While attending the ABA Cybersecurity Task Force meeting at the ABA Midyear meeting, we were fascinated by some of the concerns expressed by Diane Wood, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. It goes without saying (though she said it persuasively) that there is a need - even in times of fiscal crisis - to adequately budget for both physical and cyber security in the courts.
In a time when there are many violent incidents in our courts, and that violence is escalating, we certainly need to protect our judges, and everyone else in our courts. Though I don't recall the exact statistics, the number of guns that court visitors attempted to get through security in New York courts (as reported to the House of Delegates) was staggering. And how many slipped through?
On the cybersecurity front, Judge Wood noted that some security procedures have become so cumbersome that judges say, "Oh heck, I'll just send this to you via my Gmail account," thereby bypassing security measures. And we were truly shocked when she said that she'd had the same password for more than a decade. How is it possible that there is no technology in place to mandate the changing of passwords?
That is not a cost issue - it is the most basic of IT/IS failures.
John and I are thinking it might be time to interview our friends at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts . . . .
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