Cloud hosting is becoming an integral part of law firm practice. Providing a simple and effective alternative to on-premise data handling, it allows for a reduction in operational costs, remote access to data and accommodates faster data sharing. However, cloud hosting brings with it inevitable risks. Adequate security measures must be in place before a firm decides to migrate to the cloud.
How are law firms currently at risk?
Law firms are a prime target for cyber hackers due to their supervision of sensitive information, position of financial authority and heavy reliance on technology. An eye-opening report from 2019 revealed that 55% of UK-based law firms had experienced a cyber-attack within the past year. Some of the key security vulnerabilities affecting law firms include:
- Ransomware attacks: electrical devices, namely computers and smartphones, are encrypted until a ransom fee is paid.
- Phishing attacks: usually email-based, with hackers posing as reliable contacts to obtain confidential information.
- Data breaches: larger-scale attacks usually affecting firms dealing with politically sensitive material.
Cyber-attacks can bring with them extreme reputational damage and severe financial impacts. They can be particularly compromising for smaller firms which hold confidential data and don’t have the resources of larger firms to recover from the attack.
How can cloud hosting help?
The benefits of cloud-based technology as a working tool are already recognised. Equally important is knowing that cloud hosting brings a level of security that can mitigate threats to law firms.
It is vital that the right cloud provider is chosen to protect law firms. When investigating possible providers, the law firm should ensure their services include:
Multiple data back-ups: data should be backed up regularly with all versions easily accessible to the law firm.
Security-based design: the cloud hosting platform must have secure data encryption and a guarantee that the data is kept separate and isolated from that of other users.
Physical security: the servers must be monitored continuously within a building that meets the highest data security standards.
Secure transfer of data: data is continually moving (being uploaded, downloaded or emailed. The cloud service provider must ensure the transfer is encrypted and goes through safe HTTPS access.
An equal partnership
Both the law firm and cloud provider share responsibility for implementing protected cloud security, with an effective collaboration leading to a secure law firm. While the cloud provider must offer the services mentioned above, law firms also have obligations concerning data security. They should be aware of what data they are storing in the cloud, and that diverse, strong passwords are used across their systems, devices and programmes. A 2019 UK Cyber Survey revealed that 23.2 million internet fraud victims had used 123456 as a device password and it is one of most commonly used in the world.
CBSIT are here to help
With cyberattacks on the rise, data security is paramount for law firms today, with cloud hosting an effective and secure solution. CBSIT are recognised for our excellent provision of cloud management services. As IT security specialists, we are best placed to look at law firms’ cloud security. Find out more about what we can offer you here.