Cloud Security for Lawyers: Questions & Answers

Despite how many law firms you know of that have moved to the cloud, maybe you’re still unsure about it. And that’s OK – it’s better to be skeptical of new technology instead of taking unnecessary risks. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to learn more about the cloud, and figure out if it could work for you.

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Should your law firm use the cloud?

Determining whether the cloud is right for your law firm isn’t an easy process – check out the key considerations below to figure out if your firm can use the cloud safely, and make the most of what it has to offer.

The cloud is more popular than ever, in virtually every industry – including the Canadian legal field.

However, some of the more skeptical legal minds out there are still holding out. The question is: is the cloud really secure, especially when it comes to the storage and access of client data?

Let’s answer it.

Is the cloud actually secure enough for lawyers?

Short answer?

Maybe – the cloud is as secure as you make it.

Sorry for the hard truth, but the reality is that cloud security comes down to what you do – or what you don’t…

For example, according to the Cloud Security Firm RedLock and its Cloud Security Trends report, more than 50% of businesses that use cloud services like Amason Simple Storage Service (S3) have unintentionally exposed at least one of these services to the public.

This growing trend of unsecured cloud configurations is due to businesses neglecting known vulnerabilities in the cloud, or failing to properly assess their cloud environment to discover unseen security risks. RedLock researchers found that:

  • 38% of organizations have had an administrative user account compromised
  • More than 80% of businesses fail to mitigate cloud vulnerabilities
  • 37% of databases accept inbound connection requests from the Internet, seven percent of which receive requests from untrustworthy IP addresses

Really, cloud security is at least in part about asking yourself the hard questions…

  • Are you using easy-to-guess passwords or the same passwords across various accounts?
  • Does your staff know how to recognize a phishing email?
  • Do you properly control who has access to your data?
  • What about encryption services — Are you using them?

If you don’t like the answers to these questions, you need to do something about it…

What can you do to secure your cloud?

The cloud has so much to offer legal firms, but only with the right security measures. When you finally decide to make your move to the cloud, consider these five keys to security:

  1. Implement Encryption as a Service
    Encryption ensures that even if data is unlawfully accessed and stolen, it will be completely unreadable and unusable to the thief, which helps to protect you, your employees and your clients.
  2. Deploy Intrusion Detection
    Monitoring of your cloud configuration to detect, prevent and report potential breaches around-the-clock is the best way to keep unwanted visitors out.
  3. Invest in a Virtual Private Network
    Implementing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a great way to keep your data safe, especially when using unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks. Whether traveling or just checking email at the local coffee shop, investing in and using a VPN ensures that no unwanted third party can get into your cloud-based data at the same time you’re accessing it.
  4. Use A Password Manager
    A password manager generates, keeps track of and retrieves complex and long passwords for you to protect your vital online information. It also remembers your PINS, credit card numbers and three-digit CVV codes if you choose this option.
    Plus, it provides answers to security questions for you. All of this is done with strong encryption that makes it difficult for hackers to decipher.
  5. Invest in security training for your legal team.
    Train your employees regularly so they’ll know how to recognize phishing attacks. You and your staff should be aware of the latest cyber attacks. As technology continues to become more sophisticated and complex than ever before, your employees may be operating on outdated knowledge, which is why it’s important to stay up to date.

The cloud has a lot to offer Canadian law firms and the lawyers that work there. It’s cost-effective, secure and delivers the mobility that a modern legal team can make the most of – all without exposing your clients to unnecessary risks, if you implement the right best practices.

Like this article? Check out the following blogs on legal industry IT to learn more:

Should Law Firms Start Their Own Podcasts?

Password Management: What Lawyers Must Know

Password Management For Law Firms (Questions/Answers)

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