Many law departments and firms are using extranets to reduce costs and improve secure communications.

Providers of extranets–whether law firms or legal technology vendors–emphasize the security features of their collaboration systems.

Regarding the security of Fenwick & West’s sharerooms, Chief Technology Officer Matt Kesner says, “We encrypt the full hard drive on every desktop and laptop computer and follow industry standard security protocols. If requested, we can provide additional layers of security including separate databases or servers and one-time password key fobs. We log every instance of access by item, time, and user. We also use third-party security consultants to design, test and monitor our extranets.”

Scott Giordano, corporate technology counsel at Mitratech, says control over the security of the data is one reason companies prefer to have their own extranets. Data security can be provided behind a company’s firewall, in an extranet demilitarized zone (DMZ, that area of the network isolated from the public Internet and the private LAN), or in the SAS 70 Type II environment of a third party hosting vendor, Giordano says.