Over the past several months, we’ve posted a series of blogs that explain the benefits of the ACC’s new Data Steward Program for both law firms and corporate legal departments. Getting started with the program is simple.

Law firms: A law firm can volunteer to participate and conduct a self-assessment called the DSP Core Assessment. The results of the self-assessment are only visible to the firm, giving the firm the opportunity to work on its controls and improve its security practices until it achieves a score it finds satisfactory. The firm can then request an independent validation by an ACC-accredited assessor like the ETRM Group to receive the ACC DSP Core Assessment Accreditation. This accreditation is active for three years and adds a layer of credibility because it comes from an independent organization. The firm can then release the results of the self-assessment to clients and advertise accreditation.

Corporate legal departments: An ACC member or prospective member can invite a law firm to participate. ACC member companies can create or completely replace their current data security assurance process for law firms and instead request that some or all their firms complete a DSP Core self-assessment, receive accreditation, or undergo a complete core controls audit. The results of each assessment are held and can be accessed via the ACC’s secure DSP repository.

The ACC has heard one concern: the cost to use the program. The board responsible for developing the program felt there should be an overall savings in time and money compared to the cost of repeatedly filling out spreadsheets and gathering the same documentation over and over again. This program provides an opportunity for validated due diligence regarding data security in the legal industry.

For companies that have retained even one law firm, the ACC DSP is an efficient way to assess, review, manage and audit a law firm’s data security posture. For law firms, a standardized set of controls is now available to measure their security practices that will save them time and money almost immediately upon completing the core assessment. Both types of organizations will quickly find the DSP becoming the gold standard for the legal industry.

For more information on joining the Data Steward Program, contact the ETRM Group at contact@ETRMGroup.com, call 202-900-1906, or click here.