Technology has always been a double-edged sword, and cloud computing is not an exception to this rule. The use of cloud services and hosted infrastructure has dozens of benefits, especially in the legal sector. From improving operational scalability and enabling enterprise IT agility to reduce spending and providing employees with access to data wherever they might be, the cloud solves many of the problems plaguing law firms' business.
But, of course, there is a dark side to the cloud. Due largely in part to the insecure nature of the Internet - but also supported by some bad habits - cloud services pose an inherent risk to data security and data privacy. After all, the world witnessed firsthand that cybercriminals can easily access cloud storage platforms such as Apple Cloud, but that isn't the only security problem. Other hackers devote their time and energy into developing malicious programs, which - once infected on local machines - will make their way to hosted infrastructure and into cloud-based apps.
In the legal sector, this level of data insecurity is unacceptable: Lawyers need to protect their data as well as the private information of their clients, and many other sectors - such as healthcare and finance - have their set of legal regulations. To keep these individuals and organizations happy, law firms must do everything it takes to protect data, and abandon the cloud is simply out of the picture at a time when 93 percent of businesses rely on cloud service, according to RightScale.
It is up to lawyers and their employers to protect the confidentiality of their client's data for both the customer's sake and the law's, maintain the integrity of data and ensure that information is readily available without compromising security. Law firms and their employees must also respect the ethical rules of the law community and associations. CSO Online called this strategy the CIA of data protection, and to take excellent care of customers' data, each of CIA's elements must be met.
Here are three ways to keep customers' information secure in the legal sector:
1. Protect emails with low cost and ease
Lawyers are trusted and well-respected individuals throughout different cultures. Clients entrust these professionals with their most prized and protected thoughts and personal data. Legal firms need to keep that information safe, but when they are using cloud-based email services or sending unencrypted documents over the public Internet, any prying eyes can intercept and access those correspondences.
Law firms can maintain confidentiality and protect information from unauthorized disclosure by encrypting emails. Once the data inside emails is turned into unrecognizable code, only the recipient and sender can apply the encryption key and unlock the true contents of the correspondence. However, deploying an email system that provides encryption can directly impact a law firms bottom line, as well as employee productivity.
Lawyers need to implement email security tools that work with highly adopted systems, such as Gmail, and these encryption solutions must be simple to guarantee user adoption. CLoud-based security systems stand out in this regard, costing next to nothing to deploy and ensuring that law firms always send emails safely.
2. Encrypt data at all times
Whether using cloud storage or hosting applications on rented infrastructure, if a hacker can infiltrate a corporate network, they have carte blanche access to all private and secure information. However, law firms can prevent those cybercriminals from stealing documents and data by simply encrypting information at all times. Securing those resources while they are at rest, in motion to a cloud storage system and on the way to coworkers and clients is critical in the era of data breaches.
"With data encrypted at all times, hackers will steal worthless code."
With all information encrypted at all times and the presence of modern data loss prevention tools, hackers might be able to steal passwords and enter hosted databases and cloud storage systems, but all that information will be useless, as it exists in the form of long strings of numbers and letters rather than identifiable data. Without a means to decrypt that data, cybercriminals have a bunch of worthless code, and data loss becomes a worry of the past.
3. Deploy a single solution with centralized control
All of the best cybersecurity systems in the world mean nothing if employees and IT teams cannot use these solutions without ease. In the past, law firms required on-premise hardware, complex identity and access management software, and a variety of different application security policies for each platform and cloud service.
Nowadays, lawyers use a single solution for all cloud data security requirements, and better yet, these systems have a centralized point of control, making configuration simple and fast, and support integration with the most popular email clients, Gmail included. Instead of defining each application's security policies, modern cloud security and data loss prevention tools in the cloud allow law firms to not only deploy strong encryption solutions at little to no cost but to ensure that employees use them at all times by making it another part of their email platform.
Lawyers might be familiar with data protection and cybersecurity laws and requirements, but they often lack the know-how necessary to find and deploy the best data loss prevention tools. However, as long as law firms choose a solution that allows them to protect data in these three ways, they can keep their customer's data safe and secure at all times. After all modern cybersecurity is about simplicity, low impact costs, and global availability.
With CloudMask, only your authorized parties can decrypt and see your data. Not hackers with your valid password, Not Cloud Providers, Not Government Agencies, and Not even CloudMask can see your protected data. Twenty-six government cybersecurity agencies around the world back these claims.
Watch our video and demo at www.vimeo.com/cloudmask
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