This American international law firm employs more than 2,500 attorneys with offices in Washington D.C., Silicon Valley, Paris, Beijing, and many more locations around the world. Consistently ranked as one of the most prestigious law firms in the world, the organization has a gross annual revenue in excess of $1.2 billion, and advises clients on complex litigation, corporate, restructuring, and tax and benefits matters.
The law firm sought to modernize how its attorneys accessed and collaborated on files by moving to a cloud-based platform. Not only would such a deployment help the firm take advantage of low-cost cloud economics for file storage, but it also would enable users to access and share files from any location and from any device.
As much as the firm wanted to modernize its file services, its top priority was to protect sensitive and confidential client information. If a file collaboration service could expose any part of firm or client data to unauthorized users, then it was removed from the organization’s consideration. Through its internal testing, the firm found public shared SaaS solutions for file sharing were not capable of enabling the firm to retain 100% control of its data in a private cloud environment. The firm searched for a solution that balanced the productivity needs of users with the file security and privacy requirements of the IT organization.
The CTERA Solution
Following a rigorous security and testing process, the law firm selected CTERA’s pure private, behind-the-firewall solution for enterprise file sync and share. CTERA Drive Share met the firm’s requirements for high security and data governance, while also allowing users to easily access files wherever they are, and to share and collaborate on files with internal and external parties.
The CTERA platform is deployed entirely behind the firm’s on-premises firewall, while Amazon Web Services’ S3 serves as a scalable and cost-efficient file storage backend. The firm leverages its own virtual private cloud (VPC) on AWS to ensure complete privacy of data with no third-party access (the firm generates and manages the encryption keys). CTERA Drive Share connects user devices to the secure AWS storage bucket, enabling them to access files from their choice of device and location. Files are encrypted both at-rest and in motion using the highest levels of encryption.
“CTERA enabled us to make a smooth transition to cloud-based file sharing, CTERA offered the only solution that balanced the content collaboration requirements of both our users and our IT organization.”
“CTERA enabled us to make a smooth transition to cloud-based file sharing,” the law firm’s IT director said. “CTERA offered the only solution that balanced the content collaboration requirements of both our users and our IT organization. Attorneys have the modern, cloud-supported file sharing tools they want to be productive while organizationally we retain ultimate security and control over our data.”
CTERA Drive Share met a variety of deployment and integration requirements outlined by the law firm. CTERA’s seamless integration with the firm’s Active Directory and Single Sign-On meant the IT organization could easily maintain existing user groups and access permissions from its legacy infrastructure – something the firm could not achieve when testing third-party SaaS file sharing solutions. As well, CTERA Drive Share successfully integrated its mobile application with the law firm’s preferred mobile device management (MDM) tool, MobileIron. As well, CTERA’s Outlook plug-in enabled the secure and efficient delivery of large email attachments.
For the attorneys, CTERA Drive Share enables the same easy access to their files as they have with consumer-focused products. Users can sync folders and files directly to their desktop, and access them through native operating system tools like Windows Explorer and Mac Finder. CTERA Drive Share also allows users to create secure workspaces that external collaborators can join through a range of authentication method(s) as selected by the firm. These workspaces can be designated as preview-only, so others cannot download, copy, print or modify the files in them. Access to the spaces can be assigned expiration dates, and removed at any time for individual users.
In addition, CTERA Drive Share enables the law firm’s IT organization to reduce data leakage and privacy violations by delivering a ‘collaboration firewall,’ which provides the power to restrict file sharing to designated users and groups. Administrators can restrict external file sharing to specific IP ranges and domains, and even to specific external email addresses, as well as customize alerts and enforce granular logging and reporting for full audit trails. Additionally, the law firm privately branded the CTERA solution to drive internal adoption amongst attorneys.
“Our attorneys are focused on minimizing legal risk as they share files: that only authorized parties can access files; that file access and sharing can be tracked; and that they comply with internal and external confidentiality and compliance regulations. CTERA is integral to these efforts, providing both users and IT the means to minimize risk and protect the confidentiality of legal documents.”