Yesterday on Total Expert Radio, we discussed Security in Cloud Computing with two IT experts, Clio’s Jack Newton and Total Attorney’s Dave Dahl. When I host these shows, I try to keep things laid back and off the cuff so that our listeners will get the opportunity to hear candid discussions on a variety of legal industry topics. While the show always features many great experts, some shows really stand out above others for those golden bits of information that pop up during our conversations on air. Yesterday proved to be one of those golden shows. If you didn’t have time to join us yesterday, you can still listen to the show by visiting the Total Expert Radio page, but here are a few highlights from the show:
- What is cloud computing? It’s a broad term used in a lot of contexts, but for the purposes of the show, it’s any situation where you are hosting your software and data with an off-site provider and accessing that data through a web browser rather than keeping all of your data on your own servers in your office.
- Is cloud computing too advanced for my law firm? Every attorney is probably already using at least one cloud-based service: online banking, email, online shopping are all examples.
- Can cloud-based service providers do an adequate job of maintaining security and privacy for my files? If your office burns down, you fire a disgruntled employee or your computer crashes, your office may not be equipped to protect your data, but good cloud service providers will store servers in highly-regulated facilities, perform frequent security audits, and create built-in redundancy to maintain integrity and security of your data.
- How do I pick a service provider? While there is no official “stamp of approval” to certify cloud service providers, you can do background research and ask questions to determine whether a service provider uses all of the proper means of keeping data secure.
- Isn’t it easier to just use the software I already have installed on my computer instead of uploading my data to a web-based application? Cloud-based legal applications and services offer a lot of benefits: they cut down the time and cost of managing your own IT resources; updates, improvements and security patches are ongoing so no need to download new software or reboot; software constantly matures on a 24/7 basis so that you never have to learn a new program all at once or buy a new version of software after the old one becomes outdated; you have the freedom to work from anywhere and on any operating system as long as you can access the internet; plus, there are many other benefits.
After talking to Jack and Dave yesterday, I agree with something our CEO, Ed Scanlan, once said to me: “The term cloud computing will someday go away; it will just be called computing.” Check out the full show here, and join us next month on Total Expert Radio for a discussion on Contract Lawyering.