Why legal departments begrudge the cloud

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Legal professionals are by their nature a skeptical and cautious lot, but the sharp rise in cloud-based applications being used by enterprises and law firms, as well as recent high-profile law firm security breaches, has many legal professionals reticent about entering cloud engagements.

“The buck stops with the lawyer,” says Michael R. Overly, a partner and intellectual property lawyer focusing on technology at Foley & Lardner LLP in Los Angeles. “You’re trusting the [cloud provider] with how they manage security,” and yet their contract language excuses them from almost all responsibility if a security or confidentiality breach occurs, he says. “One can’t simply go to clients or the state bar association and say the third party caused a breach, so it’s really not our responsibility.”

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