Here’s Why You Should Move Your Law Firm to the Cloud

When it comes to your legal practice, maybe you like to live on the edge. Maybe you get an adrenaline rush from putting your livelihood at risk every day by keeping your data on vulnerable in-house servers.

But if you want to make legal work less painful for you and your clients, save money, and mitigate threats by storing your data in the most secure location possible, then it’s time for you to migrate your law firm to the cloud.

Here’s a closer look at two of the key benefits you’ll experience when you take advantage of the power of cloud computing technology: portability and security.

The cloud makes case information and documents more portable

Lawyers and clients alike expect 24/7 access to their data, and their case files are no exception. But if your law firm’s files are stored on a server, you’ll need to set up a virtual private network (VPN) for secure access, which can be inefficient and painful. You could also email documents to yourself, but that creates extra work and does not ensure that you’ll be looking at the latest and most accurate version of your documents.

With the cloud, attorneys can review case-related documents, exhibits, and client information regardless of where they are—in their office, at home, in the courtroom, or on a beach halfway around the world—and from any device. Given that clients expect to be kept up-to-date on case developments as they happen, it’s important that lawyers have the anywhere, anytime access to information that the cloud provides.

Similarly, clients expect that information will be at their fingertips at all times. Given the ubiquity of cloud-based services like Gmail, Dropbox, Facebook, and Evernote, they’ll be surprised if their lawyers can’t offer them fast, real-time updates on the status of their case.

The cloud offers better security for your law firm’s data

Though maintaining the security of clients’ data is a paramount concern and ethical responsibility for most law firms, cybersecurity is rarely a core competency for them. So, unless you have unlimited resources to invest in dedicated 24/7 IT services, it’s probably a better idea to look to the cloud than to internal solutions to meet your security needs.

But keep in mind that not all cloud solutions are created equal. Here are some things to look for when you’re choosing a cloud-based platform:

Multiple layers of round-the-clock security. Make sure the facility has physical barriers to entry, such as biometric scanning and video surveillance, as well as network intrusion protection systems.

Data backup and recovery. Your provider should have a backup and recovery plan in the event of a disaster, cyberattack, or other emergency. Check the provider’s certifications, guaranteed uptime statistics, and redundancy plans. Ensure that your data will be stored in multiple locations, protected by battery backup, and fire detection and suppression systems, among other things.

Cybersecurity certifications. Ensure that the cloud provider satisfies industry standards, such as ISO/IEC 27001 and SAS-70 Type II, as well as any standards applicable to your industry. For example, you should look for compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Two-factor authentication: To protect against unauthorized access, no matter where employees and clients are logging into the system, you need more than a basic login that asks for username and password. Additional measures, such as an SMS password, physical token, or digital certificate should be required to gain access.

Rights management. The platform should grant permissions to different types of content by user role: lawyer, staff, contractor, and client.

Logs and audit trails. The cloud provider should be able to track every system login and the user’s path throughout the system.

Data encryption. Make sure that the provider encrypts data in transit and in storage to further protect it from security risks.

Portability and security: these are two of the reasons we built Litify on one of the world’s most trusted cloud-based platforms: Salesforce. Contact us to learn how moving to the cloud can help take your law firm to the next level.

The Evolution of Software as a Service and Why Your Firm Should Be on the Cloud

Traditionally in tech (let’s pretend that phrase isn’t an oxymoron for a moment), there were two ways to do things when it came to software: monolithic systems and point solutions.

In a monolithic system, all functions are interwoven architecturally; entire apps are built as a single unit. Think of an old and monumental ERP, the kind of unique and privately built, controlled, and maintained IT system a huge corporation had. You got ownership, in-house security, and continuity.

You also got rigidity, bulkiness, and long implementation times. Although once simple, these systems became more complex as business needs grew and applications got larger. They got bogged down by complicated layers and became massive and immovable – hence the term monolith. It’s become clear with time that scaling those singular systems is messy and can create bottlenecks.

