Archive for the ‘Cloud working’ Category

Why our secure portal isn’t just for document exchange

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

When we first developed docSAFE, our secure client portal for professional firms, we were definitely thinking about addressing the issue of exchanging sensitive data in the most effective way – in a way that can’t be compromised and leave our professional clients open to hackers and human errors.

How this has become interesting is that it has evolved in recent years to include secure messaging. In the way you might have text, email or Skype styles exchanges, so you can converse through the portal. In all instances – whether you are exchanging files or having a message exchange, the crucial thing is that the content never leaves the portal. The recipient of the file or message is notified of its existence and goes to the portal for retrieval.

We’ve found that this is a really exciting concept for our clients as it adds yet another layer of security on top of the many we’ve already included such as 2-factor authentication and encryption. It also impresses their clients in turn as it shows how important they considers client confidentiality.

We have a dedicated following of accountants and, it seems, we are attracting cautious, technophobe solicitors too!

Ask us if you need to know more.

Why https is better than http…

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

What is http, let alone https? Well, http – the prefix to your web address stands for “Hypertext Transfer Protocol” and with the additional s? “Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure”. The s actually stands for Secure Socket Layer Secure and that extra s makes all the difference for 3 key reasons.

Reason 1:Https helps with SEO – when it comes to a competing Google search, you’ll always outrank any other business with the additional security layer provided by the s in https. Google favours security conscious companies, it’s that simple.

Reason 2: Https adds an additional layer of security so what’s not to love about that? Anyone who is keen to protect their clients’ sensitive data should consider https as essential.

Reason 3: Improved AMP (sorry another acronym). AMP is Google’s way of loading mobile pages quickly – Accelerated Mobile Pages. It needs https to work.

If these 3 reasons aren’t enough – SEO, security and mobile-responsiveness – talk to us and we’ll explain more.

Why encrypted email is essential

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Email just isn’t safe and, when your business depends on it, you need to consider other ways of communicating.

Emails can end up in the wrong hands – by human error or more sinister means. We’ve all sent emails by mistake (‘Sorry, that wasn’t meant for you’) and we also know of companies who have had their systems hacked. Both of these scenarios are commonplace. They also smack of incompetence and unprofessionalism – both bad news for any professional firm.

So what’s the alternative? We believe it’s all about building layers of security, making it harder to access or make mistakes. docSAFE allows you to send an encrypted message to a secure portal. The recipient is notified and then visits the portal to collect it. The email, its contents and any attachments STAY IN THE SECURE PORTAL. You can also see who reads it (or not).

It’s really inexpensive, simple and it works – please ask us for more details or a free trial.

Why all kinds of organisations should be using docSAFE

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

We traditionally provide docSAFE to the professions who demand top security and client confidentiality (among other things). However we are seeing docSAFE rise in popularity with other sectors, almost by accident but with very good reason.

You may have seen a mailer we sent out recently that illustrated how the NHS had suffered a huge breach of data of its junior doctors in the north-east. We researched this and found that the NHS staff use of WhatsApp is also widespread which is really worrying.

Organisations that hold any personal data, especially publicly accountable organisations, should be using systems to communicate that are extremely secure. docSAFE has been designed to be secure on a number of key levels – secure login (using 2-factor authentication), secure portal in which to exchange messages and documents, online signing, to be GDPR compliant, offer automatic backups to secure EU based servers and much more.

By using a portal instead of email, for example, the message sit in the cloud until the recipient accesses it. By return, the responses sit in the cloud until the sender accesses it. Both are notified and know the information is there – but it’s locked away safely, staying put, not flying through the ether.

We are expecting more uptake of docSAFE by schools, colleges, universities, doctors and hospitals and similar organisations where security simply cannot be the weak link. Talk to us if you think we can help with your secure communications.

Making Tax Digital – let us explain

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Making Tax Digital (MTD) presents a significant change for British tax payers and is a massive undertaking for HMRC who has ambitious plans for its tax administration.

Quite simply, if you are a business that is VAT registered, under the new MTD scheme, your annual return will become a thing of the past. The new system is intended to help everyone keep on top of their tax affairs more effectively by bringing together all of an individual’s or organisation’s tax affairs and monitoring all the information on a monthly basis.

HMRC’s ambition is to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world, modernising the tax system to make it more effective, more efficient and easier for customers to comply.” (HMRC)

It would seem that one of HMRC’s key motivators is the many billions of pounds it loses through incorrect returns. “In 2014 to 2015 over £3.5 billion of revenue was lost due to these mistakes in VAT returns alone” (source: gov.uk).

The key points to note:

  • Every business and individual will have their own digital tax account, enabling them to see payments in and out, as well as their ‘balance’ – just like online banking
  • It comes into effect April 2019
  • Businesses under the VAT threshold (currently £85,000) can choose to opt in or out of the new system, as preferred
  • It is expected that all businesses will have to use MTD by April 2020
  • Information that can HMRC can obtain from employers, banks and government departments won’t be required to be provided
  • The new system should create ‘tax in real time’ showing what is owing as close to real time as possible
  • Better communications are proposed, allowing secure messaging

“ICAEW welcomed the announcements. The institute’s position on MTD has been supportive of the move to digital in principle, but that MTD should not be mandatory or impose unreasonable admin burdens, and its introduction should allow enough time to ensure the system works. Removing mandation for the smallest businesses is a welcome step forward and one less regulatory burden for SMEs to worry about.” (ICAEW)

This is a useful overview, provided by ICAEW: https://www.icaew.com/technical/tax/making-tax-digital

 

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