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How Can Just-in-Time Management Work for Your Business?

Inventory management is a critical function for businesses in many sectors. If businesses are unable to manage their inventories properly, it can cause numerous problems. From financial losses to unsatisfied customers, improper handling can have far-reaching consequences. Therefore, to make your supply chain effective, businesses need to find ways to manage their inventories efficiently. 

That is where just-in-time (JIT) inventory management comes into the picture. Developed in Japan as a response to the country’s limited natural resources, JIT inventory management ensures minimal wastage.

Just-in-time inventory management is a business model that allows businesses to follow a lean methodology to streamline inventory handling. JIT inventory management is not only used by many companies, but also influences other lean inventory management technologies, such as Continuous Flow Manufacturing (CFM).

What is just-in-time inventory management?

The JIT inventory management model was introduced by Toyota – which is why it is also called the Toyota Production System (TPS). JIT works on the principle in which raw material orders are aligned directly to the manufacturer’s production needs and schedules, thereby significantly reducing the costs associated with holding inventory. What it means is this – you receive the raw materials only when you need them during the manufacturing process. There is no need to stockpile goods. 

For example, an automobile manufacturer that uses a JIT system can efficiently produce cars even on a low inventory because it relies on its suppliers that provide goods on an as-needed basis. Just-in-time inventory management is diametrically opposite to the age-old just-in-case strategy. In the just-in-case model, manufacturers keep enough inventory of goods at all times to meet the anticipated market demands.  

Advantages and disadvantages of a just-in-time system

When you get your JIT right, it can have many positive effects on your operations. But like any other model, it also has some drawbacks. When you don’t execute a JIT in the right manner, it can cause serious supply chain disruptions. SPS Commerce provides the following advantages and disadvantages of a just-in-time system.

Advantages

  • Lowered inventory costs Keeping less inventory on hand equals lower labor and storage expenses that were once necessary to store and manage inventory.
  • Larger Open-to-Buy Budget – Ability to spend on other items you might not have the budget for without a JIT approach.
  • Fewer markdowns: Reduction in need to offload unsold products using markdowns. Resources can be re-allocated to pursuing growth-oriented opportunities.

Disadvantages

  • Late Deliveries resulting from poor communication – For JIT to work, deliveries need to arrive ‘just in time.’ This level of synchronization and communication requires tightly integrated systems and active vendor/partner management.
  •  Imprecise forecasting risk – JIT inventory needs accurate forecasting of expected customer demand, but if these calculations are wrong, as in the case of a stock-out, you could risk losing sales.

Examples of companies that have put JIT into action

Businesses across all verticals use JIT inventory management to streamline their operations. The following companies represent the best-known examples.

Apple – The consumer electronics leader keeps very little inventory on hand. Because Apple maintains minimum inventory volumes, it is at a lower risk of overstocking. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, “Inventory is fundamentally evil. You kind of want to manage it like you’re in the dairy business. If it gets past its freshness date, you have a problem.”

Kellogg’s – The world’s leading cereal manufacturer uses a just-in-time inventory management system to efficiently manage its stocks. It manufactures strictly to meet orders and maintain limited stocks because its products are perishable. 

Zara – Zara is a “fast-fashion” chain that owns its supply chain and is capable of quickly bringing in new items to the market. The brand believes in maintaining low inventory supplies, manufacturing only 15% to 20% of a season’s line six months in advance. By the start of the season, they lock in only 50% to 60% of their line. In the case of an unexpected spike in demand in one or a few of its styles, they quickly design new styles and get them into stores to meet the demand effectively and cash in on the changing customer preferences.

DocuServe – your experienced, trusted partner in supporting JIT solutions

At DocuServe, we have been dedicated to the just-in-time manufacturing philosophy for over 20 years. In fact, we developed a content delivery platform called eServe just to address the need for the additional e-learning solutions that making the transition to JIT demands.

Since 1994, we have developed strong and supportive partnerships with our clients worldwide-helping them streamline their operations, their training and (in turn) their profits. Contact us if you want to know how we can do the same for you.


A man on a computer that is on public wifi. The wifi is a trap

Is It Safe to Use Open Public Wi-Fi Hotspots?

With data breaches increasing by the day, it is imperative to keep business and personal information safe and secure. Those who don’t take the necessary precautions risk losing their proprietary and personal data to criminals. Loss of proprietary and personal data can have far-reaching consequences, both for individuals as well as businesses. Apart from financial losses, businesses also risk taking a hit to their reputation.

There are several aspects to data security, and one of the growing areas of concern is mobile security. With the mobile device use prevalent and the practice of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) to the workplace becoming more prominent, it is vital to understand the risks associated with mobility.

Is it safe to use the internet from open public Wi-Fi hotspots?

If you are using an open public Wi-Fi hotspot, you need to be careful. We will take you through what you need to do if you have to use an open public Wi-Fi hotspot – why IT security experts consider public Wi-Fi risky, how to stay safe when using public Wi-Fi, and how a virtual private network (VPN) operates.

Why is public Wi-Fi considered risky?

You don’t think twice when using the internet from your home or office because you know the connection is secure. But that is not the case when you use public Wi-Fi. Therefore, before you start surfing the internet from an open public Wi-Fi hotspot, it is important to know why public Wi-Fi is considered risky.

When you access the internet from public places like airports, hotels, restaurants, shops, etc., you are using public Wi-Fi. We are so used to using these hotspots that we don’t even think twice before connecting to them. While it is fine to connect to public Wi-Fi for checking your social media accounts, you need to think twice before checking your emails or accessing your bank accounts.

There are numerous risks involved if you are using public Wi-Fi. While it might be necessary to brief your team in the office or provide prompt service to your customer, it is vital to understand that these networks offer almost negligible security. That is the reason you need to be careful.

Here are some of the risks of public Wi-Fi, as covered by Norton:

Man-in-the-middle attack –One of the most common threats on public Wi-Fi networks, a man-in-the-middle attack is similar to eavesdropping. When you connect your device to the internet, data from your computer goes to the website or service you access, and it is here that a third person can exploit the vulnerabilities in-between. That means, your private connection is no longer private, and a third person can access your data.

Unencrypted network – When you opt for encryption, the information you send from your computer to the wireless router gets encrypted. It means, the information you send gets coded, and only those having the key to deciphering the code can read the information. In most cases, as a default setting, the encryption is turned off when the router leaves the factory. To enable the encryption, you need to turn it on during the time of the network setup. But if a non-IT person sets up the network, there is no guarantee that he or she turns on the encryption. So, you don’t have a way to find out whether the public Wi-Fi you are using has encryption turned off or on. And, this is again dangerous as the information you share on unencrypted networks is not safe.