Enter point solutions. Sometimes called microservices or best-in-breed, these niche technology solutions were aimed to solve small, but important, pieces of the larger puzzle. The idea was more to divide and conquer versus to build a large army housed in an impregnable castle.

But these boutique solutions came at a cost. They are completely separate software sets that don’t talk to each other at all. Their requirement of different user credentials, interfaces, and workflows creates more administrative work for teams. A proliferation of vendors and lack of communication between apps meant a lot of costly, time-consuming, trial and error required to find the pieces that fit with your business’s puzzle.

These two types of software systems exist at two ends of the spectrum. When we began brainstorming the best way to use technology to refine law firm operations, we thought, what if we stopped thinking of extremes and started meeting in the middle?

Legos, Goldilocks and Square Dancing

Litify introduces a whole new way to optimize your firm’s operations: loosely coupled cloud integrations. This system provides central management of data center resources through smaller software solutions. You get agility and the ability to tap into pre-built services as-needed.

In a loosely coupled system, components use little or no knowledge of the other separate components, which means they can be replaced by alternative applications that provide the same services. Imagine each AppExchange category like a square dance. Every app can follow the steps, and it’s easy to take one out for a spin and decide who you groove with the most.

These loosely coupled cloud integrations have one job; they’re responsible for a single functionality. Because they’re independent, they can be built by any set of tools or languages.

But unlike point solutions, they are built to mesh with the pieces around them. They fit together like lego blocks – designed to come together for a greater purpose, but easy to take apart if needed and left unchanged.

Cloud computing is cheaper, more flexible, and faster to deploy than any previous method. It allows applications to be continually updated and new features can be rolled out to all law firms very quickly. Cloud solutions also tend to be more secure, since providers are more adept and better equipped to protect their computing systems against hackers than individual businesses.

Individual attorneys can access their files across devices instantly with just a secure internet connection, making them more mobile and available to clients. Meanwhile, data is continuously and automatically backed up. In short, a loosely coupled cloud solution is the law firm’s Goldilocks.

Litify provides a platform technology solution built on Salesforce with integration APIs for workflow applications that are easy to configure, interoperable, and scalable. There are over 3,400 apps on the Exchange already that you can choose from to maximize your firm’s operational efficiency.

Whereas monolith systems are out of reach for small law firms to develop or use both because of cost and complexity, Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions that use loosely coupled cloud integrations like Litify level the playing field and allow small law firms to effectively compete against bigger firms and non-law firm legal service providers that use cloud technology.

Get Your Head in the Cloud

We’re already well past the cloud computing tipping point. Computing power has gone the way of electricity; instead of generating it individually and on-site, we now tap into a network for power. The cloud computing market is projected to reach $411B by 2020. It is the engine of enterprise technology innovation.

And, while law firms have been late adopters of technology in the past, according to the American Bar Association’s 2017 Legal Technology Survey 52% of firms report using cloud computing software. Additionally, according to a Cisco study, by 2020 74% of the total cloud workloads will be SaaS workloads.

Basically, if you’re not using loosely coupled integrations on the cloud, you’re in the past.

The world is in constant flux, and the demands on data are flowing with it. SaaS through the cloud is a revolutionary innovation for the delivery of legal services. Increased efficiency not only allows attorneys to redirect their time to tackle new problems, but also enables firms to serve a broader group of consumers, which expands access to justice.

Litify is one way you can adopt an adaptive and proactive business strategy. It provides a platform built for loosely integrated components that law firms can integrate to streamline their operations, increase team productivity and increase growth. The following are the AppExchange integrations that our clients have found most beneficial.

