Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 3.20.33 PMA recent article in The Verge describes the challenges faced by the wildly popular Game of Thrones series on HBO when it comes to protecting secrecy around the plots of future episodes. Among the steps the show has taken to address these privacy challenges is two-step verification of emails, a strategy any industry or profession that deals with secure matters on a regular basis would be wise to consider for its own purposes. Law firms, for example.

Game of Thrones‘ zealous fans have done everything they can to gain access to plot twists and turns in advance of broadcasts, from sneaking onto sets in the guise of legitimate photographers to launching camera-equipped drones to spy on film locations.

Now, along with reducing the number of people who are given any access to scripts at all, and using code words on the set, HBO has instituted a policy of communicating electronically about episodes only with cast members who have set up two-factor authentication on their email accounts.

“Two-factor authentication” or “two-step verification” is the term used to describe the requirement instituted by email providers, among others, that in addition to a passcode, users provide a second piece of information – one that only they will know – to identify themselves. Many email providers now require, for example, that users input a code number sent to their cell phone before they can log on.

If HBO is requiring two-step authentication to help protect its scripts from a public salivating for spoilers, perhaps it is time that law firms – who deal with far more life-altering security-related issues every day than plot twists – should make such email restrictions part of their standard practice, too.

I welcome your thoughts on this and other issues relating to the law. You can contact me either through the comments below or directly via email.