The use of cloud computing systems and services is becoming more and more widespread as law firms discover how efficient and streamlined they can make their practice. For law firms in particular, cloud computing risks are a hot topic among law societies and regulatory committees. The main concerns are how cloud computing protects confidentiality, maintains ethics, and communicates the supervision of data. Take a look at both the risks and the benefits associated with cloud computing before making the transition.
Risks: Confidentiality & Ethics
When moving private client data and information to the cloud, confidentiality and ethical practices must be in place. You have crafted a trustworthy reputation with your clients, so make sure you find a cloud service provider you know you can trust with their cases. Privacy is a big concern when outsourcing your backup, especially with lawyer-client privilege to maintain. A good cloud backup company will encrypt your data from end-to-end, rendering it unreadable to any unauthorized users even during transit into the cloud. This will make all confidential data unreadable to anyone without the encryption key — which your cloud backup provider should never ask for.
Additionally, ethical concerns may arise when moving client data into the cloud. Make sure you consult with the ethical rules in your jurisdiction to ensure you can correctly use cloud storage. It has become widely acceptable for use in law firms, but you still may want to take some added precautions just to give yourself some padding. You might need to change how you communicate with your clients about how the cloud safeguards their information. This could be as simple as stating your use of the cloud in the representation agreement that each new client signs.
Benefits: Reducing Costs & Increasing Storage
As your law firm grows, it becomes costly to add storage capacity and devices to your network if you’re managing your firm’s digital storage in-house. Data storage and maintenance, software updates and management – it all adds up. By introducing a reputable third-party as your cloud computing provider, you’ll have cost-effective access to scalability and the assurances that come with having a team of experts to store and protect your data.
Not only is the cloud an unlimited storage space, but it never needs to be updated or worried about like local hard drives and computers — at least not by your organization. Your cloud service provider will take care of updates for you so your law firm can carry on business as usual with total peace of mind.
The redundancy of cloud backup is another benefit for law firms. If your local devices ever crash, your file room is flooded, or data loss occurs from any other number of digital and physical threats, your cloud backup will always be the safety net you need to recovery your data right when you need it most. This is especially the case when it comes to viruses, like ransomware, that encrypt and hold data hostage until ransom is paid for the encryption key that will return the data to its original, readable state.
By introducing a cloud backup solution with previous file version retention lengths of 60 days or longer, your law firm will be able to recover readable, non-encrypted, non-infected versions of the data cybercriminals have taken hostage. This retention length is critical, as many businesses don’t discover their data has been infected or encrypted until their standard 30-day retention lengths have expired.
Make sure the cloud service provider you choose not only has rapid cloud recovery, but version history and continuously synced file backup for those moments of human error or cyber attack. Retrievability and availability are key.
With cloud backup, your data will always be safe, retrievable, and ready to restore when you need it. The risks of cloud computing can be managed by carefully selecting the right cloud backup provider to protect and store your data. Nordic Backup provides law firms with all of the security and storage cloud backup features listed above, making it a robust online data backup solution that has protected case files for dozens of legal clients.