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In-House or Third-Party Vendor? What’s Best for Your Cloud Storage

By Mary Ellen Bellusci, President, Needles Case Management Software  |  October 2, 2017
Art: Cybersecurity Audit Ready

Pumai Vittayanukorn/Shutterstock

Many law firms vigorously debate the pros & cons between maintaining an in-house cloud data storage system and contracting these services out to a third-party vendor. The primary issue, of course, is security. Which system will keep your data safe from cyber-crooks and malicious hackers? There are pluses and minuses for each. Following is a brief rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of in-house and third-party cloud storage vendors.

In-House Cloud versus Third Party Vendor

Cost control, especially for law firms looking for a leaner and more nimble business model. While law firms can shop for the most cost-effective third party vendor, law firms can keep costs down by hosting their own cloud.

ADVANTAGE: In-house cloud hosting

Cybersecurity. While it is possible to assemble a crack in-house IT staff with world-class skills in cloud maintenance and security, your firm might be vulnerable to breaches caused by errors by support staff and attorneys. A common staff error is the unintentional erasure of important applications and data. While many law firms may perceive they have more direct control over cybersecurity when they operate on-premises cloud storage systems, this perception could be an illusion. Third party vendors are less likely to make human errors because their reputations depend on their ability to protect critical data.
ADVANTAGE: Third-party cloud vendor

Hardware Failure
Cloud hardware can fail no matter where it is located, and hardware failures are one of the major causes of data loss. However, most cybersecurity experts believe that outside vendors are more likely to maintain hardware more efficiently than an in-house IT team.

ADVANTAGE: Third-party cloud vendor

What’s the Bottom Line?

The pluses and minuses add up in favor of choosing an outside vendor for cloud storage services. However, a tech-savvy law firm can tip the scales in favor of an on-premises system as long as it hires a world-class IT team that consists of both hardware and cyber security experts. Law firms opting to maintain their own cloud storage systems must create a sophisticated, comprehensive training program to ensure that support staff and attorneys know how to enter and protect data while keeping mistakes to a bare minimum.

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