Malware distribution – By exploiting the software vulnerabilities, attackers can slip malware on to your computer. A security vulnerability is a security loophole that exists in an operating system or software program. It is easy for hackers to exploit this weakness. They can write a code to target a particular vulnerability and inject the malware on to your device. Your data is at risk if your device gets infected with malware.

Snooping and sniffing – Snooping and sniffing is again a very common risk on public Wi-Fi. Hackers use special software kits and devices that allow them to eavesdrop on Wi-Fi signals. With this technique, hackers can access all your online activities. From the websites you visit and the information you leave on the webpages to getting hold of your login credentials and hijacking your accounts, the attackers get every bit of information they want.

Malicious hotspots – Malicious hotspots are rogue access points that can trick you to connect to them because their name is almost similar to a reputable brand. For example, if you are staying at a Holiday Inn and want to connect to their Wi-Fi network, but you accidentally connect to HoliDay Inn, which is a malicious hotspot. When you connect to this rogue hotspot, attackers can view all your sensitive information.

Staying safe when surfing public Wi-Fi

There are occasions, however, when you have to use open public Wi-Fi.

So, what should you do?

Here is what you can do to stay safe when surfing public Wi-Fi.

Always try to use a trusted Wi-Fi network – It is vital to understand that it is difficult for any public Wi-Fi network to provide foolproof security. That is why it is important to try to connect to a trusted entity like Starbucks. Public Wi-Fi networks like Starbucks are less suspect than an unknown entity. As Wired observes, they’re already profiting from your presence there. Avoid connecting to an unfamiliar network, and when traveling to a new place, always try to connect to known and trusted networks.

Follow Google’s advice – use only HTTPS sites – Google Chrome tells you whether the site you are visiting uses an unencrypted HTTP connection or an encrypted HTTPS connection. For HTTP sites, you can see “Not Secure” on the search bar. Be aware that Chrome is the only web browser that provides this warning.

Try not to use HTTP sites from an open public Wi-Fi network because these are not secure. On secure sites , it is difficult for attackers to access your data that travels between your computer and the website’s server. 

Don’t share too much information – If you have to use an open public Wi-Fi network, make sure that you don’t share all your details. Try not to forget the first rule (using a trusted network), but in case you have to use an unknown network, don’t share all your details, such as email address and phone number. Also, avoid signing up for multiple public Wi-Fi networks. It is better to connect to a network that you are already registered with.

Make sure you limit file sharing – While using an open-public Wi-Fi network, ensure that you turn off the seamless file sharing option on your device. For example, if you are using a PC, go to the Network and Sharing Center, then to the Change Advanced Sharing settings, and then turn off the File and Sharing option. If you are using a Mac, go to System Preferences, then go to Sharing, and then unselect everything. After this, go to Finder, then click on AirDrop, and then select Allow me to be discovered by: No One. And, in case you are using iOS, go to the Control Center and find AirDrop, and then turn it off. If you do this, you can keep your files safe because attackers will not be able to get hold of your files, nor can they send you unwanted stuff.

Read the terms and conditions of the network you are signing for – Not an easy thing to do, but if possible, you should check for red flags. When you go through their terms and conditions, you can get to know the type of data they collect during the session and what they intend to do with it. You can do a web search for terms you don’t understand. However, make sure that you don’t promptly install any software the open Wi-Fi network suggests.

Always use a VPN – The best way to protect your data on an open public Wi-Fi network is to install a VPN on your device. When you use a VPN, it encrypts data that you receive or send through a secure server, which means people on the network cannot spy on your data.

How does a VPN work?

Using a VPN is the best way to protect your data on an open public Wi-Fi network.

A VPN disguises your actual IP address and location. It uses encryption and establishes a private, secure channel for your internet use. If you use a VPN, all of your information moves securely from your location to the VPN, your original IP address is masked, and your data exits to the public internet through the VPN server. The use of a VPN makes it extremely difficult for the attacker to trace the data back to you.

The use of a VPN is particularly of help to businesses that need to give their employees remote access to the company server. You can get access to the software and company resources even when you are not in the office.

So, to answer the question, you can safely use Wi-Fi hotspots if you exercise caution and common sense — as well as add the extra layer of protection that a VPN affords. Be aware that this is a less-than-ideal situation, but if it can’t be avoided, we’ve hopefully provided the information you need to identify sketchy hotspots and protect yourself as best as possible. As we always say, knowledge is power!

No matter what platform your company uses to meet its unique needs, DocuServe specializes in offering industry-leading solutions for keeping your digital content safe. Our secure document and rich media sharing app can reduce the risk of data exposure. With DocuServe, you can easily control content distributed to employees, vendors, and potential customers. Contact us to learn more.


Costly Data Breach

How Costly Could a Data Breach Be?

A data breach can have wide-ranging consequences for businesses of all sizes. Data breaches not only affect your company’s reputation, but can also cause you substantial financial losses.  With regulatory fines, remediation costs and lost business opportunities, data breaches can prove to be a costly affair to handle.

But how costly could a data breach be?

Let us look at data breach statistics. According to the 2019 Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average total cost of a data breach is $3.92 million, with the United States being the most expensive country – $8.19 million and healthcare being the most expensive industry at $6.45 million.

That is why businesses these days rely on content security to keep their proprietary content, customer information, financial data, research, corporate training materials, and other crucial information safe from compromise.

But as a business owner, it is important to know common reasons for data breaches, and steps you can take to prevent them.

Common reasons for a data breach

It is generally presumed that only outside hackers cause a data breach. But that is not always the case. A data breach can occur due to many reasons, including the following:

An unintentional insider – If an employee uses their colleague’s computer and reads files without proper authorization and permission, it is a kind of a data breach. In this case, the intention of the user is not malicious, and the employee does not share or pass on the information, but it is a breach nevertheless.

An intentional insider – If the information is accessed with the intent of sharing or using it for nefarious means, it is an intentional data breach. The person may have the authorization and permission to access the information, but they are planning to use it to harm the company or an individual, the intent is malicious, and could lead to a serious data breach.

Stolen or lost devices – If a device (laptop or hard drive) that is not encrypted or properly locked is stolen or lost, it could result in a data breach. If a hacker or malicious user gets hold of such devices, they can misuse the information. 

Hackers or outside malicious actors – When people intentionally use various methods to steal sensitive information from a company or an individual, it is a data breach. Such people are known as hackers – outside malicious actors who intentionally cause a data breach.

