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Safe4 version 6.1 is released – managing large file uploads safely

Alistair Stubbs

 

The release of Safe4 version 6.1 represents a significant move forward. The task of managing large file uploads safely has proved to be a considerable challenge, but members of the Safe4 development team, led by Alistair Stubbs and Darren Hamilton, have completely overhauled the upload function within the system to make it more secure and much more robust.

File size limit is increased to 2 gb

Safe4 can now accept uploads of up to 2 gb per individual file. Safe4 does not function in the same way as an FTP site by simply transferring files from one location to another, but processes files by checking for viruses and applying industry-leading encryption. Security policies are also enforced through whitelist and blacklist checking, as well as scanning for protective markings and rejecting the upload of password-protected files when appropriate settings are applied. This comprehensive content checking also extends to ZIP files, nested to an arbitrary level. Updating comprehensive audit trails enables the system to maintain a full record of all user activity.

The enhanced upload process now manages a series of queues, so that if network connections are broken, or hardware failure occurs in the server environment, uploads will still be completed without further user intervention.

Opportunities for new applications

The increase in the file size limit opens up new areas of opportunity for the application of Safe4. Capture of PST files from email systems is one area that is of great interest to law firms, who may need to store very large files as records of projects or cases. Medical requirements can also be addressed; video files generated by endoscope examinations are frequently very large, and can now be handled within the context of patient records.

Please contact us if you would like any further information on how Safe4 can be used within your organisation – we will be delighted to assist you.

Safe4 is going large – version 5.20 is released

October 2018 has seen the release of Safe4 version 5.20, which contains some important enhancements to the highly secure information delivery and management service. “Safe4 is going large” is a fitting way to describe some of the changes introduced in this release.

As in all new releases, Safe4 have improved a number of the fundamental security features of the system. In order to make sure that customers’ data, as well as that of their clients, is managed in the most secure way possible, changes have been made to the way in which information is stored so that the risk of penetration is reduced. This includes some changes that will make it easier for clients to comply with the Data Protection Act, following the introduction of GDPR in May 2018. For example the Subject Access Request report, which is available at the press of a single button, has been expanded.

Large file management

However, the most significant element within this release is the ability to upload files of up to 800 megabytes per individual file. This is an interim step, with the short term objective being 2 gigabytes per individual file. The fundamental security approach of Safe4 has always meant that uploading documents was more than just moving a file from one location to another, and consequently the upload process involves a number of server-based functions such as virus-checking, content scanning, encryption, transferring the file into cloud storage and updating the database and all of the audit trails. These functions have now been separated and will be performed sequentially, so that the server-based processing is carried out after the client interface has been refreshed. Very large files will be shown on the file list immediately, but with a “Processing” indicator until the server functions have been completed.

As well as virus checking and encryption, Safe4 also performs a series of content checks to ensure the integrity of the data that is being uploaded. If the file fails one of these tests, or is found to contain a virus, a reference will be shown on the file list even though the file itself has been removed from the server. This will cover the whitelisting and blacklisting scans, as well as the ability to check for any files that have been protectively marked.

More significant developments to come

There is a lengthy list of enhancements in the pipeline for Safe4. The next release will feature the ability for files held in Safe4 to be signed digitally in a way that allows them to be submitted to both HMRC and Companies House in the UK. This important development will be a major time-saver for any organisation that needs multiple signatories to approve documents, and will be carried out entirely within Safe4, without the use of any external technology.

If you would like any further information on how Safe4 can help your business to improve client service, reduce costs and enhance regulatory compliance, please contact us. We will be delighted to assist you.