Law firms collect, process, and store huge amounts of data.
The data is often sensitive compared to companies in other industries due to the confidentiality and privilege existing between lawyers and their clients.
However, similar to other companies, law firms also interact with employees and third-party data. Some of the data law firms processes include:
- Employee data: Law firms operating within the EU collect employee information subject to regulations like the GDPR.
- Potential clients’ data: Numerous law firms use potential clients’ personal information to target them, plan pitches, and create tailored responses to requests. Almost all regulations require adequate security for personal information.
- Data of existing clients: Law firms require sensitive information regarding their clients to look out for their best interests. Law firms use such data for various reasons, including conflict resolution, project management, and sending invoices.
- Client data required for representation: Clients share sensitive information with law firms to ensure adequate representation.
In light of this, all the data needs to be secure and compliant with current regulations.
Therefore, compliance and data security risks are a high priority for law firms calling for utmost cooperation from all employees.
However, since law firms hold vast amounts of data, it is challenging and expensive to ensure sufficient compliance and security in an on-premise environment. For example, it is crucial to classify and prioritize the data according to sensitivity and determine the applicable compliance regulations and cybersecurity controls.
What are the main challenge’s to achieving data security?
The primary challenge law firms face today is achieving the requisite data protection levels and ensuring the data is readily available and fluid.
The problem is worse for on-premise servers and data centres.
In addition, a law firm must implement adequate measures to protect from risks, such as insider threats, and remain compliant with current regulations.
As demonstrated from a past incident, the Panama Papers leak involving 11.5 million records from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, there’s no doubt that attackers are targeting law firms seeking access to clients’ and companies secrets. The Law Society Gazette wrote that law firms are a principal target of an apparently professional hacking-for-hire industry.
Moreover, it is more challenging to maintain compliance and consistent data protection practices for the legal industry.
For instance, if old clients leave a law firm, compliance efforts may be undone, exposing the firm to various security risks. As such, law firms relying on on-premise infrastructure require a continuous compliance program to eliminate exposure to data protection risks.
Besides, law firms may require compliance with several frameworks, which can be a complex feat to achieve. Considering that some frameworks like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework have almost particular requirements, ensuring continuous compliance and cybersecurity risk management may be out of the depth of most law firms. Furthermore, apart from NIST, lawyers looking to grow their firms must understand the impact of the recently enacted General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which places a greater responsibility to firms to keep data safe and take accountability for collecting, storing, sharing, or using data.
Other challenges include a lack of sufficient understanding and knowledge of implementing compliant security measures in an on-premise setting. In addition, law firms may lack the required skill set to translate data security controls and compliance from a framework to actual implementations.
Astoundingly, experts predict we will have a global shortfall of 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs this year.
That said, it now begs the question, how can modern law firms address the challenges to achieve sufficient data security and compliance in a continuously changing threat landscape? Of course, the answer may vary according to specific business and security needs. However, serverless computing can mitigate some of the challenges by eliminating hardware and data security limitations.
Enhancing Data Security and Achieving Compliance in the Cloud
From a compliance and data security perspective, the advantages of migrating from an on-premise environment to the cloud outweigh the shortcomings, if any. Law firms and other businesses as well can reduce their operational complexities by transitioning to cloud services. At the same time, the cloud advantages can also be transferred to ensure maximum data protection and continuous compliance.
Migrating to serverless computing to monitor and control data security and IT compliance provides unrivalled transparency.
In a cloud offering, law firms can query, alert, audit, and resolve any infrastructure changes virtually, which is a powerful tool for maintaining acceptable security levels and compliance. Additionally, cloud technologies enable automation of specific security or compliance processes, cutting down the personnel and tools required to achieve the same in an on-premise environment.
Currently, cloud security has become a large and fast-growing market, with providers making smart, strategic investments in the space to avoid security gaps and mitigate unanticipated threats and challenges often brought on by users’ poor cloud security hygiene.
Research indicates more than $12 billion will be spent annually on cloud security by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of more than 25 per cent.
More specifically, cloud computing can assist law firms in maintaining sufficient data protection and compliance through unification.
For example, a cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can enable a law firm to integrate relevant compliance information by consolidating various compliance management tools and data sources. In addition, it enables automation remediation for the aforementioned compliance challenges, thus protecting sensitive information to protect against data breaches.
Cloud Geeni is the solution.
Data is one of the most pivotal resources for a law firm and in other organizations. Inability to comply with security requirements exposes the data to multiple security risks.
Fortunately, Cloud Geeni is ISO 27001 certified.
The ISO 27001 certification demonstrates the ability to protect customer data in secure data centres. Cloud Geeni data centres are located in the UK and compliant with the local regulations.
Migrating to Cloud Geeni’s managed IaaS provides law firms with a trustworthy cloud provider capable of safeguarding customer data. In addition to logical security controls, Cloud Geeni has implemented the required physical safeguards to protect data from natural disasters or physical theft.
If you would like to know more about how Cloud Geeni can assist your legal firm in achieving data security, GDPR compliance and peace of mind across your IT infrastructure, use the form below to request a call back from a member of our knowledgeable team and we would be happy to discuss your firm’s specific needs in more detail.