Natural Disasters & The Role of Law Practice Management Software


(Photo credit: BlackmanVision)

In the past 12 months, we’ve all seen the devastating results of natural disasters. In addition to the personal losses, Hurricane Sandy impacted thousands of businesses and caused over $60 billion in damage. Last year’s Colorado wildfires caused over $100 million in damage and affected hundreds of businesses. The tornadoes in Oklahoma the past few months wiped out homes and businesses resulting in at least $2 billion in damages.

Are you prepared if your law firm is hit by a similar natural disaster?

One way many businesses prepare for such occurrences is to have a documented disaster recovery plan ready to be put into action when needed. As more critical documentation is stored in digital form, this type of contingency plan is an even more important component of your business strategy. If all your documentation is stored on site at your firm, any adverse impact could destroy your IT systems and wipe out all your data. That would likely be fatal to your business.

One way to avoid that is to ensure that all your digital files are backed up. Some businesses use offline media like separate hard drives that they store in a separate location. That method could work, but it can easily lead to inconsistent implementation. Furthermore, unless you have someone specifically assigned to make regular backups, this process can be woefully inadequate.

As we’ve discussed previously, a simpler and more reliable way to make sure your data is safe and secure is by using cloud-based computing. Using cloud-based law practice management software is an effective method for keeping your case management documents and data files safely stored. Not only does using a web-based solution for your documentation management ensure safety and security, but it also provides additional benefits such as online data sharing and communication.

Before choosing your cloud-based solution however, make sure your provider offers the following to ensure both physical and digital protection:

  • Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud
  • Non-descript physical locations protected by military grade perimeters
  • Physical access controlled by two-factor authentication and 24-hour security staff
  • Full strength encryption
  • 128 bit SSL/TLS security for data transmission
  • 256-bit AES encryption when storing data
  • Unique keys for every item to provide an additional layer of security
  • Durable S3 data backup and storage
  • Regular backups with data integrity validation on every individual update

There is nothing you can do to prevent a natural disaster from hitting. However, you can take the necessary precautions to mitigate its effects. Keeping your documentation and data in a reliable cloud-based solution is the most important step you can take to ensure that your firm survives in the event that tragedy strikes.

–Matt Spiegel

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