Guide to Choosing the Best Online Data Storage and Backup for Law Firms
Contribution from freelance writer Jenny Holt, Cloud Storage Boss
Data storage, protection and recovery are important concerns for any business, including law firms. The legal industry is a fast-paced world where data accessibility is critical, enabling lawyers to pull all sorts of data to build up their cases. They need to be able to work anywhere, anytime as an individual or team. In addition, there are strict standards that must be complied with in accordance to the courts’ regulations, formats and even presentation on data handling. Data privacy and protection are also serious points making it important to install a secure storage solution for legal information. To avoid data crashes and loss, online backup solutions must be integrated in the data system. Here are key elements that you should consider if you are looking at offers from vendors.
Ability to Handle Large Scale Backup
When researching the best online backup solutions for your law firm, consider the vendor’s capability to handle large amounts of data. There are many types of providers that cater to the different needs of small to large scale businesses. If your firm has several employees, then you probably have a system where every worker uses different computers and devices. This means that the servers of providers should not run out of space for the volume of data that needs to be stored or backed up. Check for bandwidth limitations, file or storage restrictions as well as compatibility with your systems. You must also be able to secure a service agreement with the vendor that its data center has a guaranteed uptime. In the event of a power outage, check if there are backup sources of electricity to keep the servers and the system running.
Automatic Backup for Data
Seamlessly integrating your data system with the provider means that backups are automatic so that you don’t have to think about doing them manually. Every employee’s work must be saved or backed up to ensure that no valuable data is lost in the event of a system failure or crash.
Security for Data Protection
Security is potentially the most important factor that you when choosing an online backup vendor. It is essential to know where the provider’s physical equipment is stored or the location of the data center, even if it is a cloud solution you are opting for. The data center must be secured with surveillance cameras or security guards and access controlled by pass keys. It is also critical to know the location of the data center due to privacy laws or cross-border problems which can become very complicated. Imagine if you need access to data for depositions and you cannot retrieve them because they reside in another country that has tough laws on data privacy, for example.
Once you have looked at these aspects, you can then concentrate on technical aspects such as encryption of data. Check if your data is encrypted using the SSL (secure socket layer) method on two fronts: transmission and storage. Verify, too that it is you who own the data and not the cloud vendor. Remember that client information is confidential and you cannot redistribute or divulge the data to anyone. Look at liabilities in case of data breaches such as identity theft. Hence, it is very important to read the fine print of the terms of services and as lawyers, you must be able to look at these aspects in detail. If you have no time to do this at all, get a specialized service provider dealing with the legal industry who can take care of all your technology needs.
Photo by Luis Llerena
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