The American Lawyer's Annual Technology Survey

October 29, 2014
Salt Lake City, UT

Some interesting stats and a nice article by Alan Cohen on the topic of data security in this years' technology survey of the Am Law 200 firms. A notable point is that there is no consensus as to which is the #1 security concern for top firm executives. However, the top three security issues for 74 of the top 200 firms are:

  1. Insiders taking intellectual property out of the data network (27%)
  2. Not knowing if data has been compromised (21%)
  3. Outsiders trying to break into the data network (19%)

The rise in security concerns is in part due to the pressure clients are putting on their firms. The pressure is coming in the form of audits, and lengthy questionnaires. "Five years ago, we didn't have security audits," Gary Becker, the CIO at Reed Smith, stated. "We've had over 15 of them this year."

The response to increased security pressure is to add additional technology and human resources, but this is straining, as some firms are dealing with decreased budgets. Both of these factors are leading firms to look at new ways of doing things, especially when there is the possibility of doing "more with less" as the article points out.

"If you had asked me three years ago if I was going to be moving my document management system to the cloud I would have said absolutely not," says John Green, CIO at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. "But the [traditional] vendors haven't been focused on evolution. And then you look at a [cloud] company like NetDocs, which has made huge strides and put in a lot of security. … I haven't pulled the trigger, but I'm looking very closely at it."

As a cloud-based provider, we're especially thrilled to read in the article the diminishing concerns among respondents about moving applications to the cloud. And it will be the innovative providers who will help firms address the important security concerns and leverage cloud technology, as the "long-established vendors offering on-premises software" haven't been able to effectively meet the security and innovation needs of today's modern practice.