Safe4 achieves Cyber Essentials accreditation

Cyber Essentials Badge Medium (72dpi)

The Cyber Essentials accreditation scheme was implemented by the UK Government to establish criteria for the management of information in order to prevent intrusion from external attackers.  Accredited organisations are entitled to display the Cyber Essentials logo, which confirms that they have met the standards required.

Safe4 have received this accreditation, and we are now able to display the Cyber Essentials badge on our website and our secure cloud service.

This is part of an ongoing process to ensure that Safe4 remains one of the most secure sites on the internet.  It is accompanied by annual penetration testing, performed by licenced external laboratories, and constant surveillance of the ever-growing range of internet security threats.

The objective is to ensure that Safe4 customers’ data is protected to the highest standards available, and that our user community in the legal, financial, insurance, health and government sectors can trust their confidential information to Safe4.

For further information, please refer to the Contact page on our website.  We would appreciate an opportunity to speak with you.

Safe4 Information Management Limited

February 2015

New Feature: Index of files in a vault

Recently a number of customers, particularly in the Legal sector, have been asking for assistance with producing an index of all of the files in a vault. Discussing the reasons behind these requests with our customers has shown that while the folder structure is a convenient way to manage the contents it can make it hard to get an overview of the complete vault.

This problem is exacerbated as our users have gained confidence in the usability and security of Safe4. The service is being used for increasingly complex projects and matters involving larger numbers of participants.

Safe4 customers are building increasingly large folder structures and using the advanced security and encryption capabilities in the system to store ever more files – some vaults now have over 100 folders and some contain in excess of 10,000 files.

While the Safe4 servers are more than capable of handling these large vaults – their very size can make it hard for the users to understand the complete vault and to focus their attention where necessary.

To assist with these situations Safe4 are pleased to announce a small new feature that enables Provider users to quickly produce an index of files in a vault.

Accessible from the Action menu on the Clients page, this function produces a simple index of all of the files in a vault in a format that can be saved as HTML or copied into Excel for further processing.

This new feature is available in Safe4 today.

The index function respects the security established in the vault – so a user producing an index can only see those files they are entitled to view.

We are very pleased to see our customers make increasing use of the secure distribution, collaboration and storage facilities in Safe4.

Features, such as the new vault index function, are especially important as they are the result of feedback from our users. We hope that this new capability in the system makes Safe4 simpler for users working with the large volumes of critical information produced in many projects.

Alistair StubbsChief Technical Officer

Later updates to the system will make this functionality available to Client users, and will simplify the process of exporting the index to Excel.

Safe4 Launches New Website

Safe4 is very pleased to announce the launch of a newly designed website. In developing the new site we have tried to ensure it contains information for both prospective and current customers.

As well as a new design, which you will see roll out across all our material in the coming months – we have restructured the website to help you find the information you need more quickly.

The site is structured around the benefits and features of the Safe4 service that any business will obtain by making use of the solution. While these provide important information we have added a much clearer section on “Business Sectors” which provide specific examples of how the Safe4 service can deliver specific benefits in a range of industries and business sectors.

Covering Legal and Professional, Finance, Property, Health, Public Sector and Corporate uses these pages provide a lot of insight into how Safe4 can supplement your existing processes and deliver significant returns.

We have also taken the opportunity to make it easier to find Case Studies, and detailed White Papers applicable to different industries which provide much more detailed information on how a business can maximise the value of using Safe4.

Finally News and Articles have been provided which list product development news, customer announcements, security advice and other business ideas.

We hope you like the new design and the structure of the information in the site. Please do let us have your feedback and suggestions for more information you would like to see in the system.

Reporting of carbon emissions is becoming an issue – and soon

New legislation will shortly be putting pressure on many organisations to reduce their carbon footprint.  This applies to small and medium-sized companies too, if they are suppliers to either public-sector organisations, or corporates that fall within the scope of the UK Carbon Reduction Commitment requirements (annual energy expenditure of more than £500,000, or listed on the LSE main exchange).

But before any organisation can start to think about reporting on their carbon footprint, they must of course measure it – what is the starting point?  This will almost certainly involve the need for specialist skills and tools – hence the importance of the partnership between Safe4 and Co2conut.  Safe4 can assist with bringing down carbon emissions by reducing dependence on paper and hard-copy information deliveries; Co2conut can provide expert guidance, and access to tools that will help with the accurate measurement of current emissions.

How does this issue affect your business?  We would be glad to hear from anyone who has a view on this issue – please post your blog entry below.

Safe4 Moves All Customer Data to the UK

Moving to the UK

You will have seen the announcement by Ben that we have moved the hosting of the Safe4 system from servers based in the US to the UK, where the majority of our current customers are based.

This means that all your files and data are now stored in the UK. This can, in most cases, make it much easier for you to comply with Data Protection requirements.


Like a lot of internet services, Safe4 is run in the “cloud”, which provides you as customers with fast connectivity and gives us, as a service provider, flexibility, resilience and much easier growth without the headaches of buying, installing and maintaining a lot of hardware.

When we started Safe4, almost 2 years ago, we considered a number of options when we selected our cloud provider including capability and location in the decision. We eventually selected Rackspace, despite at the time their not having a UK offering on the basis of their very comprehensive service, fast connectivity, security and their outstanding support. We knew in making this decision that Rackspace were developing a UK based service and that we would move when the need arose.

The “need” became much more important during 2011 as we grew and new customers have asked, increasingly, for their data to be based in the UK. So we have taken advantage of the availability of cloud infrastructure in the UK to “move house.”

A lot of planning is needed in order to achieve the move with as little disruption to our customers as possible. In the end the site was unavailable for a little less than 25 minutes overnight one day last week – the real test is whether you actually noticed?

Making the move

It is an honour that you trust us with your business data, and it is something we take very seriously indeed – it is not acceptable for us if there is any risk of missing data!

Therefore one of the key challenges we had to solve was how we moved all of the files that have been uploaded to the system and know beyond any doubt that every file had transferred successfully to its new home. It was therefore not enough to simply “copy” the files – the real challenge was to establish whether we had successfully moved ALL of the files that the system stores.

In the end the only way we could satisfy ourselves that the move of the files was successful was to write a dedicated tool that moved the files one at a time, and then validated that the file had been successfully moved. The final run of the tool took over 3 days to move every file. The tool was very successful making it easy for us to see the progress of the move and to satisfy ourselves that the move was successful.

Designing in scale

We took advantage of the planned move to redesign how we implement the infrastructure that runs the system, to allow us to grow more easily in the future and to build in more resilience into the service. We have also changed some of the configuration of the application servers to further improve the security of your information.

We believe that our new infrastructure is better placed to grow as the needs of our customers increase and the Safe4 business continues to grow at the rate it has over the last year.

What’s next?

We have some major development activity planned for this year, beginning with an update to the service that will provide Safe4 with the ability to track multiple versions of the files on the system.  Look out for this update in the next couple of weeks.