Top 5 AppExchange Integrations for Law Firms

  • DocuSign. The market leader in e-signature, DocuSign is the best way to send, sign and track agreements and approvals. The app allows you to digitize legal documents, sales contracts, HR forms, and more from anywhere, on any device at anytime.
  • Spring CM (Premier). A document management solution, this app is built to streamline document generation and automate their workflow. You can route docs for review and signature and store them directly on the appropriate record. It comes with pre-approved templates and online forms that can quickly pull data from Salesforce. It helps maximize visibility and increase efficiency since you can initiate a workflow immediately upon creating a document.
  • Breadwinner. Quickbooks Online’s integration. A simple way to connect your Matters to your financials. Offers two-way creation and sync of invoices, bills, purchase orders, payments and more, which are brought into Salesforce and synced live hourly.
  • New Voice Media. A comprehensive phone solution that allows you to manage inbound and outbound calls directly inside of Litify. Built specifically for Salesforce, New Voice Media works seamlessly on our platform to allow CTI, IVR, click-to-dial, auto dialing, call recording and call routing.
  • 360 SMS or SMS Magic. Provides you the ability to send and receive SMS/MMS directly inside of Litify. You can text your clients and offer them the ability to communicate with you in the way they prefer.

The Next Generation Cloud Platform For Top PI Firms

Law firms are making the switch to cloud platforms for managing files, data and overall case management. Why? Because maintaining a secure on-premise IT solution is costly and complex.

There’s a variety of enterprise cloud-based platforms on the market that can do the trick more efficiently and cost-effectively, while helping you keep up-to-date with technology. It’s true, parsing feature lists can be daunting, while signing up for free trials and test drives can be time-consuming. More importantly, even if you sift through all the sales material, you still may not find something fit for the specifics of your particular law firm (since most are not built with that kind of flexibility).

Well, Litify is designed to put the needs of firms first. Built on Salesforce with the highest of security and frequent, automatic updates, it’s the product law firms have been looking for (and even trying to build themselves!). Below is a quick breakdown of our services and features that allow law firms to easily streamline their operations to keep track of (and even boost) conversion rate, reduce operating cost, automate workflow, and increase client satisfaction.

Litify – A Comprehensive Cloud-Based IT Solution For The Top PI Firms

Litify combines the benefits of cloud software with the needs of law firms by integrating legal best practices – such as document, workflow, and client management systems – into a secure environment (Salesforce) – used and trusted by government agencies and enterprises around the globe.

You can now navigate marketing, intake, referrals, client interaction, matter management, document storage, and finance all in one single location in a simple, digestible, and actionable format.

Tap into the advantages of using a cloud platform without having to reinvent the wheel:

1. Unified Process

Litify’s complete suite of products addresses every aspect of a law firm’s operation to help you automate your workflow. Set up consistent processes, assign roles and make sure your teams follow the best practices guidelines you put in place to optimize opportunities, productivity, and information sharing.

A side note: you can train current employees and easily equip new hires to use the platform with our dedicated services team and training tools.

2. Measurable Success

Track all interactions and results on the platform. Analyze the data and fine-tune your operations and client service procedures to simultaneously save and make more money.

3. Seamless Transition and On-Going Support

Receive thorough analysis of your operations and business processes ahead of any kind of commitment to the platform.

We’ll arm you with a migration and transition strategy so you can get started on our platform without any interruption or loss of client information. We’ll also be there with you every step of the way as you transition, and to answer any questions – including access to monthly Release Notes for feature and other updates!

4. Customization and Scalability

Customize layouts, actions, and workflows to meet your needs, regardless of practice area or headcount. Additionally, we’ll work with you to  scale up your tools as your practice’s needs grow.

5. Mobile Access

Access all files and data, and respond to client requests at any moment, anywhere on your choice of device. Let’s face it – you live in a mobile world. Your work should too.

Ready To Try Something New?

There’s no better time to move your business processes, files and data to Litify. In addition to a quality cloud solution, what you get with us is a solution built for longevity. Sign up for a demo to see where best in class legal practices, law firms and technology intersect.

A final note: we’re rapidly evolving our offerings and product roadmap to stay ahead of current. What that means for you is: automatic updates and enhancements to your applications on a consistent basis, without additional cost. And the door is always open for feedback. Something you’re not seeing? Let’s talk – chances are we can build it.

Schedule a live demo to see how Litify can help you streamline your business and increase your revenue.

