• This is docSAFE

    docSAFE is the clever way to work. For anyone working with a client base – those in the professions, creatives – in fact, just about any kind of business – you’ll wonder how you managed without it before. It’s contemporary and innovative but surprisingly simple. docSAFE is a client portal – an online office with lots of functionality and clever stuff.

  • In the Cloud

    Working in the cloud is a concept. You are simply accessing a portal online and giving your clients secure access to do the same. In the portal you can store and work on documents, exchange information, collaborate, sign things off online – all in highly secure, backed up environment. It works across all your devices and even has its own mobile app.

What is GDPR and what should you be doing about it?

Infographic GDPR What is the GDPR? Firstly, the GDPR affects every business that holds personal information on anyone, be they employees, customers or suppliers. It is a rare business that does not hold a list of personal data of some kind, on or offline. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legal directive from the European Union for the protection of such personal data. It seeks to address the inconsistent data protection laws currently existing throughout the EU’s member states. Despite Brexit, the UK is still bound by this new law, not only because the UK has chosen to (because it makes sense) but trading with countries who operate under GDPR will be compromised if we don’t uphold the same standards. What’s the big deal? Failure to comply with GDPR could mean you risk being fined up to 4% of your company’s global annual turnover. Not only could your business suffer financially but you could also damage your reputation and credibility – who wants to do business with an organisation that doesn’t prioritise its clients’ security? So begins the 12 month countdown… What should you be doing? You must:
  • Keep a record of data operations and activities and consider if you have the required data processing agreements in place
  • Carry out privacy impact assessments (PIAs) on products and systems
  • If applicable to your organisation, designate a data protection officer
  • Review processes for the collection of personal data – do you ask permission? Many CRM systems encourage a dual confirmation (hence why you are asked to click a link via an email after registering with an organisation)
  • Be aware of your duty to notify the relevant supervisory authority of a data breach
  • Implement ‘privacy by design’ and ‘privacy by default’ in the design of new products and assess whether existing products meet GDPR standards
  • A really powerful solution that we recommend is to use a secure client portal and NEVER use email to distribute information of any kind. A secure portal like docSAFE means data doesn’t leave the portal but can be accessed by authorised people only
What else could help?
  • Educate your staff – and explain the implications
  • Set up internal systems for reporting a data breach
  • Make sure you extend your GDPR preparation to include any third parties who may have access to your data
  • Ensure you extend the policies to cover everything your store both offline and online
And if you don’t? There is a two-tier fine system that will kick in from May 2018. Tier 1 means that if a serious data breach occurs, putting data at risk, you will be fined up to £17.25m or 4% of the previous year’s annual global turnover – whichever is the greatest. Tier 2 can lead to fines of up to £8.6m or 2%, whichever is greater. How can we help? Talk to us. We are experienced in identifying the areas of your business that are vulnerable and need addressing for GDPR purposes. Not only that but we know how to implement layers of security for your business that go beyond government legislation. We care about protecting your reputation and credibility, especially for those in the professional sector whose business relies on discretion, the handling of sensitive documents and client protection.

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Can you be too safe online?

No of course not. Online security extends to your website, emails, social media and so much more. At Online Practice, when we are developing software and systems such as docSAFE (our established client portal), security is our number one priority, surpassing functionality and appearance every time. Why create something that is amazing if it’s not secure? Our layers of security include the inclusion of QR codes, 2 factor authentication, encryption and, of course, the https certification that is currently being pushed hard by Google (see our other blogs for more about this). We believe that a secure site, layered with several other security measures is the most powerful deterrent against hackers. And we can’t stress enough that hackers don’t just target the big boys – they have strong motivation to hack into any site. We offer unique QR codes alongside online signatures to strengthen security at every level. QR codes are not new but in the fight against online fraud and hackers, they are a being used increasingly as a way of increasing the ‘uniqueness’ of an online signature. We encode the security data within our QR codes, not the signature or date so it is tamper-proof. Ask us for more information, we are happy to share our knowledge!

