How secure file sharing improves records management and workflow

Let’s face it: every business has sensitive information that should be kept private and confidential. However, your employees may need to share large documents or files with clients, or even just want a way to share files with themselves so they can work away from the office.

In order to avoid email size restrictions, in recent years, many employees have turned to retail file sharing solutions like Dropbox.

The problem is consumer solutions take away your company’s ability to manage and control that sensitive information.

“The company has no idea what’s going on with that document. It’s outside of their document management system. It’s outside of their file system,” says David Cramer, manager of business development in the Legal & Professional Services division at Blue Technologies Smart Solutions. “Not knowing what’s going on, frankly, scares IT managers, law firms and corporate legal departments.”

Smart Business spoke with Cramer about secure file sharing solutions that offer higher levels of security, manageability and integration to your document management system.

How have you seen this shift towards secure file sharing manifest?

This is clearly a trend both nationally and locally because large document sizes and email restrictions force business users to look into alternative solutions.

In Ohio, just in the legal space, larger law firms are gravitating towards these solutions a little quicker. But all firms — small, medium or large, as well as corporate legal departments — have these needs.

Security and privacy is extremely important to legal and professional services because of compliance regulations. Attorneys must send large files to clients or opposing council. They also are extremely mobile, accessing documents from home, court, a hotel, a client’s site or even the beach. As another example, your corporation might be in the middle of a sensitive merger or acquisition. You need to mitigate the risk and ensure all employees are adhering to the corporate standard, rather then moving information in a manner that’s outside of company policy.

Commercial secure file sharing solutions offer more control. How else can they benefit your business?

First and foremost, these solutions keep the management control inside your firm or company so all shared content is secure. Everything is very intuitive and easy to use. There are no restrictions on the size of documents or amount of content that can be stored. An employee can quickly set up a secure file sharing space, and your company has explicit control over who has access. You can limit the number of days the file is available or whether someone has full edit or read only capabilities.

In addition, there are process improvements, such as moving documents along faster, easier file locating and sharing, and helping maintain a paperless environment.

Many companies have difficulty tracking a document that’s been revised multiple times. Secure file sharing solutions have audit control so everybody knows the latest version of the document. You can trace back all actions, such as when someone opened up a document or what day and time a document was edited.

Some of these solutions also have integration points to document management systems so you can leverage a system you’ve heavily invested in, such as SharePoint.

Finally, these solutions allow anywhere, any time access with a computer or tablet.

How do you recommend employers get started with determining whether secure file sharing is right for them?

Often, organizations don’t realize employees are using consumer products for business documents and files. The first step is figuring out if you have a need. With the help of technology experts, you can find out what’s going on already. Then, you can determine how to lower your risk.

There are a growing number of solutions coming into the marketplace, including those that store documents in the cloud or on premise. Your technology advisers can help you determine what solutions work best with your existing technology portfolio and strategy, because this is very much a here-and-now need.

Insights Technology is brought to you by Blue Technologies Smart Solutions