10 Cloud Security Best Practices For Attorneys and Law Firms

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.

11 Compelling Reasons To Move Your Law Firm’s IT System To the Cloud

The changing cybersecurity landscape and increasing challenge of maintaining an on-premise IT solution are leading more and more law firms to consider a cloud-based IT solution.

If you’ve been experiencing similar challenges and frustrations, you may also be looking into moving your law firm’s files and data to the cloud, and researching tips and best practices to ensure a smooth transition.

It’s definitely a big decision and not one to be taken lightly.

Here are the benefits you can expect from using a cloud-computing platform:

1. Lower Capital and Operation Cost

You don’t have to purchase and maintain the expensive hardware, buy the latest software, or hire a huge team of IT experts to run the system.

You no longer need to worry about replacing outdated equipment, and the large expense that comes with it.

2. Cost Efficiency

When businesses work with an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) company, they’re moving ownership and management of physical server assets to a dedicated, experienced managed service.

This arrangement creates an economy of scale that allows IaaS companies to lower the cost of system implementations and upgrades as one team of experts can service many clients – thereby lowering cost without sacrificing quality.

3. Improved Compatibility

Your IT team no longer has to worry about compatibility issues among industry standards (e.g. Apache, PHP, MySQL) – a task that is often time-consuming, cumbersome and fraught with glitches.

4. Minimized Downtime

Top-tier cloud-computing platforms have an excellent record of uptime. They have teams of experts available 24/7 to monitor the system and to respond quickly in case of emergency.

There’s also redundancy built into these systems so even if there’s a failure in one part of the network the system will continue to function.

5. Comprehensive Backup and Data Recovery Plan

Top-tier cloud-computing providers have comprehensive backup and recovery plans. Not only will they back up all your files and data but they’ll also have a recovery procedure in place to minimize downtime in the event of a disaster.

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6. Scalability

Cloud computing allows you to scale up quickly as your demand for computing powers grows – e.g. to accommodate more client data or more staff members – without impacting the performance of the system or having to overhaul your IT set up.

7. Seamless Integration

Chances are you’re already using quite a few cloud-based services – e.g. Dropbox for file transfer, or Google Calendar for scheduling.

Most cloud-computing platforms allow you to seamlessly bring together your existing applications so your employees can stay productive using the tools that they know and love.

8. Continual Support

When you purchase an on-premise IT solution, you’re often left on your own device after the transaction.

On the other hand, when you use a managed cloud hosting provider, you’ll have on-going access to IT specialists who are there to ensure that everything is running optimally and provide technical support whenever necessary.

9. Access From Anywhere

Your employees can access the cloud from anywhere with an Internet connection and from any device.

This allows more flexibility while increasing productivity.

10. Security and Compliance

A top-tier cloud-computing platform has multiple layers of security in place to ensure that their clients’ data are protected against both cyber attacks and physical breaches.

They employ teams of security experts to keep up with all the latest IT security measures, stay ahead of malicious hackers by fixing any vulnerability immediately, and making sure that the system is compliant with the latest laws and regulations.

Most platforms also allow you to set up multi-layer authentication to protect against unauthorized access even when employees are accessing the cloud from various locations and devices.

11. Improved Client Experience and Satisfaction

More and more law firms are taking advantage of their cloud-computing platform to enhance their client services.

A client portal allows documents to be shared in a secure environment with version control built-in to minimize errors and miscommunication.

Sensitive documents are no longer being emailed back-and-forth, a process during which private information could fall prey to breaches in email services.

Not to mention, clients appreciate the added transparency as they can track progress whenever and wherever they want.

Cloud-Computing for Attorney and Law Firms

There are many advantages of switching over to the cloud as an IT solution.

There is, however, one caveat – a cloud-computing platform is only as good as the provider that runs it.

When you place your trust in the cloud, you’re placing your trust in the company that manages the cloud.

As a law firm, your clients entrust you with highly personal and confidential information.

A data breach will cost you not only financially but also your reputation and your client relationships.

