Using Egress Switch, top 100 UK law firm Ward Hadaway recently embraced email and file encryption in order to secure the information they share with clients, remain compliant, reduce operational costs and differentiate themselves from the rest of the market.

As a duty of care, law firms are required to ensure that any information involving a client remains confidential. Therefore unless the firm has the right data security systems in place when sharing client information, they not only risk losing highly sensitive information but also fail to comply with their contractual obligation.

With their reputation for embracing innovative technology in order to enhance the services they provide to clients, Ward Hadaway recognised the importance of email and data encryption when sharing information electronically. In today’s competitive legal services market the firm also recognised the opportunity this presented to differentiate them from the competition. Greg Taylor, Head of IT at Ward Hadaway, explains that there were several key factors that drove the firm to embrace email encryption including:

The tipping point
“The tipping point for us was when 3 of our major clients came to us with their own email encryption products that they wanted us to start using. While this was considered manageable by the firm, imagine if 100 or more clients came to us with similar alternatives to sharing confidential information. The cost and management overhead would be huge!”

A key differentiator for law firms
“Ultimately everything is about differentiation. The legal market is now so competitive it is very hard to prove that the service provided by one fee earner is better than the service provided by another.

At Ward Hadaway, we wanted to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the market by offering our clients a level of information security that meant that we could guarantee 100% client confidentiality at all times. What is more we wanted a system that was easy to use and actually bucked the trend by improving efficiency.”

Follow the data Control
“It wasn’t enough to implement a system that encrypted the email while it was in transit. We needed to be able to control what the recipient did with the email once they had received it, potentially restricting their ability to forward it on, print it or save the attachment.”

Integrated security
“Password protected files and portal based technology not only offer little security around the data itself, but also can introduce challenges around end user workflow and system integration.”

Why Egress Switch?
“During the selection process it soon become clear that ease of use was as important as the security of the system itself. Egress Switch exceeded our expectations and met all of our business requirements as sending an encrypted email was as simple as sending a normal email. Better still, their unique ‘follow the data’ approach to security also satisfied our desire to provide end-to-end data assurance.”

Unexpected benefits – free for client to use
One of the more unexpected but important benefits of Egress Switch was the unique system functionality that allows the recipient (client) of an encrypted email to communicate securely back to the sender completely free of charge. This means that all Ward Hadaway clients get the added benefit of proactively using the system for free.

Tony Pepper, CEO for Egress Software Technologies commented: “We are delighted to have been selected by Ward Hadaway to secure the confidential information sent electronically to their external third party suppliers and clients. By working together, we are confident that Egress Switch will continue to help Ward Hadaway differentiate themselves from competitors in the market, maintain their outstanding reputation for delivering innovative client services, and ensure that they continue to meet all regulatory and contractual requirements.”

To read the full Ward Hadaway case study click here