Private cloud hosting is usually touted as the safest, most reliable storage option for law firms. But in an industry that’s constantly a target of cyberattacks, you have to be absolutely certain that your clients’ data is under lock and key.
You have to make every “reasonable effort” to protect your client’s confidential information, and you want to make sure that any cloud hosting service provider you use meets the standards of a good data security policy.
Here is what you need to know about data security features and why secure cloud computing is essential for your law firm.
Why Is There Such a Strong Focus on Data Protection for Law Firms?
If you think about the types of information that would be valuable to steal someone’s identity or hold them for ransom, law firms have it all.
Financial information, health records, contracts, personally identifiable information, and other confidential data—if you were a cybercriminal, why wouldn’t you try to hack a law firm?
Since 2020, more than 750,000 Americans have had personal information breached through law firm hacks. More than almost any industry, law firms have ethical and legal obligations to protect client data.
The American Bar Association requires firms to take all necessary precautions. So, what should you be looking for in a secure cloud computing solution?
1. Encrypted Data Storage
Your cloud storage provider needs to employ encryption protocols for both backups and real-time data. Encryption scrambles data and makes it unreadable to anyone who does not have the specific key to decode it, creating an extra layer of security for your clients’ information.
Whether your data is at rest or in transit, you need the assurance that your cloud hosting provider uses strong encryption standards. Talk with your potential or current cloud provider and ask about their encryption practices. If they’ve had any recent security lapses, you may want to find another provider.
2. Robust Authentication and Access Controls
Authentication is the process of verifying users’ identities before they can access data. Cloud computing should come with robust authentication protocols that help you maintain control over who has access to your systems and data. It also helps ensure that only authorized personnel can access your clients’ confidential information.
You should also make sure that your cloud hosting vendor offers granular access control, allowing you to define user roles and grant different types of permissions for each role. This will help ensure that data is only accessible to those who need it and prevent unauthorized individuals from gaining access.
Ethical practices really come into play here. As a lawyer, you know the importance of confidentiality and you need to make sure that your cloud hosting provider understands this as well.
3. Multi-Factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) provides an extra layer of security for user accounts. It requires users to enter two or more pieces of information from different sources—such as a password, a code sent via text message, or a biometric factor—to access an account or system.
With MFA, even if someone gains access to one piece of information such as a login name, they won’t be able to access the account without additional verification, for example, clicking OK on a phone, or inputting a number sent to a cell phone.
Cloud hosting providers should offer multi-factor authentication as an extra layer of security and it’s worth taking advantage of it. Just make sure that your cloud hosting provider offers the type of authentication that you need for your law firm.
4. File Integrity Monitoring
With file integrity monitoring (FIM), you can detect unauthorized changes or modifications to files. This is especially important for secure cloud computing because it allows you to detect any suspicious activity and take corrective action as soon as a potential breach has been detected.
Ask your cloud hosting provider what type of FIM they use and how often it runs. This will help ensure that your data and systems remain secure.
5. Network Analytics
Your network is the channel for all of your data, which means it’s a prime target. Network analytics allow you to monitor and analyze network traffic in real-time, detect potential threats such as malicious actors or suspicious IP addresses, and respond quickly if a breach has occurred.
In addition, network analytics can also help you identify performance bottlenecks and other issues that could be affecting the security of your system. Make sure that your cloud hosting provider offers this type of service and that they can provide detailed insights into your network activity.
Why Are Some Firms Hesitant to Move to the Cloud?
Despite the many benefits of private cloud hosting, some law firms remain hesitant to make the move. This is often due to a lack of understanding about the security features that are available and how secure cloud computing can be.
By understanding what type of data security measures you should look for in a cloud hosting provider, you can be confident that your clients’ information is safe.
Secure cloud computing should be a priority for every law firm, and you can make sure that your data is well protected by taking the time to find the right hosting provider with the features that best suit your needs.
Get the Private Cloud Hosting Service You Need With Forum Info-Tech
At Forum Info-Tech, we offer a comprehensive private cloud hosting solution that meets the highest standards of security. Our team of experienced IT professionals will help you design and deploy an infrastructure that’s tailored exactly to your law firm.
Our cloud computing solutions include everything mentioned here and more—all designed to keep your valuable data secure. Schedule a consultation and partner with Forum Info-Tech to protect your clients.