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Lawyers in the Cloud (And Their Data)
Arizona, New Jersey, and New York bar associations have all issued guidances for lawyers regarding cloud storage of sensitive attorney-client information. In general, they find the practice is permissible if reasonable care is used to vet and monitor the cloud provider’s security measures. For example, the New York bar stated, “[A] lawyer may use an online ‘cloud’ computer data backup system to store client files provided that the lawyer takes reasonable care to ensure that the system is secure and that client confidentiality will be maintained.” New York State Ethics Op. 842.
The question, of course, is “what constitutes reasonable care?” For example, if a cloud provider has a good record of security and has a great SAS 70 Type II audit report, but specifically disclaims any liability for security breaches and offers only minimal confidentiality protection, is this good enough to satisfy the “reasonable care” requirement? No one knows. What is clear is that, just like all other businesses, lawyers must be cautious in this area and thoroughly vet their cloud providers.
Thanks to cloud computing, your business data is everywhere and being accessed by everyone. Making the wrong decision to protect your data can result in high costs, increased risk and executive exposure. View this live webinar on cloud security and the evolving data center, and learn why a data-centric approach to security is the best bet for today's virtual environment.
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