Securing The Paperless Office

The Lawyerist recently wrote an article about cloud computing and the paperless office. They suggested that lawyers can depend exclusively on DropBox (a cloud storage provider I wrote earlier about) and a backup on an external hard drive. I disagree. In my opinion, DropBox may work fine for a true solo attorney, but a law firm with multiple employees needs a network-attached storage device for security and discretion reasons. There is no automatic way to encrypt the data before it is submitted to DropBox for storage, so all of your client data is just sitting there on their computers. Also, if the Internet goes down, you lose access to your data. Lastly, DropBox makes no warranties about their service being secure or reliable.

I previously wrote about my firm's file server, a network-attached storage device made by Synology. It has been absolutely stable and dependable for the year or so that we've had it. The software automatically encrypts all the data using AES. All of our computers back up onto it, and we can access the documents on the web via a secure website. It took about an hour to set up, and most of that was just waiting for the formatting of the hard drives. Windows 7 easily maps the device as a network drive, and the website was easy to set up as well.

To the extent an attorney has multiple employees in the office, a network-attached storage device is absolutely essential for any attempt at running a paperless office. Not only can users access the same data locally, it's also much faster to edit these huge PDFs rather than download them from DropBox. A true solo attorney without any assistants can rely on DropBox and an external hard drive backup. Any more significant operation, however, requires a NAS.


  1. There are cloud backup systems that do encrypt all data.
    Take a look at Mozy and JungleDisk (to mention two, somewhat different, services).


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Claim Your Profile to Help Prevent Identity Theft

Best Chrome Plug-Ins 2017