Preventing data breaches

With data breaches on the rise, it is important to know how to prevent one. Here are some effective ways to prevent data breaches:

Focus on asset inventory – If you want to improve your organization’s security, you need to have a clear understanding of what software and hardware assets you use in your network and physical infrastructure. You can also use an asset inventory to prepare categories and ratings so that you are in the know about threats and vulnerabilities your assets might face. When you are aware of the threats and vulnerabilities, you can better prepare your infrastructure for possible attacks.

If you need to tackle data breaches, you need to focus on endpoint protection. You cannot avert a major data breach with just an antivirus. Relying on antivirus alone can leave your endpoints like desktop and laptop vulnerable. Vulnerable desktops and laptops can cause major data breaches if not secured properly.

You can use encryption to prevent data loss and leakage. Encryption also helps you enforce unified data protection policies across all your endpoints, servers and networks.

Do a vulnerability assessment or, better still, use a vulnerability and compliance management tool – If you want to identify the gaps and weaknesses in your physical and virtual landscape, you need to use a vulnerability and compliance management tool – or at least complete a vulnerability assessment. Vulnerability and compliance management can monitor your infrastructure and keep your IT security in top condition

When you use a vulnerability and compliance management tool, it allows you to understand the security threats and things that need remediation. It also allows you to prepare an action plan to tackle security vulnerabilities and take appropriate actions.

Complete regular audits on security posture – If you want to identify the potential gaps in compliance or governance, you need to ensure that you complete regular audits. Regular audits help you validate your security posture. A security audit is a thorough assessment of your security policies, vis-à-vis your preparedness to head off threats. A security audit will let you know how you handle information security in your organization.

A security audit can bring out the following:

  • Your organization’s documented security policies and their effectiveness.
  • Your organization’s management process, escalation profiles, and the procedures you follow in case of incidents and breaches.
  • The network security mechanisms you have in place in your organization – IDS/IPS, ERP, next-gen firewalls, etc.
  • Your organization’s security and log monitoring setup.
  • Your organization’s encryption and password policies.
  • Your organization’s disaster recovery plan and business continuity roadmap.

A security audit will also bring out whether you test your applications for security flaws or not – as well as whether you have a change management process in place for the IT environment. You also learn how you back up your files and media, and who can access them. It also sheds up light on your restore procedure testing.

You also get to know whether you review your audit logs or not, and if you get them audited, when they are reviewed.

Keep your staff educated and trained on data privacy and security issues – Once you are through with the security policy audits, you can implement an employee policy that deals with data privacy and security issues. But it is important to provide regular training to your employees so that everyone in your organization is aware of their responsibilities. Make sure that you train your employees on the following points:

  • The principle of least privilege – end-user access and privileges.
  • The importance of creating and using unique passwords for computers and other devices in the workplace.
  • Recognizing and avoiding a phishing attack.
  • The documented system for those who leave your organization, be it your employees, vendors or contractors.
  • Immediate reporting of any data compromises and breaches.

You also need to ensure that you have a policy in place on how your employees should retrieve, handle, dispose of and send data. Designating a person to conduct regular training on information security issues is a good way to ensure that ongoing education and training is consistent.

With such precautions in place, it is possible to avert major (and minor) data breaches in your organization. But as mentioned earlier, if you want to keep your company information safe and secure, you need to apply a content security solution.

DocuServe is a cloud-based digital data protection company providing services that include cloud-based document management, content encryption and distribution, and digital media replication and encryption to businesses in every industry. Contact us today to learn about our full range of solutions.


Iowa Caucus App

Lessons of the Iowa Caucus: Why Is It Important to Test Software?

The Iowa Caucus is usually synonymous with launching the presidential campaign. Yet the evening of February 3, 2020 will be one that many will not forget, nor should they. Whether or not one is politically minded, there is a lesson to be learned here. 

That Monday night’s Iowa caucuses started out as a politically charged event with all the ballyhoo of political speeches and delegates making deals. Unfortunately, it will likely be associated with the mistakes that were made that led to no clear Democratic winner being declared that night. 

The New York Times reported that part of the reason behind this was a mobile app that was designed to add up and report the caucus votes of each precinct. Some questioned if the app not working was the result of hacking or sabotage. It turns out that it was a lot more mundane, and more frustrating, to boot. 

In their haste to get the app running on time, it was reported that the company that built it haphazardly put it together in two months; including not testing it properly. Furthermore, poor connectivity and bottleneck bandwidth were also to blame. To make matters worse, when several county chairs attempted to call tech support, they were on hold for upwards to two hours. NPR News reported that the Iowa Democratic Party doubled down, and refused to initially answer questions about the creator of the software or even what measures of testing, or security protocols it went through.

What Lessons Should We Learn From Iowa?

Even if you don’t require software that could decide the leader of a country, there are a lot of lessons to be learned here. One big one is that if your company is designing anything new, it’s important to make sure that proper testing and training is conducted to make sure your employees know how to use the application and minimize potential problems should they arise. 

It’s also important to make security protocols are properly being followed and allow for encryption of secure documents. Mobile and cloud content security is also crucial for any operation to run smoothly. It’s also important that such security is able to run across multiple devices. 

Finally, being able to provide a scalable support team is important in case something goes wrong on the day of launch. Improving business communication is crucial, and being able to connect your end user to a support specialist is of the utmost importance. This also allows hold times, as well as worry, to be kept to a minimum. 

DocuServe is a cloud-based digital data protection company providing services that include cloud-based document management, content encryption and distribution, and digital media replication and encryption. Contact us today to learn about our full range of solutions.


Cloud Storage

How Well Could Cloud Storage Perform for Your Business?

Globally, cloud computing is being embraced by businesses at a rapid pace. Cloud computing uses a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage and process data instead of a local server. The growth in the cloud computing vertical has gained traction because it provides on-demand computer system resources – such as data storage and computing power – without the bother of active maintenance and management by the user.

In addition to cloud drives, data analytics helps businesses become more effective by allowing them to store, interpret and process big data to help understand the needs of their customers. Businesses that use data analytics don’t have to resort to guesswork, because data patterns can systematically be analyzed to plan effective business strategies.

Why would your business consider cloud storage?

Data analysis helps businesses because it allows them to recognize patterns in a set and predict what to expect in the future. Referred to as data mining, it helps businesses discover patterns in data sets, allowing them to understand trends in a better way. But employees are unable to reap all the benefits of data analysis and big data due to lack of quick and reliable access to this information.

