The Importance Of Secure File Sharing For Companies With Sensitive Data

July 5, 2017

PrintFile sharing solutions are ubiquitous now. If you run a Google search for “online file sharing services,” you’ll get pages of possibilities returned like secure file sharing, secure file transferring, virtual data rooms, Google drives and every other imaginable solution out there. In today’s high-tech world, businesses of all verticals, but especially legal, deal with sensitive data understand the importance of sharing files securely.  With the likes of Konica Minolta and Workshare file sharing solutions, we’ve come a long way in how we now protect our client and customer data.

In the olden days, when you needed to share a file, you would create an email, handpick the recipients, attach your editable file and keep your fingers crossed it wasn’t too large to get through the email filter. Or, you would have grabbed a blank CD, burned the documents to it (and reputation), and then placed it in the hands of a total stranger to courier across town on a motorbike. You wouldn’t have paid much attention to whether the method was secure, and you may have manually checked any changes that were returned against your original draft.

It’s easy to see the innate flaws in these outdated ways of working and why secure file sharing ranks so highly on the IT services agenda for most law firms. There are still, however, many companies that are not taking any steps whatsoever to protect privileged client information via email — let alone on other platforms.

What is secure file sharing or secure file transfer?

Assuming we aren’t sending high stakes documents via email or CDs anymore, “secure” file sharing means using a private network that’s password protected and hosted in a secure data center. This means that any parties invited individually to attend a group need to be authenticated before they are given access to any information. This also means that before a file is shared or loaded onto a document management system, it is scanned for sensitive metadata, which is then flagged to the owner or removed in accordance with company policy. Secure file transfer involves sending secure links via email to a “cleaned” document, rather than attaching the large or sensitive document to an email itself and hitting send.

None of these options are designed to get in the way of completing the actual job in hand or looking after the client. Security doesn’t need to be a barrier to completing a document exchange. These security measures can be handled very quickly and efficiently through automation of the right solution, with security built in, and workflow doesn’t need to be disrupted or slowed down.

Secure file sharing is important because of the very nature of the work law firms, insurance companies and so many others. Protecting a client and their confidential communications is rule #1 for any practitioner. The law industry, for example, has built its business and reputation around trust. With the exponential increase of cyber threats and the risk posed by human error, this trust cannot be put in jeopardy when exchanging documents using non-secure means.

Law firms use valuable resources to work on high-stakes client matters, so each document needs to be guarded with due care and attention. It’s crucial to protect documents not only because of client confidentiality, but also because of the number of hours poured into working on them, the metadata they contain and its market-sensitivity. Third parties will have malicious interest in the contents of law documents, from the words on the page to the metadata contained in the file. The sensitive information that’s accrued in one file alone could have the power to alter share-prices or reveal competitive intelligence.

Konica Minolta’s Dispatcher® Phoenix includes the Workshare connector, making this unique software solution better able to automate handling and identification of documents, ideal for the legal vertical market. The Workshare integration will address information governance issues surrounding content management, including document placement into file collaboration systems.

Dispatcher® Phoenix with the Workshare connector integrates legal professionals’ document and record management workflows with multiple platforms including but not limited to Outlook and Microsoft Office. These workflows now seamlessly extend into Workshare’s file sharing infrastructure and features file comparison. The solution addresses the industry pressures head-on, regarding content security issues and an increased need for ‘fee earner’ productivity therefore reducing operating costs for legal firms.

In a very modern, tech-savvy world, companies need the very best and most flexible solutions to securely share their files. Together, Konica Minolta and Workshare offer such top solutions to the legal and other security conscience environments.

Chris Bilello
Vice President, Solutions and Vertical Market Business Development

Chris Bilello facilitates product and solution sales to key government and major accounts, develops the company’s vertical market solutions strategy and manages Konica Minolta’s strategic partner alliances.