Posts

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.

Safe4 releases version 5.10 to address GDPR compliance requirements

The General Data Protection Regulation becomes law across the EU on 25 May this year, and in order to assist our customers to ensure that they are compliant with the regulation we have introduced some system changes to the core Safe4 service. These changes are in fact part of a work-in-progress, since there are still some areas of uncertainty in the way that GDPR is expressed. The system modifications at this stage address the basic requirements of GDPR compliance, and will be built upon as greater clarity emerges.

As the Data Processor under data protection legislation, Safe4 makes use of a number of constructs, described within the system as providers and vaults. The new release, designated as version 5.10, allows these to be completely deleted, with all of their data content being irreversibly removed. The ability to perform such deletions will be granted to customers, the Data Controllers, at system administrator level only, and any actions of this sort will be carried out after several warnings have been given and responded to.

Users can also be deleted by Data Controllers. Safe4 permits users to have access to multiple providers and vaults, and consequently the removal of a user from a particular vault will not affect their access to any others.

However, because Safe4 is a system of record, the audit trails relating to the existence of providers, vaults and users will be retained. For example, the record of a user account’s existence will be retained as a basic “stub”, so that the integrity of audit trails can be maintained. Activity while a user was a member of a Safe4 vault will thus be available for evidential purposes in future, while any personal information that was stored about that person will be deleted.

The full range of reporting options will be developed over time as the specific needs of customers are established, and as aspects of GDPR compliance are clarified both by the Information Commissioner’s Office and by case law.

An additional function that will be made available to the Data Controller immediately will be the ability to respond to Subject Access Requests. The Safe4 administrator will be able to generate a Subject Access Request report at the touch of a button. This will create a PDF document that can be provided externally if required, or stored as a record within Safe4.

As always, we at Safe4 consider the secure handling of customers’ information to be our highest priority. This approach will continue, and will be extended as necessary through working closely with Data Controllers to ensure that their GDPR compliance obligations are being met.

For more information on how Safe4 can support your GDPR compliance programme, please contact us. We will be very pleased to assist. General information on GDPR can be obtained from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

More Asset Register enhancements – Safe4 version 5.02 is released

More updates to the Safe4 Asset Register have been released today. These will add further functionality to the existing system, by making it simpler to manage certain types of information.

The enhancements in version 5.02 include:

  • The ability to sort columns by clicking on the heading, into ascending or descending order
  • Drop-down fields, with permission-controlled ability to define the pick-list
  • A check-box field, so that specified actions such as approval or confirmation can be added with a single click
  • The ability to define a regular expression for a field, combined with an error message of the user’s choosing. This will enable the data entered into specified fields to be controlled, for example to allow only eight numeric characters for bank account numbers
  • Display of a history box alongside each record, showing all of the actions that have been carried out on that record, with user and date/time
  • The ability to designate a field as containing a phone number, so that when used from a smartphone the number can be dialed with a single tap
  • Selection of chosen records with a checkbox to permit emailing other users with questions or comments
  • Selection of chosen records with a checkbox to permit multiple record deletion
  • Option to “Open in Excel” on any page displaying a list of records

These changes will be followed by a series of other developments in the near future, in keeping with the continuous improvement policy of Safe4.

If you would like any more information on these changes, or how they can assist with the secure management of information for your business, please contact us.

Safe4 announces the release of version 4.6

Further upgrades and enhancements to Safe4 are being introduced, as version 4.6 of the secure document delivery and storage service is released. As well as a series of significant improvements to both security and performance, the new release also provides a comprehensive refresh to the user interface for most parts of the system.

The key changes relate to responsiveness when used on mobile devices. Safe4 already provides a means of uploading photographs from smartphones and tablets directly into folders in the system, and this has now been extended to support the upload of multiple photographs or videos in a single action.

Among the changes are:

  • Completely rewritten upload and download routines, to make the system faster and more secure to use. The use of Flash in the multi-file upload process has been removed, resulting in a smoother and quicker user experience.
  • Re-organisation of the provider administration functions, with better control of system configuration options.
  • Re-scaled input screens for usernames, passwords and PINs, to make logging into the system from smartphones much easier.
  • Changes to the way in which the Public Folder facility works, to allow more flexible movement of files within a vault, and to support access from WebDAV connections through Windows and iOS.
  • A completely re-engineered development environment, to lay a flexible platform for some major functional enhancements planned for the first quarter of 2017.

This release of Safe4 underlines our commitment to offer the best possible service to our customers and their employees, clients, partners, suppliers and associates. The number of external threats to online security has never been greater, so the pressure to maintain a secure environment for confidential information is unrelenting. For more information on Safe4 and how it can make a difference to your business, please contact us.

Safe4 version 4.5 is released

Safe4 has been evolving steadily since launch in 2010, and the latest release is delivering some valuable enhancements.  As well as a series of underlying improvements to performance and security, some specific changes in functionality are included in this version:

  • The maximum number of failed login attempts has been set at 5, after which the user will be locked out and will have to restart their browser. This will help to counter any brute-force attacks that may be directed towards the system.
  • New look-and-feel on many of the pages in the provider administration functions. The pages that have been upgraded are now “responsive”, and will alter the layout according to the orientation of the device being used, and the size of the display window.
  • The user invitation process has been extended, with an unlimited number of invitations in a single page. The allocation of security groups to users has also been made simpler.
  • After successful registration of their account, new users will receive an email, branded with the provider details, advising of the correct URL to access the system in future with full provider branding.
  • Email signatures can be set at provider level, rather than relying on individuals to update their own account. Provider-level signatures can be overridden by individual users if they wish.
  • Email signatures can include the name and logo of the organisation, positioned in the footer of outgoing emails according to preference.
  • Branding screens have been improved, so that the process of entering welcome text for login pages and disclaimers for email invitations is simpler.
  • Newly-invited users will automatically be assigned the same time zone as the inviting user. This will help with the increasing adoption of Safe4 by organisations in different time zones.
  • A blacklist option for unwanted file types has been included at both provider and vault level, to complement the existing whitelist facility.
  • When a vault is copied with the users who have registered for that vault, the permission groups that have been applied to the user will be copied across to the new vault.
  • The File Index facility now shows when a file was last accessed any by whom, and as before can be downloaded in CSV format for further analysis and reporting.
  • The user count on the provider home page shows the number of active users and the number of pending invitations in each vault.

As always, we at Safe4 are listening to customer feedback. All of the changes listed above are the result of functionality requests from customers, and this approach will continue to drive the activities of the Safe4 development team.

For any further information on Safe4 and how it might be able to assist your organisation, please get in touch with us.