Coronavirus’s Impact on Law Firms

Tara LevinCloud Computing, Legal IT

How Cloud Technology Can Aid Firms During COVID-19 Pandemic

According to the CDC, more than 75 countries have reported confirmed cases of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. From its origin in Wuhan, China, coronavirus has grown to be a global epidemic, prompting travel bans and quarantines in an effort to quell its spread.

As the disease travels rapidly through cities across the country and around the world, companies are being forced to either shut down operations entirely or pivot to remote work. This can prove difficult for many companies whose business is built around serving customers at the time and place they need it. For law firms, in particular, growing concerns of coronavirus have the potential to significantly slow down operations. Many firms find themselves struggling to pivot to remote work in this stressful time, which is bad news for the company’s long-term profit projections.

Cloud technology can be a good solution to this problem. With immense storage capabilities and improved ease of access, the cloud makes remote work easier than ever.

Cloud Technology Is Not as Foreign To Lawyers as It May Seem

While the concept of cloud technology may seem abstract and a bit confusing, your firm is likely already using it. Some files are too large to send via email, and third-party software must be employed to enable sharing. Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, and even Dropbox all fall into the cloud storage software category.

“The Cloud” itself is just another term for the internet. When something is stored in the cloud, it is filed away in an online database. The file is almost always encrypted and is only accessible to those who have the encryption key.

What do Lawyers Require to Work From Home?

Lawyers need access to their case files and documents pretty much around the clock when working on a case. The job is often characterized by long hours spent burning the midnight oil at the office, where physical files are kept under lock and key. To work from home, many lawyers at more traditional firms will have to tow heavy boxes of files home with them.

Lawyers Addressing Security Concerns With The Cloud

It’s no secret that people are wary of cloud technology’s security capabilities. In fact, Scientific American reported that millions of more users would consider online data storage if they were more confident in their data’s safety. Social media and recent data breach scandals related to it have created fear and a sense of distrust in the public, but those issues are actually separate from cloud storage technology.

In reality, data stored online is often safer than data that’s printed out and kept in boxes. Data encryption is a complex process that makes it extremely difficult for files to fall into the wrong hands. It scrambles data into an unreadable version of itself, and can only be unscrambled using a special key. To access information, someone would have to hack through the ciphertext to reveal the original message. This extra level of security is an effective deterrent when it comes to preventing cyber crime. While encryption used to be done mechanically, there are now computer algorithms that do an even more thorough job.

Law firms and private practices should err on the side of caution and enlist a professional service for assistance with safely migrating data and applications to a cloud-based solution.  Other security measures can be added as well, such as multi-factor authentication.

Why Choose Afinety, Inc.?

An advanced and secure solution designed for law firms, the Afinety Cloud Platform is powered by AWS, the largest cloud provider in the world.  Run all of your legal apps, such as iManage, ProLaw, TABS3, Worldox, TimeMatters and more in the Afinety Cloud Platform (ACP).  Law firms that use ACP have 24×7 access to their data from anywhere, offering their staff members the ability to work remotely when needed.  In addition, moving to the cloud completely eliminates the need for onsite servers and maintenance. For more information about how to move your firm to the cloud, browse our website or get in touch with us today.