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Why email isn’t safe…

We all know of instances where emails are sent to the wrong person. In most cases, this can be simply excused by human error and we move on. However, occasionally, and of course to journalists’ delight, it creates headline news as vast numbers of personal details are exposed or documents are leaked to huge detriment. But have you ever considered why email is not secure? Well, when an email leaves your inbox to wing its way – in an instant – to its intended recipient, it travels through an unknown number of servers. The point being, you don’t know who has access to those servers. It is possible, to a degree, to encrypt email contents before they leave you, with the encryption remaining in place until the email hits the recipient. This is a good solution but there are still some issues around the security levels of your recipient. This is why we advocate the use of one or more security levels – we provide QR code security, dual factor authentication and a number of encryption solutions. Above all, we recommend avoiding email for sensitive information and, instead, using a secure client portal – a sort of ‘pigeon hole in the sky’ where you can safely deposit documents that can only be collected by the intended recipient. Talk to us, together we can make sure you are as communicating as securely as possible.

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A sign of things to come…

Think about the number of things in your business day that need a signature. It is certainly a whole heap of admin that you can avoid by introducing electronic signatures across all of your operations.  There are so many benefits, here are just a few…
  • Fewer unnecessary meetings – save those for when you can make the time really meaningful
  • Less paper to store, photocopy and post – throw out those bulky filing cabinets
  • Tracking and following up missing signatures becomes a thing of the past – online signing gives you far greater control
  • Relegate your fax machine to the store cupboard (or, even better, the bin)
  • Oh the speed! Get signatures turned around immediately
  • Online signing can happen anywhere, from any device – remove excuses for delays
  • Online signatures are legally binding – a key point
  • Gain a business advantage by looking ultra professional and making doing business easier
These benefits make your decision simple. If you need further persuasion, why not consider the following uses? 1. Seal the deal – sales contracts For many businesses, signing sales contracts of every kind are key. By signing online you can move quickly and efficiently, ensuring your transactions are complete. This applies to property increasingly – if you have bought or sold property recently, just think of the time savings! 2. Trade agreements Finalise agreements easily. Agree terms with suppliers and distributors and ensure everything is locked down quickly. 3. Customer agreements Have key signatures in place when you sign up new accounts, set credit limits and upload client data – some of the many functions of signing up a new client. 4. Sign offs and approval Customer orders, meeting minutes, authorising changes – there are any number of reasons you might want to get a speedy online signature in order to proceed with a project or order. If your business is project-based in any way, facilitating authorisation is important. Often, changes or updates need to happen quickly and sometimes with the agreement of more than one party. Use docSAFE’s signing facility for this. You then have a copy of a legally-binding, signed document – safely stored for future use, if required. 5. HR heaven All of the paperwork involved with recruitment is easily managed with online signatures – from the initial applications to tax forms and pension arrangements, expenses and salary payments – online signing accelerates the process, stores copies of everything and ensures you are completely compliant. 6. Keep it legal  docSAFE electronic signatures are legally-binding throughout Europe and other countries (ask for details). 7. NDAs Non-disclosure agreements make the word go round in our ever-increasing litigious society. For employees, suppliers and other business parties, make sure all your NDAs are signed, up to date and safely stored. Ultimately, docSAFE online signatures make your business day more efficient, increase the speed of every transaction, are completely legal and safely store everything should you need to refer to it at any point. Life-changing!

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Why 2 factor authentication is something you need to know about

Why 2 factor authentication is something you need to know about It sounds a bit of a mouthful but in IT security terms, it is beautifully simple. For years now we have come to expect online access to anything containing our personal details to include an email address and password. That is standard but, if you think about it, woefully inadequate in terms of security. We are quite vulnerable if we tend to use the same email and, despite knowing better, the same or similar passwords for everything we log into (how else are we expected to remember?). Well, enter “2 factor authentication” to solve all. We have been working hard to get ahead of the game in terms of security – on every level. So, for access to docSAFE, our professional client portal, you log in using your email address BUT then, a unique PIN is sent to your mobile phone. No need for passwords and highly unlikely that a hacker would have your mobile phone. 2 factor authentication – a complicated name for a simple, beautiful thing.

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Cloud services for banks are now a possibility

Cloud Services for Banks are now a Possibility
Until now cloud computing services have not been an option for banks and other financial institutions. In fact they don’t really use email and other digital communications to a great extent. Across the many business sectors, banking clearly lags behind the others in terms of adoption of cloud service.
There are several factors that hamper the adoption of cloud computing in banking, aside from security concerns. Vendors are deterred by the demanding requirements by the banking sector that cover management, security and regulations.
However, Software as a Service (SaaS) or cloud application is fast evolving to close the gap on meeting such requirements. Cloud applications are well on the way to becoming part of banking technology. Vertical SaaS that is, cloud application specific to the financial sector is a highly viable model to address the concerns of financial sectors. Banking-specific cloud applications prove to have control, transparency and security coterminous with on-premise applications.
The adoption of SaaS is even speculated to have increased by 21.7% in 2016 according to Gartner. As cloud technology continues to grow in innovation and adoption across fields, more and more sectors are expected to benefit from it.
Related Article: Small Business can also Benefit from Cloud and Client Portal
Do you find this article informative? Learn more how docSAFE, the leading cloud storage provider, help you be more productive?