According to Gartner, around 85% of Fortune 500 companies are unable to leverage big data analytics due to lack of accessibility to data, resulting in missed opportunities to improve the customer experience.

But with cloud storage in place, employees can access company data remotely from wherever they want. It helps employees to serve their customers better, ultimately resulting in improved profit margins.

Apart from increasing accessibility and utility, cloud-powered big data analysis also allows your business to export all of your IT needs – such as hosting and maintaining servers – to the cloud service provider. Instead of investing in servers and other IT infrastructure, you can hire more staff and improve your product. In this way, cloud storage helps create a more competitive playing field for small companies.

TechnologyAdvice has published a comprehensive study – “Data Analytics in Cloud Computing” – which covers this important topic in detail. It’s well worth the time to read in its entirety.

What are the best ways to track performances?

TechnologyAdvice’s study covers four best uses of data analytics, provided verbatim:

Social Media – A popular use for cloud data analytics is compounding and interpreting social media activity. Before cloud drives became practical, it was difficult processing activity across various social media sites, especially if the data was stored on different servers. Cloud drives allow for the simultaneous examination of social media site data so results can be quickly quantified and time and attention allocated accordingly.

Tracking Products Long thought of as one of the kings of efficiency and forethought, it is no surprise Amazon.com uses data analytics on cloud drives to track products across their series warehouses and ship items anywhere as needed, regardless of items proximity to customers. Alongside Amazon’s use of cloud drives and remote analysis, they are also a leader in big data analysis services thanks to their Redshift initiative. Redshift gives smaller organizations many of the same analysis tools and storage capabilities as Amazon and acts as an information warehouse, preventing smaller businesses from having to spend money on extensive hardware.

Tracking Preference – Over the last decade or so, Netflix has received a lot of attention for its DVD deliver service and the collection of movies hosted on their website. One of the highlights of their website is its movie recommendations, which tracks the movies users watch and recommends others they might enjoy, providing a service to clients while supporting the use of their product. All user information is remotely stored on cloud drives so users’ preferences do not change from computer to computer.

Because Netflix retained all their users’ preferences and tastes in movies and television, they were able to create a television show that statistically appealed to a large portion of their audience based on their demonstrated taste. Thus in 2013, Netflix’s House of Cards became the most successful internet-television series ever, all thanks to their data analysis and information stored on clouds.

Keeping Records – Cloud analytics allows for the simultaneous recording and processing of data regardless of proximity to local servers. Companies can track the sales of an item from all their branches or franchises across the United States and adjust their production and shipments as necessary. If a product does not sell well, they do not need to wait for inventory reports from area stores and can instead remotely manage inventories from data automatically uploaded to cloud drives. The data stored to clouds helps make business run more efficiently and gives companies a better understanding of their customers’ behavior.

Cloud computing doesn’t have to be risky

Security concerns were common in cloud computing’s early days. However, ongoing improvements in security technology and protocols have earned user confidence. Today’s measures – combined with exercising proper due diligence – can provide the necessary data security. Here are some matters to consider in evaluating a cloud storage solution.

  • An excellent reputation for physical and network security.
  • Make sure that the cloud storage service offers multiple redundancies, as well as redundancy across several geographic locations to permit disaster recovery.
  • Learn how long it takes to delete a file across the redundant servers, and if it will ever be deleted from the cloud storage banks.

Also, mobile security is a concern, especially for those who don’t take adequate precautions to protect their digital content. With the trend toward bring your own device (BYOD) picking up, it is essential to keep your content safe. Our blog post – “What You Need to Know Before Your Company Adopts BYOD” – covers BYOD security best practices in detail.

Standard encryption cannot protect your data from internal theft, loss of devices or insecure personal devices that are used for business purposes. A cloud-based content security solution applicable for use on multiple types of devices is your best protection in case of theft or loss.

That is where DocuServe’s cloud-based content security solution comes into the picture. It is a document-centric cloud-based content security solution that can be used to secure a wide range of data, including:

  • Sales documents and marketing material
  • Internal training manuals and videos
  • Retail and wholesale pricing sheets
  • On-site and off-site inventory information
  • HR data and other internal documents
  • Executive-level communications

DocuServe provides automatic encryption of your documents and other rich media files. Your files and data stay in the cloud and not on the recipient’s device, making mobile security much safer for your business.

Contact us to learn more about what we can offer.

 

 


Delete Data Stolen Computer

How to Delete Data from a Stolen Laptop

With laptop thefts on the rise, businesses need to know how to keep their data safe and secure. Data breaches are a reality these days, and businesses of all sizes stand to suffer in equal measure.

There is nothing much that you can do if one of your employees loses his or her laptop. Apart from cautioning them to be more careful in the future, you also need to do something that ensures your company’s information does not fall into the wrong hands. It is vital to know how to delete data from a stolen laptop if you want to keep your company information safe. 

How secure is your company laptop?

If you are in business, then using laptops and other mobile devices is inevitable. Also, with the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend increasing by the day among companies, laptop and other mobile device security should be of paramount importance to businesses of all sizes.

Companies have to share information with their partners, suppliers, and customers, both within and outside of their offices. It is, therefore, important that businesses understand the importance of document management so that they can keep their proprietary content safe and secure from prying eyes.

Another measure that you should be using is encrypted security solutions. Encryption is one of the best ways that can ensure the security of your laptop. If your laptop uses data encryption, there are chances that your data will remain safe even if it is stolen. Also, laptop encryption tools these days are mature and readily available.

One of the most important aspects in data protection is to provide adequate training to employees on how to safely use their mobiles and laptops. Our blog post – “What You Need to Know Before Your Company Adopts BYOD” – covers the main security issues that should be addressed in establishing company policy regarding the business use of employees’ own devices.

If the worst occurs, and an employee’s laptop is stolen, performing a remote wipe before the thief can access data can help prevent a security breach.

What is a remote wipe?

Essentially, a remote wipe is a software solution or system capability to remotely delete and wipe out data on a system or device. Features like remote wipe are part of comprehensive data security management systems, which solve data breach problems that can occur due to not following BYOD policies or other security gaps in distributed company computing networks.

Data wipe is the method whereby stored data on a device gets deleted and destroyed using mobile access in the framework of mobile device management. But to protect your laptop and other mobile devices, you need to ensure that you set up remote wipe before the device is stolen so as to protect your personal and company information. Once a device is lost, it is not possible to wipe devices or deploy endpoint management easily.

Personal information data deletion is triggered once a remote erase command is executed from a remote system endpoint. The remote delete command can erase all the data on a device, or it can specifically target company-specific data.

