More bad news for the Law Society – the future is cloudy (with no chance of meatballs)
More bad news for The Law Society of England & Wales as this time their warnings about the risks of lawful interception by intelligence agencies if they use Cloud services comes under fire.
Sam de Silva, a partner at Penningtons in Manchester and chair of the Law Society’s Technology & Law Reference Group, recently said that cloud technology increased the risk of interception. However according to Jeff Orr, CEO of IT & cloud services firm the Stack Group, claims made by Sam de Silva, have no basis in truth with Cloud servers – off-site data storage facilities operated by third parties – providing a higher level of protection than most law firms’ internal systems.
Orr believes that natural wariness over the security of data in the Cloud means the industry has been forced to ensure it meets a very high standard of security, making it safer than most legal firms own systems. “There is a constant cost pressure on law firms as the Government makes cuts to programmes like legal aid,” he said. “As such they tend to look at IT and digital security as areas where they can cut costs. This means that many firms have woeful on-site security. By contrast Cloud computing providers set very high standards of security to combat the false perception of security weaknesses.
“The belief seems to be that all Cloud services are delivered through the open internet. In fact many of our larger clients, including law firms, access our Cloud via private circuits. This delivers a reliable, high-speed service which is much more secure than the internet. Our standards are monitored by agencies such as the Cloud Security Alliance and are regularly audited and we meet exacting standards including international management standards ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 – a claim not many legal practices can make about their own IT security.”
Orr accepts that no system is completely secure, but adds that the cost savings to businesses and the commitment to constant investment in security made migration to Cloud computing a viable option for any firm.