Law Firm Cloud Storage Strategy: Multi-Cloud
A hybrid multi-cloud, multi-vendor, data storage architecture should be a serious consideration for all law firms.
Data breaches in most industries can be traced back to the primacy of profits over protection. Another source of hacks relates to mindset or entrenched beliefs that are hard to break. Many senior managers ‘think’ they are doing an excellent job when it comes to IT data security. Managing Partners in Law firms are no different. Over the years they have watched the significant improvement in their IT services and the corresponding demand for increased budgets. The older Managing Partner may have been around when IT got their first seat at the management table. Unfortunately, increased budgets do not always mean enhanced data protection, they often just reflect a growth in data, exacerbating the problem.
What many fail to realize is that the incremental approach to improving IT services does not address the data security risks and potential liabilities of the firm. State of the art hackers have leapfrogged incrementalism and Managing Partners are missing the opportunities to address these bad actors, and improve their business, with transformational technology.
The American Bar Association reported in 2018 that;
‘…the percentage of firms experiencing a breach generally increased with firm size, ranging from 14% of solos, 24% of firms with 2-9 attorneys, about 24% for firms with 2-9 and 10-49, 42% with 50-99, and about 31% with 100+.’
While correlating having a big data center to a high probability of being breached may be statistically incorrect, the Law Firm’s IT Manager must be concerned about the lure of consolidated sensitive and valuable data, as well as the budgetary impact of storing and protecting that ever-expanding digital asset. In other words, bigger and more centralized on premises data storage should be going by the wayside.
The economic challenges of centralized, on-premises storage solutions can be addressed by the benefits of lower cost, on-demand, cloud services. As a direct result, organizations, including law firms, are migration to the cloud in a significant underway. In 2016 it was estimated that only 10% of corporate data was in the cloud, but according to ZDNet by the end of 2018 over 45% of all corporate data is in the cloud.
Unfortunately, in the legal community, until recently cloud migration was not enough. The thought of putting your corporate data or your clients’ data in the cloud was perceived as heresy. In 2013 Computer World stated;
‘Experts say there’s simply no way to ever be completely sure your data will remain secure once you’ve moved it to the cloud. You have no way of knowing. You can’t trust anybody. Everybody is lying to you,” said security expert Bruce Schneier.’
While Mr. Schneier’s opinion may have been somewhat intense, it is not without merit. Putting any sensitive data into a single cloud or hybrid cloud does not alleviate the issue of lack of trust and by extension, security for the still-consolidated data. This position, as far as it goes, is true. Just moving from an on-premises data center into a single cloud data center means you have just moved your data center – possibly to a bigger and more visible pot of gold!
For many law firms the cautious and expensive on-premises approach has continued to be the strategic choice. The major roadblock for law firm cloud adoption continues to be both the non-technical decision-makers or the old-school data center managers with their false belief that the cloud is inherently less secure. This keeps these firms from fully realizing the significant economic benefits of the cloud, as well as denying them the new opportunities for data protection offered by the cloud. That choice is no longer strategic. It is out-dated because it is based on a premise that is too narrow in focus. The issue is, migration to the cloud should consist of breaking each data element up and spreading the resulting fragments across more than one cloud.
Quite simply, Leonovus believes that corporate data is safer in a multi-cloud storage architecture than in a traditional data center. By properly de-centralizing and distributing the data, shredding and spreading it across multiple clouds, the trust issue goes away, the dangers of consolidation are avoided, and the cost savings of the cloud can be realized. Using Leonovus, the resulting hybrid multi-cloud data storage is secure, compliant and flexible.
A hybrid multi-cloud, multi-vendor, data storage architecture should be a serious consideration for all law firms. The three pillars of a law firm’s cloud strategy should be security, compliance and flexibility, which cannot be effectively and efficiently achieved either on-premises or with only one cloud vendor.