Data and device wipe are useful techniques because when unauthorized access occurs in a device or system, it allows device administrators to initiate a factory reset easily and restores factory settings remotely.

When it comes to remote wiping, you have the option to either lock the device or erase the data. When dealing with lost devices, many businesses prefer to remote lock the device where the screen gets locked, preventing access to the device. Here the information remains on the device, but access to unauthorized users is denied. The other option is to remote wipe the stolen device. Between the two, it is always more prudent to remote wipe a stolen device rather than just locking it down.

If your laptop is stolen, you can use ‘Retire’ or ‘Wipe’ action to delete your company data and send the device back to factory reset mode. Microsoft provides a complete set of instructions on performing these actions – and others.

Wipe

When you send a Wipe command, it restores a device to its factory settings. You have the option to keep the user data on the device if you select the Retain enrollment state and user account checkbox. If this checkbox is not selected, the Wipe command can erase all the apps and data on the device.

But you need to remember the Retain enrollment state, and user account option is not available on all the Windows laptops. It is available for Windows 10 version 1709 or later. When the device connects to Intune after the Wipe command, MDM policies will be reapplied. The Wipe feature can only function if the device is on and connected.

Retire

When you give a Retire command, it removes managed app data (where applicable), settings, and email profiles which were assigned by using Intune. The device gets removed from the Intune management, and this happens when the device next time checks in and receives the remote Retire command. A Retire command does not remove the personal data of the user. The Retire feature can only function if the device is on and connected.

Three facts you need to know about a remote wipe

You need power and a network connection to remote wipe – As Wipe is a command that is given to a device, the device needs to be turned on and connected to a network so that it can receive the command. You need to know that if the device is switched off, you cannot remote wipe the device.

Remote wipe has many options – There are many options available for a remote wipe. You can remote wipe the device and send it back to the factory reset mode. Also, there is an enterprise wipe option where only the company data and application get deleted from the device, and personal data is not touched. Another option is KeepAlive, where complete device reset happens automatically if the device goes missing for too long.

It is not possible for you to opt-out of it – If your laptop or mobile device is company-owned, or even in case of BYOD, your company will have some level of erasure capability to wipe your device.

Fortunately, overcoming the challenges of BYOD does not need to overwhelm your organization. DocuServe has the industry experience and solutions to protect company data in the BYOD work environment, keeping employees productive without risking data loss. Our eServe encryption solution provides content security in the cloud, mobile access, security at rest and in motion, encrypted data security, remote wipe and much more.

Contact us to learn how DocuServe can be the ideal solution for your company’s move to the brave new BYOD world.

 


Facebook Cryptocurrency Libra

Will Facebook Change The Cryptocurrency Market?

With over two billion users worldwide, Facebook rules the social media space. But it is now setting its ambitions even higher, planning to take a plunge in the currency market.

Yes, Facebook is joining the cryptocurrency game. It is about to launch a Bitcoin-like currency called Libra. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum have generated a tremendous amount of interest as well as confusion. To learn more about cryptocurrencies, refer to our blog post – “Cryptocurrency For Dummies – What is Cryptocurrency & How Does it Work?

But in this blog post, let us focus on what Facebook plans to achieve through its proposed currency, Libra.

What is Libra?

Libra

Facebook’s Libra will be a cryptocurrency, which will allow you to make purchases or allow you to send money to individuals at almost zero transaction fees. According to Libra, “Libra’s mission is to enable a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people.”

A Roman unit of weight, Libra in the context of Facebook’s cryptocurrency tries to invoke a sense of financial freedom. You can buy or spend your Libra online or at a grocery store near you by using third-party interoperable wallet apps or Facebook’s Calibra wallet, which the company plans to incorporate into all its apps, including WhatsApp and Messenger. Facebook is planning to launch its cryptocurrency Libra through its blockchain system sometime in the first half of 2020.

Facebook does not plan to control Libra fully. Instead, Facebook will get a single vote – just like other founding members of the Libra Association – which include Uber, Andreessen Horowitz and Visa. Each of the founding members has invested at least $10 million in the project. The open-source Libra blockchain will be promoted by the association with its Move programming language. The association also plans to enter into agreements with other businesses to use Libra for payment and give rewards and discounts to customers.

Facebook will launch a subsidiary company by the name of Calibra to handle its crypto dealings and protect the privacy of its users by not allowing your Libra payments to mingle with your Facebook data, which means it cannot be used for ad targeting. Your publicly visible transactions will not be tied to your real identity. Libra association members along with Facebook (Calibra) will earn interest on the money that users cash in, which is kept in reserves so that the value of Libra remains stable.

Facebook’s global digital currency plans to promote financial inclusion for those who don’t use banking services, and it is expected to have more privacy and decentralization. Facebook does not intend to make a lot of money immediately through Libra; instead, they want to be there for the long-term so that they can get more payments into its online domain. According to Facebook’s VP, David Marcus, “If more commerce happens, then more small businesses will sell more on and off platform, and they’ll want to buy more ads on the platform so it will be good for our ads business.”

What does Facebook want to accomplish with Libra?

As reported by Josh ConstineZuckerberg Money LibraEditor-at-Large for TechCrunch – “In cryptocurrencies, Facebook saw both a threat and an opportunity. They held the promise of disrupting how things are bought and sold by eliminating transaction fees common with credit cards. That comes dangerously close to Facebook’s ad business that influences what is bought and sold. If a competitor like Google or an upstart built a popular coin and could monitor the transactions, they’d learn what people buy and could muscle in on the billions spent on Facebook marketing. Meanwhile, the 1.7 billion people who lack a bank account might choose whoever offers them a financial services alternative as their online identity provider too. That’s another thing Facebook wants to be.”

The existing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are not properly designed to be a medium of exchange because of their uncontrolled price, which results in their erratic swings. It becomes difficult for the traders to accept these coins as payments. Also, these cryptocurrencies cannot be exploited to their full potential because there are not many places where they can be used in place of dollars, and it is not easy for the mainstream audience to deal in these coins. But Facebook can tackle this problem head-on because it has more than seven million advertisers and 90 million small businesses in addition to its user experience expertise.

Facebook now wants to turn Libra into another PayPal. Facebook is confident because it thinks that it is easier to set up Libra, it is easy to use as a payment method, more accessible to those who don’t have access to banking services, more efficient than others because there are fewer fees, and flexible and long-lasting due to developers and decentralization.