To ensure the safety and security of your files and data, make sure you follow cloud security best practices when choosing your provider and using your cloud-computing platform.

 

IT Security For Law Firms — Cloud-Based Solution vs. On-Premise Solution

IT security has been a hot topic in recent years. After a few high-profile data breaches, the public is now very aware and wary of the risks and challenges facing IT security.

In the past, small law firms — or any small company or business — could rely on their inconspicuousness to protect them against malicious hackers. After all, whether a hacker was looking for fame or fortune, breaching a large corporation would offer a much better payout.

However, it’s no longer the case.

In March 2017, a company called Oil and Gas International filed a bug report with the Firefox browser maker Mozilla claiming that Firefox was wrongly warning users that its website was insecure.

The company claimed, “We have our own security system, and it has never been breached in more than 15 years.”

Shortly after the report was filed, hackers who breached into their system deleted their entire database.

The 15 years of security was an illusion — one that caused the company to let down their guard, become lax in their IT security, and ultimately cost them dearly.

It’s no longer safe to rely on security through obscurity. Your company is exposed to potential breaches every single minute in this age of IoT (Internet of Things.)

Think about all the devices (including routers, cable boxes, game consoles, refrigerators, cameras, TVs, and home security systems) that are now connected to the Internet. Hackers can easily find a vulnerability in a device or software to breach a system.

Not to mention, the “bring your own device” trend that’s becoming very common in many workplaces means any personal device connected to your system can potentially be breached, giving hackers a way to get their hands on your confidential data.

In 2016, ransomware attacks grew at a blistering pace. In total, SonicWall reported 638 million cases.

Meanwhile, the advent of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin allows for anonymity that has made it easier than ever for a hacker to extract a ransom from compromised victims.

Instead of targeting large corporations that have much tighter security, more and more hackers are attacking smaller businesses because they can breach those systems much faster and easier.

Small or mid-sized businesses can no longer ignore IT security and hide behind obscurity. You have to make sure that your information and data are safe.

For law firms, it’s not only your own data that is on the line.

Your clients trust you with their confidential information, and a data breach will not only cost you financially but also your reputation and your clients’ trust and relationships.

The question is — what’s the most secure way to host your applications, files, and data?

There are two options: hosted or on-premise (known as “on-prem” in the tech industry.)

The prevailing assumption in the legal industry seems to regard on-premise solutions as more secure. Unfortunately, this idea is a relic from the early years of the Internet and is now dangerously inaccurate.

On-prem solutions come with a very high cost of ownership.

Not only does your organization have to implement the technical solution but also become responsible for the maintenance of proper security, which often takes a tremendous amount of knowledge, effort, and money.

Your IT team needs to keep every piece of hardware and software up to date, ensure security settings are correctly applied and audited regularly and have a backup system in case of a failure or attack.

Data loss can be devastating to businesses — did you know that60% of companies that lose their data shut down within 6 months of the disaster?

It’s critical that you have a system in place to back up your system and all the changes in real-time. The back up should be stored in a remote location and set up for quick and easy recovery to minimize downtime.

If all the IT logistics is making your head spin, and getting you to wonder how you can have the personnel and resources to ensure security — here’s the good news:

Most companies are now moving to cloud-based, or hosted, solutions.

Top-tier hosted solutions are much safer than on-prem solutions because they make providing customers with a secure IT environment their business.

They have entire teams of experts dedicated to ensuring that their system is up-to-the-minute. Many of them take the initiative to incentivize security researchers to report vulnerabilities before hackers find and exploit them.

If you’re still hosting your IT system on premise, it’s time to evaluate how well protected your data is, and if it’s time to switch to a hosted solution.

Contact Litify to Learn More About Our Secure Cloud-Based Case Management Solution

Litify understands the importance of attorney-client confidentiality to your firm’s success, which is why we use security tools that exceed all industry requirements.

To learn more about cloud computing solutions and how we can protect the privacy of your data, please contact us for a free demo.