Virus checker issues led to intermittent upload failures for Safe4

At around 9:30 GMT on Friday 26 January 2018 the Safe4 system began to experience intermittent failures when uploading files. This was displayed to users as a “rejected” message in the web user interface or an error message if using the Safe4 API.

Investigation showed that the issue was caused by an intermittent failure of the virus scanner that is used to check every file uploaded to the system. This was traced to an error in the virus signature files used by the virus checker – the updated signature files relied on a capability in the core virus software that had not yet been released. The root cause was therefore configuration control by the provider of the virus software.

Once the problem was identified by the virus team an updated set of signature files was released. Normal service of Safe4 was restored by approximately 3:30 GMT on Friday 26 January 2018.

The virus vendor has advised that they are reviewing their release processes to ensure that this situation does not recur.

All of the other functions of Safe4 were unaffected by this problem, and consequently no other activities suffered any disruption.

We would like to apologise for the inconvenience that this issue caused to our customers, and for their clients and associates.

Slow progress for GDPR across Europe

Most EU member states are not making much progress towards preparing their own legislative position for the effective date of the General Data Protection Regulation on 25 May this year, according to an article published today. As many UK businesses are aware, the Information Commissioner’s Office has been issuing guidance and warnings on GDPR for quite some time, but as yet response across many sectors has been patchy.

We at Safe4 have already started the process of making our highly secure information delivery and storage service GDPR-ready, so that our customers can use the system with confidence, knowing that their own compliance programmes will be strongly supported. This will involve relatively minor changes to the system, and our plan is to have these adjustments ready for deployment by the end of March 2018, well in advance of the date when the Regulation comes into force.

For more information on how Safe4 can help your business to become GDPR compliant, please contact us.

Safe4 version 5.03 is released into production

The ongoing development of the Safe4 secure information management service continues, with version 5.03 being announced and available for use today.

In addition to a series of internal enhancements, the new release now offers customers the ability to manage users through a single console interface. Safe4 customers have increasingly found it useful to offer their services through multiple provider accounts, in order to allow differential branding and nomenclature to reflect the specific business application in question. Users have hitherto been added to new vaults and provider accounts through an invitation process.  This will continue for new users, but those who already have a Safe4 account can now be added to additional vaults and providers through a new interface available to the system administrator. Similarly, removal of user accounts can now be accomplished very rapidly without having to enter each vault to which they had access.

There are many other system developments in the Safe4 product pipeline. If you would like any further information, please get in touch with us.

GDPR compliance – what will it mean for you?

Most of us now are receiving a barrage of email relating to the need for GDPR compliance in our inboxes.  Consultants, assessors, seminar organisers, and a host of others are trying to get our attention in advance of the date when the General Data Protection Regulation comes into force in May this year.

Some of this communication is helpful, but the majority seems to be opportunistic.  It is refreshing to come across a realistic and well-considered article that highlights the simple facts about GDPR – there is no magical solution to make any organisation compliant, just the realisation that the only effective approach lies in a thorough review of the information that is being used, who uses it, how it is managed and transmitted, and what protection measures have been taken to safeguard it.

Safe4 can help to support GDPR compliance

Every organisation, of any size or structure, will have to make sure that its information management house is in order to become compliant with GDPR. No IT system can perform this service, but a compliance programme will be more successful if it is underwritten by applying technology that allows the necessary processes to be properly implemented. We at Safe4 are making some minor changes to the way the system works to make sure that it will offer full support for GDPR. But the responsibility for achieving compliance will still lie with the organisation itself, and how it manages its own activities.

We will be publishing further information about the changes that the Safe4 system will undergo in the coming months. The basic design and architecture of Safe4, as well as other factors including UK-only storage in ISO 27001-accredited data centres, full encryption of data, no reliance on email to carry confidential information, a full audit trail of all activity, and contractual arrangements under English law already provide an effective platform for ensuring best practice in the management of information.

For more information on how using Safe4 can assist your organisation to comply with GDPR, please contact us.