According to Facebook’s Libra documentation, “Success will mean that a person working abroad has a fast and simple way to send money to family back home, and a college student can pay their rent as easily as they can buy a coffee.” When you look at exploitative remittance services charge, which averages around 7% for the money sent abroad, totaling $50 billion from users annually, it certainly seems to be a big improvement. Libra would allow microtransactions of a few cents, which is unthinkable with the in-built credit card fees.

But it is a steep climb for Facebook ahead in the cryptocurrency market.

How does Libra work?

All you need to do is cash in your local currency and get Libra, which you can spend like dollars, with fewer transaction fees and without disclosing your identity. You can also cash your Libra whenever you want.

The Libra Association

It would have been difficult for the general public to trust Facebook in the crypto world, which is why major corporations have been assembled to form the Libra Association. This not-for-profit entity headquartered in Switzerland will overlook the development of the token, keep the reserves safe and streamline the governance rules of the blockchain.

Some of its founding members as reported by The Block’s Frank Chaparro include:

Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU (Naspers’ fintech arm), Stripe, Visa

Technology and marketplaces: Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook/Calibra, Farfetch, Lyft, Mercado Pago, Spotify AB, Uber Technologies, Inc.

Telecommunications: Iliad, Vodafone Group

Blockchain: Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Inc., Xapo Holdings Limited

Venture Capital: Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures

Nonprofit and multilateral organizations, and academic institutions: Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Women’s World Banking

Before the official launch of Libra, Facebook plans to increase its present 28-member founding members to 100.

The Libra currency

The Libra cryptocurrency will be represented by three wavy horizontal lines. To make it a good medium of exchange, the value of Libra would largely stay stable. The value of Libra would be attached to a basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities for a number of internationally stable currencies like dollar, pound, yen, Swiss franc, and euro. To keep the Libra stable, the Libra Association will maintain the basket of assets, and they can also change the composition when required to counterbalance major fluctuations.

The exact start value for Libra is still under consideration, but it is likely to be close to internationally stable currencies.

The Libra Reserve

Every time someone cashes in a dollar, that money goes into the Libra Reserve, and the person gets an equivalent amount of Libra in exchange. Should someone cash out of Libra, the Libra that is returned would be destroyed or burnt, and the person gets the equivalent value of the local currency in exchange. It means that there would always be 100% of the value of the Libra in circulation.

The Libra blockchain

All Libra payments would permanently be recorded in the Libra blockchain, which is a cryptographically authenticated database. Libra blockchain is a public online ledger engineered to handle 1,000 transactions every second. It means that the Libra transactions would be much faster as compared to Bitcoin (which allows seven transactions every second) and Ethereum (which allows 15 transactions every second). 

The founding members of the Libra Association will operate and verify the blockchain. 

Libra transactions cannot be reversed. The Libra association in case of an attack will temporarily stop the transactions and take corrective measures for future smooth operations.

The Libra blockchain currently is known as ‘permissioned,’ and here only those entities that fulfill certain requirements are admitted to a special in-group, which will control the blockchain through consensus. But as of now, the Libra association has not found a reliable ‘permissionless’ structure that is safe and secure. The goal of the Libra Association is to create a permissionless system.

What are the incentives to use Libra?

The Libra Association wants to involve more developers and merchants for its cryptocurrency project. The association plans to issue incentives, possibly in the form of coins to those who use the currency. Those who bring in more customers and keep them active for over a year will be rewarded. Traders will also receive a percentage of a transaction for every transaction they process. Businesses can keep the incentives or pass a portion of it to their respective customers.

Libra privacy concerns

Individuals can spend and own Libra through Libra wallets like Calibra and other third-party Libra Association members like PayPal. The philosophy is to make it easy for an average consumer to send money to a friend or use it wherever they want just as they conveniently send a Facebook message.

About the privacy of the Libra, Mark Zuckerberg had this to say, “It’s decentralized — meaning it’s run by many different organizations instead of just one, making the system fairer overall. It’s available to anyone with an internet connection and has low fees and costs. And it’s secured by cryptography which helps keep your money safe. This is an important part of our vision for a privacy-focused social platform — where you can interact in all the ways you’d want privately, from messaging to secure payments.”

What is the difference between Libra and Bitcoin?

There is a mixed bag of reaction for Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project. Some say that it will be nothing more than PayPal with the addition of blockchain technology, while others say that it will lead to more adoption of traditional cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. 

The Bitcoin and Libra are different. While Bitcoin is a decentralized network – which is permissionless and censorship-resistant – Libra will be operated by a group of companies that will still remain answerable to the governments of the world.

There is some skepticism, though, among the lawmakers of several countries against Facebook’s attempt to create their digital currency. As regards monetary policy, Bitcoin and Libra are poles apart. While Bitcoin follows its own supply schedule, Libra is only backed by a basket of currencies that are issued by governments. Libra, unlike Bitcoin, has a face, which can be targeted by the government whenever they want to regulate it.

Also, since Libra will not operate in a permissionless manner, it is debatable for some whether it qualifies as a cryptocurrency or not. Moreover, when talking of Facebook, it is difficult for the consumers to totally forget about all their privacy-related scandals.

Libra seems to be a minor variation of the traditional financial system and is unlikely to have any significant impact on the Bitcoin price.

Will Libra change the world?

According to Facebook’s Libra white paper, the goal is as follows: “A stable currency built on a secure and stable open-source blockchain, backed by a reserve of real assets, and governed by an independent association.”

Their stated aim is to create better access and improved, inexpensive and open financial services for all people – regardless of their location or economic status. The road ahead for Facebook’s Libra project is arduous and is difficult for a single entity to achieve. That is why a consortium of corporations is coming together to helm the project.

But only time will tell whether Libra project gets the support from various stakeholders – most importantly of all – consumers.

With the great potential of Libra and other cryptocurrencies, encryption technology is more important than ever – especially in the corporate world. DocuServe has the industry experience and solutions to protect company data, keeping employees productive without risking data loss. Our eServe encryption solution provides content security in the cloud, mobile access, security at rest and in motion, encrypted data security, remote wipe and much more. Contact us to learn about our industry-leading solutions.

 

 


A robber holding a computer

How Secure Is Your Digital Content?

Data security is – or should be – a top priority for businesses both big and small. With data breaches increasing, it is imperative to implement security measures at every level. So, what should organizations do to streamline and secure their digital workplace and content? Our DocuServe team offers information about essential tools, trends and advice – especially for web developers who use WordPress.

Collaboration in the cloud – the advent of the CCP

Every business knows that a migration to the cloud is necessary. The productivity gains of going paperless and the sheer speed of a digitally-integrated workflow are only possible with a well-implemented content collaboration platform (CCP) solution.

