Application Service Providers -- Just DO IT!

ASPs – Security and Confidentiality are not a bar…

In a previous post I had a conversation with Dr. Michael Franz, a professor of Computer Science at UC Irvine. There were several intriguing insights in that conversation but the one that has caught my attention today is his views on ASPs (Application Service Providers). Dr. Franz was very clear and strong in his opinion that the use of ASPs is far safer then not from a Cyber Security point of view. Given Dr. Franz’s achievement in the field I take that as a serious endorsement to an opinion I have had for years.

If ASPs are the hands down winner for security reasons, then that leaves only confidentiality concerns. For years I have heard lawyers and Administrators protest the ASP model for security and confidentiality reasons. As Dr. Franz noted, now that organized crime has entered the Cyber Crime business, it will only be a matter of time before they find the information housed in all those law firm servers valuable.

ASPs are much more able and equipped to face the hackers, cyber criminal, viruses, backup issues, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes and the errant IT tech than most any law firm no matter how large. Even if you contract for only disaster recovery services please do yourself and/or your firm a favor: fight the technophobe in you or your firm. Learn the lessons of business the world over. You and your clients are not safer because you host your own applications and information. You are less safe every day! ASPs need to be part of your technology planning.

No one today questions the use of offsite storage of physical files with specialists like Iron Mountain Records Storage. No one would think of asking the Office Manage to take the physical files home for safekeeping. It escapes me why so many legal services organizations think nothing of sending the backup tapes home with the office manager or the IT Tech or the Bookkeeper. What is so scary about an ASP?