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Buyer’s guide to cloud collaboration tools

Buyer's guide to cloud collaboration tools
The cloud is the future of doing business. Service-based professionals such as accountants, creatives, architects and lawyers can all leverage the plentiful benefits of working in the cloud. Because there are a lot of options available in the market, we hope this comprehensive buyer’s guide to choosing the best cloud collaboration tools for your business helps.

User-friendly and intuitive features

Go for something with easy-to-use features that people can use intuitively. Don’t over-complicate the introduction of cloud working by choosing anything that needs a lot of brain-work. The whole point of choosing to work in the cloud is to make life easier!

Document sharing

Cloud collaboration tools allow users to work on a shared document in real-time. Ideally, choose someone to manage this who has  version and access control. Version control allows you to manage changes made on a document e.g see previous changes or restore to a particular version. Access control enables you to manage the accessibility of the file e.g control who can view or edit a file.

Security

You should consider security of paramount concern when choosing cloud collaboration tools. Look for one that is compliant with the industry regulations and employs the latest security standards like multi-factor authentication (MFA). With MFA, users need to log in to their account to access a document. But not only that, they are also required to enter a PIN code that is sent to their mobile phones for verification. Check out how it works.

Mobile functionality

Mobility is one thing that cuts cloud services above the rest. It enables you to access files anywhere, anytime as long as you have internet access. For the ultimate in increased productivity and convenience, choose a cloud provider who has mobility at the top of their agenda.

Electronic signing

Electronic signing is a more rare feature that should be in your list of cloud collaboration tools – especially for professionals in the financial and legal sectors. This feature enables users to authorise a document online by attaching an electronic signature – a real time-saver! Save face-to-face meeting time for the occasions when you can focus on the client and not their paperwork.

Technical support

Resellers are intermediary providers that purchase cloud computing services from actual developers. They are not always 100% capable of ensuring the quality and security of a collaboration tool that they are selling. Therefore we strongly recommend that you work directly with the owners or developers of the cloud collaboration tools you are looking to use.
Compared to other cloud collaboration tool providers, docSAFE offers products that sit on their own servers, created by their own real developers and have reliable technical support from real people!
Ask how docSAFE can help you. Contact Mike and his team on 0121 794 0685 or email team@doc-safe.co.uk. Click here to arrange a meeting.

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Why lawyers should use cloud services

Why lawyers should use cloud services
 Increasingly, and interestingly, organisations across the globe are adopting cloud services to replace old and traditional business processes. The year 2017 is expected to witness a great cloud migration and by 2020 it is expected that most working processes (92%) will take place in the cloud. Lawyers have every reason to join this migration.
Compared to using software traditionally – accessed via applications that reside on your computer – cloud services prove to be superior in every respect. By using software in the cloud, you’ll enjoy greater mobility (everywhere/real-time access), greater scalability and cost-effectiveness. What’s more, your software is always bang up to date – so no more upgrades or falling behind on versions of software you are using. This is because the software sits in the cloud and you access it from wherever you are, on any device, at a significantly lower cost than buying it outright. And… no more shelves full of dusty boxes containing outdated CDs!
That’s why more and more lawyers are switching to the cloud. In 2015, the American Bar estimated that 1 out of 3 lawyers were using the cloud in their practice. This percentage is set to more than double in 2017.
In an interview by Above the Law, Steven Ayr boasted of having a paperless law firm, saying: “For a firm like ours that’s growing quickly, [working in the cloud] is scalable and takes out a lot of our management costs since we don’t have to worry about having an in-house IT department.”