As defined by Gartner, the CCP market covers a range of products and services that enable content productivity and collaboration. CCPs are aimed at individuals and teams, inside or outside an organization. Additionally, CCPs increasingly support lightweight content management and workflow use cases.

Why does your digital workplace need a CCP?

If you want to improve productivity and teamwork, you need to devise secure ways for content sharing and collaboration with your employees and colleagues both inside and outside your organization. According to Gartner’s content collaboration magic quadrant, 50 percent of midsize and large organizations in mature regional markets are expected to use a CCP by 2022 to improve productivity and collaboration and implement document workflows.

CCPs not only empower and connect people, but also enable a new level of productivity, collaboration and efficiency. Just as importantly, it covers security and compliance issues, in addition to helping meet business goals. As outlined by Gartner, the core functionalities of CCPs include:

  • Mobile access to content repositories.
  • File synchronization across devices and cloud repositories.
  • File sharing with people and applications, inside or outside an organization.
  • Team collaboration with dedicated folders.
  • A content repository, which can be cloud-based or on-premises, native to the CCP platform or based on other file servers or repositories.

Using these workplace apps separately and out of context of a CCP platform is difficult and trying for employees to use to perform specific tasks. Also, managers and employees perceive these workplace apps in a different light. When you opt for a CCP, you can eliminate most of these problems because they offer different levels of support for the following:

  • Data protection and security
  • Usability
  • Mobility
  • Simplicity
  • User productivity
  • File manipulation
  • Content management
  • Collaboration
  • Analytics
  • Workflow
  • Data governance
  • Integration
  • Management
  • Administration
  • Storage

What to avoid

KIssflow’s Employee Experience Survey was conducted to assess the day-to-day interactions of the employees and leaders of various industries with workplace software – and the extent to which the workplace software affects the overall employee experience. Findings revealed the following:

  • The opinion is different among employees and leaders on how much workplace software they use.
  • Employees are less satisfied with the software they use than the leaders.
  • Employees are less likely to believe than their leaders that workplace technology empowers them to do their jobs in a better way.
  • When it comes to using workplace technology to their advantage, employees face several obstacles. Some of these obstacles are inadequate training, confusing and complex interface, and lack of guided learning tools.

According to Kissflow CEO Suresh Sambandam, “We can’t build enterprises as we did a decade or so ago, but the problem is, we’ve started working for the tools we’ve implemented, instead of the tools working for us. Each time a tab is switched, productivity goes down and some momentum is tossed away.

“With a digital workplace, enterprises are providing a radically new experience so that working is easy and fun, and not a burden to fathom all the things that are going on in 6-7 different applications running as siloed tabs on people’s browsers.”

CCPs offer complete data protection and uninterrupted service, and can be extremely useful for start-ups that have small teams and need to work closely with external teams on different projects. With a CCP in place, you can communicate efficiently to complete projects which need collaboration. It keeps your business organized and help you avoid workplace silos.

Keeping your digital content secure

As previously mentioned, information security is a serious threat to organizations worldwide. Your data is a major investment – as is your website. Because 25 percent of websites are powered by WordPress, it should not be surprising that hackers frequently target WordPress sites.

Fly Plugins offers crucial tips for keeping your digital assets safe and secure.

Make sure your foundation is strong – When you talk of security, you need to ensure that your foundation is secure. And, a secure foundation starts with your laptop or desktop computer. Should the hackers compromise your device, you can’t do much by securing WordPress.

Use a strong password – Not to be rude, but you’re probably not as clever as you think you are. Don’t use a password that has a personal meaning you believe no one will ever guess, or assume that no hacker would try anything as obvious as “password 123” or “password.” Don’t keep a text file or spreadsheet of your password. Never use a sticky note on your laptop that has all of your passwords.

In addition:

  • The physical security of your laptop is of utmost importance. Make sure that you keep it in a safe place to prevent theft.
  • Always use an antivirus program – add a firewall for additional security.
  • Always use a secure Wi-Fi connection.
  • If your organization has a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy, take the appropriate security measures. Our blog post on the topic covers what you need to know.  

Select a secure web hosting service – Server-level security is also of utmost importance. When you select a web hosting service provider, perform your due diligence so that you know in detail the level of security it provides.

Set up WordPress correctly from the start – Do not use ‘admin’ as the primary administrator account. Ensure that you do not begin your database table names with ‘wp.’ Again, use strong passwords for the admin account, and use multilevel authentication.

Keep yourself updated –Keep current on all security updates, as well as WordPress, themes, and plugins. Have a staging site so you can test the updates before using them on your live site.

Also, ensure that you only install plugins you trust. In most cases, the plugins available on the WordPress site are safe. You need to be careful with free plugins. It is important to go through the reviews before installing them. Never download a free premium plugin.

Secure the goods – You can install the free Sucuri plugin, which performs all the necessary security monitoring and malware detection, and has tools that harden your WordPress site. The Sucuri scan feature can clean your site, and its primary features include security activity auditing, file integrity monitoring, remote malware scanning, blacklist monitoring, effective security hardening, post-hack security actions, security notifications and website firewalls.

No matter what platform your company uses to meet its unique needs, DocuServe specializes in offering industry-leading solutions for keeping your digital content safe. Our secure document and rich media sharing app can reduce the risk of data exposure. With DocuServe, you can easily control content distributed to employees, vendors, and potential customers. Contact us to learn more.

 


Video Streaming Encryption

Can Streaming Video be Encrypted?

Our blog post – “Video Encryption – How to Secure Your Digital Content” – we covered the basics of the vulnerabilities video content is susceptible to, and available encryption techniques. With the increasing prevalence of streaming video content, a more in-depth look is now in order.

Streaming video is widely used in online education, from universities to specialty schools. Because such organizations charge tuition, videos that are used in the curriculum are school property – and as such, need to be kept out of the hands of non-students either looking for free instruction or to copy the streaming video and sell it for their own profit. The same applies to corporate training videos and webinars, which can give competitors an advantage if they gain access. And did we mention gaming?

But first, the bad news. There is no way to prevent someone with the determination and skills to access your streaming video from doing so. If videos can be accessed and viewed online, they can be stolen. The best you can do is add protective technology to make your streaming videos more difficult to steal. It’s basically the rationale that law enforcement agencies use when telling people to secure the doors to their home with more than the just the handle lock. Additional measures such as deadbolts and a security system will act as sufficient deterrents for most burglars, who’ll tend to pass up more secure homes for one that’s easier to enter.

What is video encryption?

