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

17 May 2017

Jon Robinson

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 that 60% 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.

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