How to Share Documents Securely

Jul 26, 2019

There is an alternative to common document sharing methods. And it’s an approach designed specifically to protect confidential information.


In the first three installments of our series, we discussed the risks of insecure document sharing. And we explained why the three most common methods aren’t really secure. In this final installment, we define secure document sharing. We wrap up with a checklist of features to look for when shopping for a system that protects your confidential information.


What is Secure Document Sharing?


In Parts 2 and 3 we explained why email, thumb drives, and consumer file sharing services will not protect your client’s data. What should you use instead? The preferred alternative is a sharing service built specifically for confidential documents. These cloud-based services take strict security measures to ensure your data is kept safe. Email may still play a role, but documents are shared through a link or by logging in to the service, rather than through an attachment.


Secure Document Sharing Essentials


Not all secure document sharing systems are the same. The following are essential features you should look for:
* A secure hosting facility in your country of origin that adheres to data protection and privacy laws of your local jurisdiction
* Backup services for the documents you store in the cloud
* Ability to individually invite parties to access documents for a matter
* Password or multi-factor authentication to access a document
* An audit trail that tracks and records document retrieval, open date, and other key metrics
* Notification by email or text message when a document has been retrieved
* Secure document access from anywhere through desktop, laptop, or mobile devices


Concluding Thoughts


Secure document exchange addresses virtually all the risks of traditional methods. If hackers get into your email system, your documents are safe because they aren’t stored on your server. There are no thumb drives that can fall into the wrong hands. And your documents are protected by a team of security experts in a secure facility 24/7. These services are less costly, too because there’s no need to maintain your own systems. If you’re still sharing through email, thumb drives, or consumer services, it may be time to find a safer option.


Michael Sauber Head Shot - smallAbout Michael Sauber
Michael Sauber leads the marketing program for Korbitec, producer of Automated Civil Litigation Software (ACL). He has worked with document production technologies and professional services for over 30 years and is a frequent blogger on these topics.