Law firms that utilize Microsoft SQL Server 2008 must prepare now for end of support on July 9, 2019. SQL server is the backend of popular case management software such as Lexis Nexis Timematters and PCLaw, Aderant Total Office and others. See announcement by Microsoft: Announcement regarding SQL Server 2008 end of support.
That means that known security holes will no longer be updated by Microsoft free of charge and networks that contain Microsoft SQL 2008 servers will be vulnerable to hacking, malware and viruses if not updated. Two options for upgrading are Microsoft Azure SQL Database service or Microsoft SQL Server 2017 software. (SQL Server 2019 has not been publicly released as of this writing). Azure Database is a fully managed relational cloud database service on the Microsoft Azure Cloud.
Both options improve security by instituting encryption by default, both at rest and in transit, what Microsoft calls “Always Encrypted”. For more information on this feature see: Always Encrypted.
Planning and preparation are key to a smooth transition. This should include an evaluation of front end applications, such as case management software, to ensure compatibility with the latest platforms.