Writing legal briefs, appearing in court, scheduling client meetings. It goes without saying that the priority of legal practices is, well, taking care of the client. Anything that detracts from the core function of overseeing legal details goes against the purpose of a firm.
Unfortunately, many things related to the operations of a firm have absolutely nothing to do with practicing law. From filing documentation to dealing with employees, many functions of a firm are necessary to make the operation run effectively and protect an attorney's investment. Among those are backing up ever-growing computer files such as financial records, e-mails, correspondence and others. Unfortunately, those whose primary responsibility is to manage the office are often the ones confronted with tape rotation schedules, verifying backup integrity, validating data restoration and a myriad of other tasks involved in a comprehensive business continuity strategy. Because of these complexities and the time associated with them, many firms are not backing up their data at all. A few do so every day, but store the files in a closet thinking they're secure. At the end of the day, a well-meaning attorney or employee might remember to copy files to a tape or external hard drive, turn off the lights and go home. Mission accomplished.
Not so fast. If an attorney likes living on the edge, then he or she will continue with the manual process currently being done. The dangers involved in such antiquated activity are losing every single file and client record that is located on a server or office computer. In other words, lost documents, which could seriously compromise your reputation and precious billable hours.
Smart attorneys don't live on the edge when it comes to backing up important business files. They avoid the risks associated with failing to protect critical data. As old and clichéd as it may be, the "computer revolution" transformed the way businesses do business. There's absolutely no reason to risk losing critical data.
Protecting business data using a manual process with tape or external hard drives does not offer an adequate level of protection. The legal profession demands data backup and recovery without aggravation or hassle. Here is some important advice when developing a successful strategy:
1) Security - Backup files should be encrypted (256 – bit AES) to ensure total privacy. It's also vital that a chosen back-up vendor has a minimum of two geographically separated and fully redundant facilities located over 100 miles apart. Look for other important certifications like SAS 70 Type II. These qualifications ensure that a vendor has met high standards from a credible independent third party.
2) Automation and Validation - Update your manual process to a more consistent automated one so backups occur on a daily basis. Verify activities that have taken place and make sure that you are notified if any problems occur. What you don’t know can really hurt you.
3) Off-site - Data should be electronically stored off-site in case of disasters such as floods, fires or tornadoes. When employing the right technology, the process is automatic, thereby drastically improving disaster recovery.
4) Scalability – This is essential since data is growing faster than ever with the advent of digital images, e-mail and many other forms of technology. Establish guidelines for long-term archiving of data required for compliance and the removal of it when it becomes obsolete.
5) Retention schedule – You need to decide how long it is necessary to keep different types of data and files in order to meet any legal requirements. Do not settle for a service that only keeps 30 days worth of backups. You need to have flexibility to keep certain data longer than others and also be able to keep versions of files for as long as is required too. Setting up these types of policies on the front end will make your life so much better in the long run. Especially when you need to retrieve an old file. An experienced technician with a credible company can help you set this up when going through installation.
6) Service – Don’t settle for a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) web page or e-mail to be your level of service. A few companies still do things the old-fashioned way. The ability to personally speak with an experienced and highly trained technician or engineer to ensure any questions or problems are handled with the utmost expertise, is a rare service in this day and age. Don’t settle for second best service.
Implementation of important data backup and recovery tips like those above will allow attorneys and their staffs to do what they do best....take care of the client. So, how do you protect your data? Do you know if your firm is practicing these important items in your every day business? All of the above challenges that attorneys face today is why CoreVault is trusted by more than 15 Bar Associations representing more than 400,000 attorneys. CoreVault brings expertise, professionalism, support and trust to the services it provides to attorneys and businesses across the country. CoreVault is also ranked in the Top 5 by Backupreview. At the end of the day, CoreVault focuses on its core business: protecting data, thereby allowing law firms to focus on their core business...taking care of the client.
For more information, visit us at www.corevault.com, or call us toll-free at 888-356-2709.