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Forefront eNewsletter

Q4 2016 EDITION

Are Law Firms' Cloud Security Fears Misplaced?

ILTA's technology purchasing survey highlights law firms' cloud technology concerns. In this article, we question these fears, suggest other areas firms might be ignoring, and recommend the cloud solution you should be exploring.

The survey shows cloud technology is still a key priority for law firms, with 25% of respondents planning to purchase cloud storage in the next 12 months. This has risen from 15% of respondents planning to purchase cloud storage in 2015. Despite planning to purchase cloud technology, 55% of respondents cite security as the key factor holding them back.

However, are law firms' cloud technology fears ignoring threats to security that current processes pose? Email is still one of the most popular methods of cyberattack. It is also the most popular method for lawyers to communicate, threatening cybersecurity. For example, un-encrypted emails at Mossack Fonseca, resulted in a hack that leaked the Panama Papers. Users are also at risk of email phishing attempts to get wire transfers or personal information. Users are at the risk of spear phishing attacks which use information gathered about the recipient to trick them into thinking the email is from someone they know. These types of attacks have increased 55% in 2015.

Lawyers often use email to send confidential documents or discuss confidential information. Email often doesn't have appropriate security features for law firms, such as encryption, two factor authentication, or an audit trail. If your firm does use these methods, you still can't be sure the recipient has the same levels of security. It can be hard to track who is being forwarded or who is cced in an email, and there is a threat of hacking.

48% of respondents suggest that "client concerns" are stopping them from implementing cloud technology. Another common issue at firms is the use of consumer-based file sharing solutions. Often, there is a company policy prohibiting the use of solutions like Dropbox. Yet lawyers still use them, and even some clients want files to be sent this way! These solutions don't provide firms with the levels of security they need.

68.6 million account details taken from a hack of Dropbox in 2012 have recently been made available. If you use the free version of Dropbox, there is no way to track who has looked at your files. So you can't be sure if someone else may have gained access. If client concerns stop firms from implementing cloud technology, then firms need to look at their client demands. The only way to stop users from sharing files via consumer-based solutions is to provide them with an alternative solution.

This alone may not stop the use of email to discuss confidential information. So we suggest solutions that do more than file sharing. Consider a portal that allows users to discuss information and share other data securely. 45% of respondents say the lack of integration option with existing systems would prohibit their use of cloud technologies. This is why you should choose an enterprise technology that can integrate with your DMS, PMS, etc. Doing so will allow you to easily share all of this data in one portal and increase versatility and ease of mobile working. 62% of respondents believe that versatility/mobility of cloud solutions is the most important reason to implement cloud technologies.

ILTA's survey highlights law firms' cloud technology concerns about adopting this technology. Yet if firms choose solutions with appropriate security, this should not be a concern. Cloud technology can provide users with a secure space to discuss confidential information and share files. Firms should look at their current process and question if they are as secure as they think. Selecting an enterprise cloud solution which is able to integrate with current systems is key for success.

See the full results of the survey here.

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Nikec Solutions is a global provider of business solutions designed to increase business efficiency, improve workflows and bottom lines. With over 17 years of in-depth expertise, the company has become a trusted advisor to some of the biggest and innovative legal and professional firms across the globe. Our portfolio includes solutions for cost recovery and print management, extranet and collaboration platform, secure file sharing and the digital binder. Click here for more information.

 
 
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