Caroline McCauley

The Security of Cloud-Based Software and Client Communication

Cloud-Based Software Security

The fear of not having a secure cloud-based software should far outweigh the fear of switching to a new system. In fact, the longer law firms procrastinate implementing a secure cloud-based software the higher risk of ransomware they face. With an estimated 4,000 ransomware attacks occurring daily, ransomware threats are at an ultimate high.

The Economist’s “Ransomware Attacks Were on the Rise, Even Before the Latest Episode” reports the high rate of ransomware is not a recent phenomenon, but has planted its seed over the past few years; “since 2014 the varieties of ransomware have more than tripled, according to the Internet SECURITY Threat Report by Symantec, a computer-security vendor-a sign that internet bandits are catching on to the lucrative rewards it offers.”

The cyber-attacked entitled “WannaCry,” while it has received extensive press coverage and has become nearly synonymous with ransomware attacks, according to The Economist, “it is only the most recent example of “ransomware.” The Economist defines ransomware attacks as malicious programs that block access to files unless the victim pays off the hackers.” With the United States being the largest victim of ransomware of any other country, with 34% of global ransomware attacks, corporations in the United States should seek to ensure enforcement of security. It’s becoming an all-too-common scenario that hackers are demanding $10,000 plus for the return of data. With an adequate cloud-based case management system, law firms can take preventive action, before paying the costs.

Increasingly security has become a pressing and prevalent topic within the field of law. Not only is there heightened anxiety around the security of law firm’s data, but also there are concerns regarding the safety of electronic correspondences with clients. Due to the fear of security breech, many bar associations are now highly encouraging, if not coercing, law firms to send encrypted emails to their clients. While the ABA’s new ethics opinion on encryption of attorney-client email does omit the clear-cut statement of “email encryption required,” Jim Calloway in his well referred to “Law Practice Tips Blog” notes that a celebration of this absence would be “rejoicing prematurely.”

Though there is no requirement per say (which might have made for a less ambiguous ruling), the ABA strongly urges that law firms must undergo a “fact-based analysis” to determine whether “the nature of the information requires more security.” The “fact-based analysis” is not a simple check, rather the analysis is quite onerous and cannot be applied to all situations. In some circumstances, encryption is warranted. The process of encryption is arduous for both law firms and clients.

In most cases, to enact encryption additional, expensive software must be purchased, adding to the already steep cost of infrastructure. Additionally, neither law firms nor clients are not keen to use encryption as it involves layers of passwords, resulting in time-consuming security measures. Encryption can be made through an email add-in. However, this most likely requires sending tedious instructions to clients, so they can access the email. Often clients become frustrated with the complex instructions and refrain from enacting encryption. As will later be discussed, in the next section of “how to go about choosing a software provider,” a legal practice management system with a client portal allows law firms to eschew the laborious process of encryption.

Legal client portals allow law firms to forgo a “fact-based analysis” to ensure security measures and ABA standards are met. With a legal client portal, law firms can have the peace of mind that all their client information is safe and secure, without any additional evaluation needed. Legal client portals enable law firms to share even the most lengthy, sensitive case files with your clients.

LawConnect is a legal client portal that seamlessly integrates with LEAP’s practice management software. With its high-level security, LawConnect can store copies of law firm’s clients’ most valuable documents, such as insurance policies and wills, for guaranteed safe-keeping.

Three of the main advantages law firms have with LawConnect are safe documents, collaboration, and accessibility. Sending confidential documents via email, exposes law firms to hacking and ransomware attacks. LawConnect avoids the risk of email and stores data on servers provided by Amazon Web Services. Logging into LawConnect is simple and quick; users can use their Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google Accounts to access LawConnect from anywhere in the world, anytime. Collaboration is enhanced with LawConnect’s ability to share documents quickly and securely among users. Learn more on how LawConnect can provide seamless safe and secure client communication.

Sponsored Series by Leap.us

By Caroline McCauley

Caroline McCauley

Caroline McCauley is a Creative Content Strategist at LEAP, legal software. She seeks to provide information on how legal case management software can help law firms in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

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