Cloud-based law firms are more appealing to clients

Steven Ayr further noted that clients tend to prefer working with them as they offer this level of technology. This is unsurprisingly as clients increasingly prefer online transactions and communications for their speed and to suit the way they work themselves – no one wants to rely on the postman for important documents and information to arrive.
Among the many cloud services available, there are 2 types that stand out as most useful to the legal team:
File and client management Sending and receiving documents via the postal system is too slow (if there’s an error in the information you eventually receive, the prospect of correcting it and posting back is extremely painful!) and email notoriously is not secure (how often have you received an email intended for someone else?). With cloud storage and management tools, clients and their lawyers can access important files anytime and from anywhere in the world. Users just have to scan and upload the documents to the cloud and anyone who has authorised access can view or edit the document. This can be done from all types of computer including using mobile devices and smartphones.
Electronic signature This useful tool is one of the most useful. It enables users to authorise a document by attaching an electronic signature to it. It saves time and money as it cancels the need for sending documents back and forth just to get documents signed. Just think of the number of documents a legal team has to have signed throughout the lifetime of any single project – this tool saves hours!

How docSAFE can help you

Docsafe offers cloud-based collaboration services tailored for the needs of anyone working in the legal sector. It offers the safest way to communicate sensitive documents with multiple layers of encryption to ensure there are no data leaks. Also, it has a legally compliant electronic signature tool with a full audit trail so you can be sure your authorisation will not be compromised.
Ask us how doc-SAFE can provide the cloud solution your firm needs: www.doc-safe.co.uk.

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Cisco forecast that nearly all workloads will be in the cloud by 2020

Cisco forecast that nearly all workloads will be in the cloud by 2020
Cisco revealed in its Global Cloud Index that 92% of all workloads will be in the cloud by 2020 and the rest will be processed in traditional data centres. This means that the workload density in the cloud will more than triple from 7.3 in 2015 to 11.9 in 2020. Within the enterprise segment compute and collaboration are the top contributor to workload totals while more predictably for consumers, video streaming and social networking are the two main contributors.
By 2020, the global cloud traffic will peak at an impressive 14.1 zettabytes per year, from a meagre 3.9 in 2015. This is due to a greater degree in data centre virtualisation that gives impetus to the growth of cloud migration. One important feature in this migration is the the increasing popularity of public over private cloud.
Cost effectiveness and the improvement of public cloud security are some of the reasons why enterprises are predicted to adopt the public cloud: “As the business sensitivity to costs associated with dedicated IT resources grows along with demand for agility, we can see a greater adoption of public cloud by businesses, especially with strengthening of public cloud security”
To read more about the Global Cloud Index, see the complete Cisco report here. Do you find this information useful?

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How cloud services help accountants

How cloud services help accountants
In the recent survey from Cloud Industry Forum, roughly 8 out of 10 UK enterprises are using cloud services and 6 of them are thinking about migrating 100% of their operations to the cloud. This trend is no different from the experiences of accounting firms and accountants that leverage the use of cloud services.   If you are unsure about what working in the cloud means – it really is a conceptual thing. The cloud represents a virtual storage, that is, storage that can be accessed from anywhere and doesn’t physically sit on your computer or company’s server. Thinking of it as being ‘in the cloud’ helps people to understand that it is ‘out there somewhere’!

There are many advantages that cloud services offer to accountants

Cloud computing enables accountants to increase capacity and update accountancy software easily. Many businesses no longer own software – they just work on the most recent version by accessing it via the Internet. It saves space on your computer and means you are always bang up to date.
It also helps accountants be more productive by eliminating repetitive tasks like data entry. Collecting financial data is way easier with the cloud. Clients just have to scan documents and upload them to the cloud where they can freely collaborate with their accountants in real-time, anywhere in the world. Working on one document saves a lot of confusion.

Why docSAFE is a cut above the rest

docSAFE offers a smart way of doing business with clients. Accountants can leverage its secure file sharing services, as sending files via fax and emails is just not secure enough. Cloud-based collaboration also enables clients to share files in real-time, so journal entries are up to date and tracked. They can do all from any device – computer, laptop, tablet and even with their mobile phones using the docSAFE app.
docSAFE offers an electronic signature function so you can officially sign an electronic file online. It is fast, secure and legal. We follow complete regulatory compliance and implement a full audit trail to back it up. More and more accountancy firms across UK are trusting docSAFE for its acclaimed system that saves time and money, ensuring a streamlined business process.
Learn more how docSAFE can help you. Contact Mike and his team on 0121 794 0685 or
email team@doc-safe.co.uk.
Click here to arrange a meeting.

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