Over recent months, the legal industry has been quickly adopting iPads and discovering ways to use legal technology to enhance productivity. Because the iPad is so small and portable, the technology affords us yet another convenient way to take our documents and files with us when we leave the office. With the addition of the right iPad apps, we can do almost the same work on our tablets as we do on our desktop computers.
A popular app for accessing documents is Dropbox. Dropbox is a file-hosting service that syncs documents to the cloud. When you work on a document from Dropbox on an iPad, the changes you make automatically sync to all of your other computers that have been set up with your account. This fast, easy sync provides an amazing experience for users. Dropbox eliminates the need to copy files onto a portable drive to take with you, or email documents to yourself so you can put them on the computer you work on at home. Once you set up Dropbox on your computers and devices, the program does all the syncing for you automatically.
But attorneys often ask “Is Dropbox secure enough?” Because legal documents are so sensitive and confidential, security is definitely a high-priority concern. Attorneys often require more security measures than other types of users in their computer applications and technologies.
There are some concerns about recent instances of security breach with Dropbox. These incidents are a cause of concern for current Dropbox users who are unsure whether their information is safe. In August, 2012, Dropbox suffered a hacker attack. Here is what Dropbox reported, according to ZDNet.com.
“Our investigation found that user names and passwords recently stolen from other websites were used to sign in to a small number of Dropbox accounts. We’ve contacted these users and have helped them protect their accounts.”
Dropbox Adds Layer of Security
Dropbox does already use modern encryption methods to transfer and store data. And now, following these breaches of security, Dropbox has offered a further layer of security to users who wish to take advantage of it. Dropbox has added a two-step verification to all of its accounts. Two-step verification, once enabled, will require a six-digit security code in addition to your password whenever you sign in to Dropbox or link a new computer, phone, or tablet. This optional security layer is definitely recommended for professionals, especially attorneys.
But this added layer has not yet been made a default with the program. You have to enable this extra layer in your Dropbox account. Dropbox gives full instructions on how to enable this layer of security at its website.
Is This Enough Security?
Should you use Dropbox for sensitive files? Is this next layer of security enough for you to feel comfortable using this service? You need to ask yourself, how sensitive are the documents you would like to put into your Dropbox? We know from experience that technology changes so quickly, that services which are secure today might be unsecure tomorrow as hackers continue to look for ways to breach security. This is a question we ask ourselves every time we add a technology. Whether it’s attaching documents by email, or using a portable drive to carry digital documents around, or using services like Dropbox to make your work accessible, each time we have to weigh the security issue with the convenience and efficiency of using the new method.
If you like this article, you might also like to read our free report, “Five Technologies Every Attorney Must Have”.