Cloud computing guidance
Guidance on the use of cloud computing has been issued this week by the Law Society of Scotland.
Whilst the availability of such technology has proved to be very popular with businesses including law firms, allowing them to reduce costs and increase flexibility, nevertheless there are potential drawbacks to using such technology, including breach of confidence, lack of security and access problems.
Paul Motion, convener of the Society’s Technology Committee, said that he believed the Society was the first legal regulatory body to issue guidance on cloud services. He went on to say:
“It’s essential that any solicitors considering using cloud computing do their homework to make sure that it meets their needs, both in terms of being able to provide the level of service they require and meeting all their security requirements.
“Many solicitors probably already use some form of cloud computing, for example Hotmail or Gmail and social networking sites, but it is important they analyse how they intend to use the system before choosing a supplier. Anyone considering using cloud technology systems should think about the importance of access to and security of client information to determine how stringent the pre-contract diligence and service legal agreement should be – think of your service level agreement as your insurance policy and be sure it meets your specific needs and ensure that security levels, equipment and connectivity are sufficient.
“Planning ahead is also key. A good cloud supplier will ask about your plans for expansion to ensure that they can provide what you need in the future. You should also establish which services would be included in your subscription costs and those that are additional – and make sure that you know about what back up will be provided if there is any system failure.”
The Society’s guidance on their website at www.lawscot.org.uk/rules-and-guidance/section-e/division-b-the-management-of-files,-papers-and-information/advice-and-information/cloud-computing—advice-for-the-profession