A significant benefit of cloud-based case management software is anytime, anywhere access. However, with that benefit comes concerns about the security of your data. In reality, when cloud security is done right, it has the power to provide much more robust protection than a firm can provide itself. And, with access to files anywhere, your security goes with you.
If you’re considering moving your law firm to the cloud, it’s essential to get the facts about security and understand the differences between cloud and on-premise software. Beyond that, you should ensure your software provider’s security is top-notch and supports industry best practices such as robust business continuity plans, disaster recovery, failover, and other critical security practices.
Cloud computing for law firms
To understand cloud security, a refresher on the cloud is helpful. Although cloud computing has been around for over a decade, it still needs to be understood. Cloud software is services that run on the internet rather than software on a specific, physical device.
What is the cloud?
Files stored in the cloud live in off-site data centers where third-party providers manage and maintain data for businesses, which pay a monthly access fee. On-premise software is local to your company and your IT resources, with data stored in hard drives or in-house servers and managed locally.
Cloud adoption in the legal industry
Law firms deal with highly sensitive information, so it is not surprising that the legal industry has yet to be at the forefront of cloud technology adoption. However, given that the first public cloud was launched in the early 2000s, the cloud is hardly uncharted territory, and the number of firms embracing the technology is increasing.
In The American Bar Association (ABA)’s 2021 Legal Technology Survey Report, the percentage of survey participants that answered “yes” to the fundamental question of whether they had used web-based software services or solutions increased very slightly to 60%. Small firms (of 2-9 and 10-49 attorneys) led the way on cloud usage (66%), with large firms a few percentage points behind. In the current post-pandemic environment, law firms are only accelerating their use of technology to support remote work.
Security benefits of cloud services for law firms
Major cloud service providers (Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, etc.) are held to high-security standards. They invest in resources to protect data, infrastructure, and applications.
Microsoft Azure, for example, provides secure digital access through internal key vaults and protects against attacks by sealing all data behind internal firewalls. They also utilize artificial intelligence (AI)-powered security monitoring to keep data safe. To protect each of the actual data centers, an entire team is devoted to 24/7 physical security with rigorous measures, including biometrics, to enter data centers.
Aside from measures to protect data and data centers from attack, there are some other key concepts to be aware of when thinking about cloud platforms for lawyers:
Disaster recovery – How quickly can your business restore from catastrophic failure? With fully native cloud solutions, you can achieve complete recovery (to secondary locations) within hours of loss due to the software not residing on traditional virtual or physical machines.
Business continuity – It’s important to remember that your business is not your building. With software always available from any location, your business can serve your customers from wherever your employees are located.
Failover – The best cloud storage for lawyers has many data servers, so if one needs maintenance or fails, the data is still available elsewhere.
Dynamic protection – Leading cloud providers have teams dedicated to delivering new features and safety, adapting to the ever-changing threats we face. Cloud-based software powered by these providers receives those security benefits.
Two-factor authentication – For additional data security, devices are enabled to receive a code, ensuring unauthorized users cannot access your software environment.
Many of these concepts ensure faster recovery and data preservation even when one of these top three cloud service providers experiences an issue.
Robust data protection with legal cloud services
Case management software providers use third-party cloud providers to protect client data and documents with varying levels of security. Neos is fortified with the protection of Microsoft Azure, considered top of the line and relied on by 95% of Fortune 500 companies. Firms can rest easy knowing their critical client data is secure.
With Neos, your firm gets not only the protection of Microsoft Azure but also a greater than 99% uptime guarantee, multi-region backups to protect data, a point-in-time recovery (PITR) of databases for seven days, and data encryption. Additionally, all documents are backed up based on the firm's established parameters, so you have access to the information you need at all times.
Contact us today to learn about Neos‘ robust security, industry-leading workflow, intake, and document management capabilities.