Anthony Romero described it best for IBM Watson Media, so here it is in its entirety:

“At its essence, video encryption is the process of hiding video from unintended audiences. When working appropriately, it protects data so that it’s watched and accessed just by intended parties. Usually this goes hand-in-hand with other methods to restrict access to content, be it password protection to just placing an embed restricted version of the asset to your site. This is done through encrypting the asset in some manner in order to prevent snooping attacks where access to video could be compromised through a network tap and sniffer technologies.

“It can also include encrypting stored content, going as far as to protect assets in the event of a physical hard drive or database being compromised on location.

“There are a couple of different ways to encrypt content, and several different states that data can be in as well. For the topic of video storage, the common state for these assets is data at rest and also data in transit during delivery to an end viewer.”

What is data at rest?

Very briefly, data at rest is essentially information or assets that aren’t moving through a network. This includes content stored locally, like a video saved on a laptop, and assets that might be saved on databases.

What is data in transit?

Data in transit is information flowing over a network. In the context of video, it’s the delivery of video to an endpoint for playback. It is different from data in use, which is data that might be in the process of being generated, updated or removed.

So, how can you best protect streaming video from being stolen?

When it comes to encrypting video data at rest or in transit, one solution is by using the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) – a symmetric block cipher that can be implemented in software, hardware and other processes to encrypt sensitive data. It’s the successor to DES (Data Encryption Standard), developed by researchers at IBM in the early 1970s.

How does AES work?

To safeguard assets, AES takes a key and some data (plaintext) as an input and then transforms that into something random, known as ciphertext. This can be anything from part of a document to part of a video asset. Now to get something meaningful out of that ciphertext, AES and the same key used to transform it are required to turn it back into plaintext.

In relation to video in transit specifically, the content is encrypted in a way so that access requires being decoded by authorized players in browsers where the stream is delivered using HTTPS (HTTP over SSL/TLS). This is done through symmetric-key algorithm, which again requires the same key to be used for both encrypting and decrypting the data to get something meaningful from it.

The key is actually a number, and functions as a security method because of the huge amount of different combinations that it could be. The number of combinations depends on what key length or size is used: 128, 192 or 256 bits. The naming conventions relate to each key’s potential number of combinations.

Using a true streaming server provides even greater protection. The big advantage here is that the file is not actually downloaded to the user’s computer – it is seen only as a real-time stream and there is no file left on the user’s hard drive.

A streaming media or streaming video server is a specialized application which runs on an internet server. This is often referred to as “true streaming”, since other methods only simulate streaming.

True streaming has advantages such as:

• Handling much larger traffic loads.

• Detecting users’ connection speeds and supply appropriate files automatically.

• Broadcasting live events.

There are two ways to have access to a streaming server:

• Operate you own server (by purchasing or leasing)

• Sign up for a hosted streaming plan with an ISP (Internet Service Provider)

However, Media College warns that true video streaming in any form can be an expensive business. Unless you really have a need for it, you are probably better off starting with basic HTTP streaming.
Obviously, regardless of the solution you consider, streaming video encryption is not a DIY project. DocuServe provides robust data encryption solutions for a wide variety of industries. Learn about all we offer, then contact us to keep your intellectual property secure.


Should Your Business Go Paperless?

 

Going green is a trend that is fast catching up with the corporate sector. Whether you are a startup or a conglomerate, making your office paperless offers several benefits to organizations across verticals.

Businesses across the world strive to improve their operations and maximize their profits. Cutting back on paper use is not just a viable business proposition, but also good for the environment. Apart from the economic benefits of going paperless, having a paperless business offers many other benefits, such as increased productivity, optimized workflow, enhanced employee morale and greater customer satisfaction.

Can a business truly go paperless?

Eliminating paper entirely from your office is a highly unlikely scenario. But reducing the amount of paper can streamline your business operations to a great extent. If you have efficient processes, you can start your journey of becoming paperless.

Why would a business go paperless?

Going paperless may not be a feasible option for every business, but even a small reduction can result in substantial cost savings and efficiency.

Some of the main benefits of going paperless for your organization include:

It organizes your documents – Having a paperless office improves your company’s efficiency and professional image substantially because you can quickly locate and disseminate information. It takes a lot of time to sift and search through paper documents for one single piece of information. But when you have a paperless office, all it takes is a few clicks, and the information is in front of you. You can scan receipts and invoices, sort documents, file them, and quickly retrieve them.

It makes client communication easier, faster, and inexpensive – You can maintain a customer email list to communicate sales and other special offers without the expense of printing and postage. Electronic communication also lowers storage cost because you don’t have to spend money on maintaining paper documents.

You can easily store, file, and retrieve paperless files on the go – With photo scanning apps, business travelers can conveniently back up expense reports without having to tote stacks of papers. You can also share electronic files with coworkers over the network or through email.

It offers automatic backups – When you have paper documents in your office, you can lose information if a document is accidentally discarded. But when you maintain electronic files, data is automatically backed up.

Improved data security – Documents and other sensitive data are accessible only through providing approved credentials.

It is an environmentally-friendly process – Copy paper accounts for 20% of the total paper usage in the United States. Making your office paperless not only reduces demand for tree products, it also helps you conserve energy, because you don’t need to depend so much on printers and photocopiers.

Safety concerns of electronic communication and storage

Before you seriously consider the proposal for going paperless, it is important to know the pros and cons of going paperless. Drawbacks can include the following:

System failure – Vital data can be lost should your system crash. Having remote backup is essential.

Security – Without proper security protocol in place, data can be hacked or compromised. Document management services offer content encryption, local servers and restricted access.

Going paperless is a time-consuming process – The transition can be frustrating and stressful, demanding full commitment from company officers, stakeholders and employees.

Steps to go paperless, or minimize its use

If you are still doing business the old-fashioned way, you can switch to a paperless office and enjoy the benefits.

But the biggest question is how to reduce paperwork.

Bond Street offers some recommendations:

• Bank online

• Switch to a bookkeeping software

• Use digital collaboration tools

• Invoice electronically

• Scan digital copies for record keeping

• Prepare electronic statements

• Use recruiting software

Review your current processes

If you plan to go paperless, review your current operations processes and find out appropriate alternatives so that the transition is smooth. You may need to use an electronic signature service (an e-signature – also known as a digital signature – is any way of signing a non-printed document), online invoicing and payment services, and other applications that can replace your existing paper documents. You will need to train your staff so that they can properly use the new system.

If your company is considering going paperless, DocuServe has the resources to keep your data secure. We offer industry-leading cloud-based solutions for every aspect of your organization.

Contact us to learn more.


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