Dropbox in the law firm

I would like to write my first post on something that I see as a weekly occurrence.  This is the use of Dropbox to share company documentation, whether this be client or firm related data - who knows. Dropbox's Cloud storage is such a powerful platform, but it is difficult to ignore it or the dangers it may bring. Commenting negatively on Dropbox alone is actually very naive; there are a multitude of other options out there, most of which are probably less secure that Dropbox.

The issue I have around these Cloud storage platforms is the concept. The analogy that I like to use, is that of putting your personal belongings into someone else's house, someone who you do not know, and in a location that you do not know.  These belongings may be placed in a safe without being looked at, but they may also be left on the front doorstep for anyone passing to pick up.  The key is that you do not really know where it is, or whether it has been copied/backed up/moved/shared etc.  IT departments cannot control the data you share on Dropbox, it's out of the domain entirely.

In my view, the reason Dropbox and the like are used are simply through ease of use.  I know that if I need to get a large 200mb file to someone quickly, I can upload to Dropbox and send a link to whoever I want to; easy.

Within your firms IT department I am sure there are file transfer solutions that you are able to use, but maybe these take time to process.  IT need to put the power into your hands, enabling you to carry out the same transfer which is as easy as a Dropbox share, but in a secure internally managed manner.  I have seen solutions of point to point transfer in the past, but none seem to fit the bill.

For the business, an internally managed but externally facing Cloud solution would work.  These can be implemented fairly easily.  You see similar solutions within home networks, with the use of easy to use NAS drives.  The business drive needs to be there to initiate such projects however, and with firms dealing with big data now this is surely going to be a certain requirement of the near future.  One of the biggest benefits would be eradicating the need to USB drives/sticks, as the data won't actually be local on any device that an end user can touch, or lose for that matter.

A great article by D-Tech consulting covers some of the points I made in greater details - http://www.dtechconsulting.com/7-risks-dropbox-corporate-data/