10 Cloud Security Best Practices For Attorneys and Law Firms

5 June 2017

Jon Robinson

If you’ve been overwhelmed and frustrated by having to maintain an in-house IT solution for your law firm, you might have considered using a cloud computing platform specifically for case management.

There are many benefits for moving your files and data to the cloud, such as lower cost, increased productivity, scalability and higher client satisfaction.

Understandably, law firms are concerned about the IT security of these cloud-computing solutions.

After all, it’s not only your own data but also the sensitive information your clients have entrusted you that’s on the line.

The reality is, maintaining a secure on-premise IT solution is becoming increasingly difficult and costly. In fact, 64% of IT professionals at medium and large enterprises say that a cloud system is more secure than a legacy system.

However, moving to the cloud doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook. The files and data you store in the cloud are only as secure as the measures taken by your provider to protect them and your ability to adhere to security protocols.

In this article, you’ll learn 10 cloud security best practices that you need to ask your provider about or implement as a user:

1. Multi-Factor Authentication

Simply using username/password as login credential is no longer enough to ensure secure access by authorized personnel.

You should be able to set up additional authentication method(s) to supplement the username/password pair, such as a physical token, a password card, a digital certificate, biometry or SMS password.

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2. Access Management Policy

Your cloud-computing service platform should allow you to set access rights for each individual user such that employees, contractors or clients can only access information relevant to their roles.

It’s also important to keep track of access granted on a temporary basis and remove users when their relationships with your firm end.

3. Log Management

Logs are not only for compliance. They also help monitor suspicious activities and aid in forensic investigations in case there’s a breach.

Your cloud service provider should keep track of every user that logs into the system and views any document, and be able to provide you with such information upon your request.

4. Data Backup and Recovery

A top-tier cloud service provider should have a comprehensive backup and recovery plan with multiple redundancies built in to ensure that your data is secure whether there’s a cyber attack or physical disaster – covering scenarios for either loss of location (e.g. physical disaster) or loss of Internet connectivity.

A well-designed recovery plan allows you to get up and running again with minimum downtime, which could be critical when you’re working with time-sensitive materials.

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Make sure you review the recovery plan with your provider so you know exactly what to do when there’s an emergency.

5. Vulnerability Analysis and Ethical Hacking

Your cloud service provider should routinely carry out vulnerability analyses done by a credible third party to ensure the security of the system.

These analyses help the provider stay on top of their security measures and ahead of malicious hackers.

6. Compliance To Security Standards

Security standards for cloud computing are fast evolving. Besides making sure your provider is adhering to industry standards (e.g. ISO 27001,) you should also do your due diligence by making sure your platform is compliant with the standards required for your business and area of practice (e.g. HIPAA.)

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7. Procedure In Case Of DDoS Attack

A DDoS (Distributed Denial-Of-Service) attack could bring down a cloud service and anything connected to it as hackers flood the system with data to prevent users from accessing the website.

Make sure your provider shares with your any pertinent procedure so you won’t be caught off guard without access to your data.

8. Data Encryption

Your data should be encrypted during transfer and storage to ensure that they’re protected from prying hackers.

9. Browser Security

Your employees will likely be accessing the cloud through their web browsers. Make sure the browsers on all the computers are properly updated to avoid browser exploits.

10. Employee Training

Your security measures are only as good as how well all your employees are adhering to the protocol.

Work with your cloud service provider to set up employee training to help your staff understand and apply the new security procedures. You also want to make sure that this training becomes part of your new employee on-boarding process.

Be a Smart Cloud User

Cloud security is a fast evolving to keep up with the ever-changing technological landscape.

To safeguard your files and your clients’ data, make sure you understand your providers’ security model and stay vigilant.

Stay informed by educating yourself so you can ask pertinent questions when choosing a cloud provider to protect your information.

Here at Litify, we’re committed to providing a secure cloud-computing environment for our customers and help them streamline workflow, increase conversion rate and of course, beef up IT security. Find out how Litify makes it easy for you.

 

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