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US may be set to change data privacy laws – again!

The Safe Harbor data privacy agreement between the US and the EU was deemed to be ineffective in 2015, and was subsequently replaced with a Privacy Shield arrangement – which is still considered by many to be inadequate. Recent announcements by the new US administration suggest that the internal data privacy laws in the US will be subject to further change, affecting those who are not US citizens or permanent residents in the US. Please click here for more background on this development.

Safe4 decided back in 2010 that all of the data held within its secure document delivery and storage service would be stored in UK-located data centres, accredited to ISO 27001. This offers maximum protection to our customers and their clients, employees, suppliers, partners and associates. Reliance on US-hosted data storage could be seen to carry unnecessary risk of misuse or disclosure of personally-identifiable information, hence the benefit of keeping all stored data onshore within the UK.

For more detail on the measures that Safe4 applies to keep information secure, please contact us. We would be very pleased to speak with you.

Personal email systems still being used to carry confidential information

It is no major surprise to learn that a major email service provider has been hacked – again – and that millions of people have had their personal information exposed to criminals. This is highlighted in an interesting article in The Times, published today.

What is still very unfortunate, however, is that a large number of professional practitioners in the UK are still failing to acknowledge that email is the leading source of computer crime and online fraud. Time and again personal financial information is being passed between lawyers and their clients, in residential property transactions for example, using the client’s personal email account. Repeated examples of these emails being hacked and bank account details being changed have not deterred some high-profile UK law firms from continuing this practice, irrespective of severe financial losses being experienced by their clients.

Also worrying is that it is common practice in some firms for lawyers and others to send confidential documents to their own private email accounts so that they can be worked on outside business hours or away from the office.

The Safe4 service was launched in 2010 to offer a highly secure alternative to email, not just for document transfer, but also for medium-term or permanent management of information. Based on UK-only storage in data centres that are accredited to the ISO 27001 international security standard, Safe4 offer a service that complies with the Solicitors Regulation Authority guidance on the use of cloud computing. Accessible at any time, from anywhere, it eliminates the need to trust confidential information to high-risk systems.

For more information on how Safe4 can assist your firm to minimise the risk of information loss or interception, please contact us.

Does it matter where your cloud data is stored?

Many millions of people now are using online systems that are hosted in the cloud. However, do we all know what that means, or the location where our vital information is being held?

The dramatic rise in the use of social media in the last decade has meant that a vast amount of personal information is being stored in cloud-based platforms, not all of which regard personal security or privacy as their top priority.

A recent article on the BBC website helped to highlight this – click here to read the article. The uncertainty over the location where data is stored, and the privacy laws in the jurisdiction that governs the use of that data, gives rise to a potentially major concern.

For this reason, Safe4 decided back in 2010 that ALL data stored within its servers would be held securely in a UK location. Because Safe4 does not allow its service to be used for advertising or any other form of promotional activity, the content of stored data and documents is completely safe. Unlike several of the major providers named in the BBC article, the business model of Safe4 does not permit the penetration of “confidential” information in customers’ accounts so that it can generate advertisements to the user based on their content.

The hosting partner of Safe4 was selected using different criteria. Because we know our customers need to be able to trust us to keep their information safe, we chose to work with a world leader in the provision of highly secure services, with an excellent record of 24/7 availability and reliability. Using ISO 27001-accredited data centres in the UK only, Safe4 has built a reputation for high quality of service and security levels which are among the highest in the industry.

For more information on how Safe4 secure information delivery and storage services can assist your organisation, please contact us.

Proposed successor to Safe Harbor is “inadequate”

The EU has indicated that the replacement to the US – EU Safe Harbor data privacy arrangement, known as Privacy Shield, is inadequate, and does not offer sufficient protection for confidential data being shared by organisations who operate on both sides of the Atlantic. More detail is available: click here.

The risks associated with holding confidential information in jurisdictions that do not apply the same data privacy approach as the UK was the primary reason why Safe4 hosts all of its data in UK data centres only, accredited to the ISO 27001 security standard. Together with annual penetration testing performed under the UK Government’s CHECK scheme, and sophisticated encryption of all stored data, Safe4 offers a highly secure environment for the sharing and storage of confidential information.

For more information on the security measures taken by Safe4 to protect customers’ information, please contact us.