This helps those who are looking for legal related jobs; as well general job seekers.

The job boards tracked by JobFish 2010 include,,,,, as well as others. By using JobFish 2010, the job seeker does not need to deal with a number of different job board interfaces. Plus JobFish 2010 allows for searches by industry, geography and other elements. To reduce online clutter, JobFish 2010 hides jobs that are not of interest to the seeker.

Safety In the Cloud

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

The cloud computing technology currently available is carrying us into the future in terms of the remote off-site handling and storage of our data.  But are we safe in the cloud?  Is our private data secure?  Good questions

According to a recent survey commissioned by Microsoft, while 58% of the general population and 86% of senior business leaders are excited with respect to the prospect of the cloud computing technology now available, more than 90% of them are worried about the security, privacy and access of their cloud data.  The survey also revealed that the majority of respondents would like the federal government to create laws, rules and policies specifically governing cloud computing.

By Sue Keno and Nancy Kruzel

As Microsoft prepares to roll out Office 2010, law firms should consider whether to invest in the latest version of the software. The answer is: It depends. It depends on the current state of your firm's hardware, what version of Office you are currently using, how your firm's other software applications integrate with an upgrade and--perhaps most importantly--your technology budget and goals for 2010. There are no clear-cut answers, so firms should consider their own unique situations, variables and priorities.

The Latest Version of Office

Last July, Microsoft introduced the technical preview of Office 2010, and the beta version appeared in November. While Microsoft initially forecast that the upgrade would be available in the first half of 2010, it is more realistic to expect it by the fourth quarter.

Office 2010 will feature extended file compatibility and user interface updates. According to Microsoft, the Office 2010 suite is designed to make work flows more efficient; to effectively use Web applications to make work available anywhere; and to make collaboration with others much easier.

Data Security Breaches Cost Real Money

FindLaw columnist Eric Sinrod writes regularly in this section on legal developments surrounding technology and the internet.

A recent study relating to data security breaches in the United States shows that total per-incident costs are substantial.  The average total per-incident costs in 2009 were $6.75 million, comprised of an average cost of $204 per customer with a jeopardized record.  Breaches included within the survey varied from 5,000 records to more than 101,000 records from 15 different industry sectors.  The most expensive data breach within the ambit of the study cost almost a whopping $31 million dollars to resolve.

PGP Corporation, an enterprise data protection company, and the Poneman Institute, a privacy and information management research firm, as part of their fifth annual U.S. Cost of a Data Breach Study, tracked a wide array of cost elements. These elements included outlays for detection, escalation, notification, and response along with legal, investigative and administrative expenses, customer defections, opportunity loss, reputation management, and costs related to customer support like information hotlines and credit monitoring subscriptions.  The study analyzed companies from 15 different industries. These industries included the financial, retail, healthcare, services, education, technology, manufacturing, transportation, consumer, hotels and leisure, entertainment, marketing, pharmaceutical, communications, research, energy and defense industries.