Cloud storage offers a lot of benefits to attorneys who need extra storage space, but what it doesn't always provide is confidentiality.
Companies that offer cloud storage provide access to their superior memory capacities which allows clients to store and backup computer files online. Those online files can then be access from any computer without having to carry an external hard drive everywhere.
That all sounds good, but how secure is this cloud really?
Security among cloud storage solutions varies and it's important to understand what the differences are before signing up with any of them. After all, putting client information on a non-secured cloud storage platform could result in an ugly malpractice suit.
Luckily, there are some easy ways to make sure you're protected if you choose to use cloud storage for your legal files.
Documents and other files stored on a cloud service should be encrypted to prevent prying eyes from accessing them without permission. Even if an outsider does access the stored files, encryption renders files effectively unreadable to hackers.
Some companies encrypt documents once they're received which means hackers won't see your files but company employees may. To avoid that issue, encrypt documents before uploading them to any cloud storage service. That protects documents from all prying eyes, not just the ones outside the cloud storage company.
It's also important to make sure the service encrypts files during transmission using an HTTPS connection. Documents uploaded on a secure link are protected even before the storage company has possession so there's no lapse in security.
When in doubt about a cloud storage option, ones made specifically for the legal community are often a better choice. Those platforms were created with legal concerns in mind and will likely provide greater security.
If you want to cover all bases, it's not a bad idea to get a release from clients before storing their confidential information on a cloud storage system. Full disclosure to the client can help prevent a messy situation down the line.
- Attorneys beware: The danger of storing information in the cloud (Inside Counsel)
- Safety In the Cloud (FindLaw's Technologist)
- Storage Wars: Competing Cloud Sites Offer Free Storage (FindLaw's Technologist)