Government surveillance threatens law firms’ cloud data security, regulator warns
Widespread data snooping by the US National Security Agency (NSA), as revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden, could threaten the security of cloud computing for law firms acting in confidential merger negotiations, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has warned.
In a detailed paper on the risks associated with cloud computing, Silver Linings: cloud computing, law firms and risk, the authority concluded that due diligence over outsourcing data processing, such as cloud computing – the use of the internet to store data remotely – should take into account government surveillance as a risk factor.
The SRA went out of its way to demonstrate that it understood the positive benefits of cloud computing, in particular for firms wishing to reduce overheads, for example with a ‘virtual’ practice model, and access their data remotely. It noted that cloud providers generally pay close attention to data security. It stressed its code of conduct does not prevent its use.