When FTP Sites Aren't Enough, Law Firm Chooses Secure Mobile File Sharing

— January 02, 2013

Allens Linklaters (Allens) provides legal services for many corporations and institutions, including 55 of the world's top 100 companies, eight of Australia's top 10 public companies and 77 of Australia's top 100 public companies.

When the firm's employees needed to send large legal documents to a colleague across the country or to a client around the globe, there were two options: burn the files to a CD and ship to the recipient or send files via FTP. However, both options forced users either to rely on IT's involvement for FTP transfers or to wait for recipients to receive shipped CDs, which wasted potential billable hours. Plus, these processes created possible security risks, with uncertainty about whether files had been received, opened or reviewed.

"We could have easily allowed employees to use consumer-grade solutions ... that, on the surface, would have gotten the job done," said Shawn Schmidt, infrastructure manager with Allens Linklaters. "But, we knew our firm and our clients needed something they could trust and rely on."

In addition to being able to track and report on file transfer activity, Allens wanted to support the mobility of its client base, allowing users to access documents from anywhere, whether on an Android smartphone or tablet, iPad or another mobile device. And most important, that mobile access had to be both intuitive for users and offered through a hosted on-premise solution, thus minimizing the IT involvement.

Evaluating the Options
Allens tested eight solutions and immediately narrowed the search to two based on functionality, but Accellion was the sole vendor that provided numerous deployment options, allowing Allens' to host the solution on-site. Accellion provides secure mobile file-sharing and compliance solutions for enterprise and government and counts L'Oreal, Genentech, NASA and Harvard Medical School among its clients.

Next, the Allens tested Accellion among select internal users, evaluating the breadth of features and ability to easily share information across geographic boundaries, and it passed with flying colors. Plus, Allens cited Accellion's price per functionality as a major differentiator providing the most robust solution for the best value.

"Where our data is transported and ultimately resides is very important to us and our clients," said Schmidt. "Now our attorneys can collaborate on upcoming cases, maintain up-to-date visibility into how their documents are being accessed, and rest assured that confidential information stays out of the wrong hands."

Accellion is also being used by the firm's IT department to boost support response times. While the support team traditionally relied on FTP, users now go to Accellion Secure File Transfer to upload support logs and troubleshooting data, providing a one-stop shop for sharing IT help desk information.

With Accellion Mobile Apps, the firm's attorneys, IT help desk staff, clients or external partners gain mobile access to the information they need at the moment they need it. Whether in the airport, en route to a meeting, or at home, users can work securely and workers on the go can safely save files (in an AES256 bit encrypted container) on the device for future offline use or securely send links to files or folders to desired parties.

Provided a go-to source for attorneys and clients to share sensitive case information
Allowed IT support group to quickly distribute troubleshooting documents
Secure global collaboration
Enabled attorneys and clients on the go to easily access and share key documentation
Hosted on-premise to provide tight security control, with minimal IT support
Eliminated employees' reliance on FTP services
For an added layer of mobile device security, Allens is also deploying Accellion Mobile Apps in conjunction with mobile device management (MDM) vendor MobileIron, allowing for the ability to remotely wipe the device of confidential data in the event the device is lost or stolen.

Allens also took advantage of Accellion's custom branding, so that clients know they're uploading their confidential information into a trusted solution that carries the firm's name.

"Our clients' requirements are even more important than our own," said Schmidt. "Being able to safely browse, edit, share, and send corporate and auditable information from anywhere – and track where that data resides – is a big priority for our clients and we've made it happen with Accellion."

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