Choosing a Hosted Cloud: Data Security for Small Law Firms

December 17, 2012

law firm marketingAs migration to cloud computing continues to accelerate, many law firms are left wondering if they should make the move with their online software (also known as Software as a Service, or SaaS).  The benefits are significant, especially to smaller law firms that do not have dedicated IT staff.  However, how do you know if your client’s information is secure? 

The ABA, and many state Bars, have issued general guidance stating the lawyer must take reasonable precautions to prevent client information from coming into the hands of unintended recipients.  You should feel confident your client information is secure, whether on third party servers, or on the server sitting in your law firm’s closet.

I work on one of Thomson Reuters’ newest hosted software (i.e. cloud) products, Westlaw Doc & Form Builder.  Form Builder saves information for reuse, which makes creating forms more efficient.  I learned quite a bit from our developers as they constructed Form Builder, and I recommend you conduct ample due diligence when selecting cloud-based software providers.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Go with someone you can trust and will be there for the long haul, which means they have made the required investments to build a very secure data center.
  2. Look for high-security encryption and data transport standards.  Encryption refers to a coded “disguise” that makes your data unrecognizable as it transports from your computer to the hosted cloud server.  For example, Westlaw Doc & Form Builder uses AES 256-bit encryption, which is the same encryption and transport standards used by banks when performing transactions over the internet.
  3. Your provider’s data backup should be frequent and should account for multiple types of events:  power supply redundancies and a natural disaster data security plan, among others.
  4. We’ve published an Online Data Storage FAQ with more tips. It explains in detail the security provided in Thomson Reuters’ private hosted environment.

Request the FAQ here , and learn more about the top technology required to keep data secure.

I feel confident in the data security we employ at Thomson Reuters.  Now only if they would let me store my personal information there rather than at home….

 

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