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    Tuesday
    Aug272013

    Everything Old is New Again

    “To the cloud!” was a popular ad world rallying cry two years ago (thanks, Microsoft), but the cloud is still kicked around as a new idea, a novelty of hotly debated adoption between C-suite and IT executives.  But the cloud isn’t new; it’s simply computing that’s come full circle.  Before the advent of PCs and laptops, there were enormous mainframe computers that large groups dialed into to share resources.  At the time, only large corporations could afford the expense of their own computers.  Everyone else shared mainframes (kind of like the party line telephone systems of the mid-twentieth century).

    PCs emerged in the late 1970s and early ’80s, and with it came distribution.  Next up: corporate network servers for centralized mail, network file storage, and a few applications.  And then – the internet.  As connective speed increased, accessibility sprang up everywhere, applications became centralized, and information could be easily and widely grasped from almost any device and location in the world.

    It should come as no surprise that the personal cloud is replacing the personal computer.  Data and capture technology is rapidly expanding with scanned and digital documents, as well as emails and their attachments.  Document retrieval speed, sharing and collaboration technology is experiencing explosive growth.

    Sales of mobile devices are growing at an astonishing rate with cloud-based support, while personal computer sales continue to drop. Practically speaking, with internet access almost everywhere, what is the point of toting a large, heavy device?  We’re a mobile, global society and workplace, and our technology reflects that.  The cloud is weightless, its possibilities are endless.  So are ours.

     

    Wednesday
    Jul312013

    5 Actions to Take Now for Dodd-Frank Compliance

    It sounds like a bad joke:

    Q: How many copies of War and Peace could fit inside the Dodd-Frank Act? 

    A:  28!  

    It’s not a joke, actually; it’s a fact.  The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protect Act contains over 400 rules, including annual compliance paperwork filing. We get a lot of questions about document management features to aid compliance.  Here are our top five (don’t worry – we’ve got answers, too):

    ·       What is the best document capture approach to ensure compliance with Dodd-Frank regulations?

    You need the ability to provide a searchable common repository for each document and transaction type (including scanned and digital documents, emails and soon-to-be social media elements).

    ·       What types of access and permissions should be considered for implementation?

    Quick accessibility searching for documents and key contents with the right permissions and security to share documents – that’s a must.  This includes internal use, as well as suppliers, partners, and vendors.  The individual role varies by company structure.  For example, an admin or CFO should have complete access and permissions, while an entry level Account Executive will have a limited view.

    ·       What is the best approach for archiving and preserving critical documents?

    If your company is wrestling with implementations issues (systems, people and process), you’re not alone! Core competencies are required to implement, support and control the risk management elements.

    ·       What level of reporting is required to track documents for compliance purposes?

    The most critical element is audit reporting (tracking every document and user with digital signatures) with preservation and archiving of documents to support compliance with the 400 rules.

    ·       How should my company catalog mobile and social media transactions?

    The implementation processes will vary based on the operating environment, but there must be a consistent and repeatable mechanism to map transactions performed in order to run an audit (similar to scanned documents, emails, and digital documents). A transactional history would work well – inquiry, meeting, proposal presented, contract awarded, etc. as one scenario. 

    What else do you need to know?  Take a look at the following key elements of the regulations:

    ·       Financial Stability Reform

    ·       Resolution Planning

    ·       Agencies and Agency oversight reform

    ·       Securitization Reform

    ·       Derivative Regulation

    ·       Investor Protection Reform

    ·       Credit Rating Reform

    ·       Volcker Reform

    ·       Compensation/Corporate Governance & Disclosure

    ·       Foreign Bank Regulations

    ·       Consumer Protection Reform

    ·       Mortgage Origination & Services

    ·       Specialized Corporate Disclosure

     

     

     

    Friday
    Jul192013

    Get out your brooms: HHS has "sweeping changes" for you

    Cara is a frenzied medical office manager.  She’s been consumed lately with the 500-page page HIPAA Final Omnibus Rule (she calls it the Ominous Rule), which went into effect on March 26, 2013 with mandatory compliance by September 23, 2013.  The rule itself is a positive one: it was designed to enhance patient privacy protection, grant new rights to health information, and strengthen enforceability of the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability ACT (HIPAA). 

    Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledges that the rule will mean more audits and higher fines for non-compliance.  Here are a few (not all inclusive) items to consider during your planning process to be ready:

    ·       Sufficient documentation (common systems and processes for a document central repository) to assist risk analysis and management with monitoring and access of outcomes. A few musts:  the ability to search, capture, retrieve and archive information for compliance with meaningful use and attestation process.

    ·       Sustainable and replicable systems/processes for shareable use throughout your company, end user and departments. Remember, you need a process that ensures simple sharing in a secure environment.

    ·       Compliance evaluation with detailed audit trails is necessary to support compliance requirements.  A time saver:  track document life cycle with digital signature stamps for the user and document.

    Set retention dates with automatic workflow procedures to archive and preserve documents for future use and reference.  You need easy, efficient search tools to retrieve archived documents (digital born and scanned documents as well as emails and attachments are part of this process).

    ·       Security and permissions are critical for administration and end user levels for premise and cloud-based solutions (remember, encryption on several layers of electronic documents is required).

     

    Thursday
    Jul112013

    Padlock or Gridlock?

    The folks at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) published a draft document on the federal government’s use of cloud computing security last week. Network Information Security and Technology News – not to be confused with the other NIST – has said that “it’s not enough to be secure; you have to prove you’re secure.”  OK.  That’s fair.   But are NIST’s recommendations an added security padlock or pesky cloud gridlock?

    Neither, explains Michaela Iorga, NIST Cloud Computing Security Working Group chair.  The document is a guide to the selection of the appropriate cloud-based service for company type, size, and work model.  Most businesses have three types of information that need to secure, control, and manage: digital files, emails with attachments, and paper documents. 

    “When dealing with information, there is a fine balance between making it easily accessible and usable by those who need that information, and preventing them from using that information for their own purposes,” explains Eric Leinberg, president and founder of InfoPreserve.  “The ability to secure, manage, and control information should rest with the organization to which it belongs, not the individuals who use it.”  Leinberg’s white paper, “Managing Critical Business Information,” explains that the security process is streamlined by a single repository.

     NIST’s public comment period for the cloud computing draft document runs through July 12.  What’s your opinion on the U.S. Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap?  Weigh in on Above the Cloud’s comments section, or visit NIST.gov.

    Monday
    Jul012013

    The Watchers

    It’s all we hear about, read about, and see on the news lately:  we’re being watched. Hackers, agencies, heck, anyone with a smart phone can quietly access your private information.  And they do it without the old-fashioned tools of the theft trade.  No crowbars, just anonymous mouse clicks.

    Watchers will always be lurking and evolving at the speed of technology, but what if you had an extra layer of security between them and your confidential documents? What if you could monitor your sensitive information in real-time from the moment of automatic document ingestion in a secure repository?  Information provenance and access tracking is the next secret weapon in secure, cloud-based document management, and we’ve got it – WatchFolders.  Your documents – any size, type, or format, including images – are ingested from your local drives, central servers, copiers, faxes, email attachments or FTP site without extra manual steps (hence the common and secure file repository).

    The advantage of WatchFolders is the ease of sharing and collaboration of documents within an organization of pre-authorized personnel, partners, and suppliers.  It’s your peace-of-mind feature from InfoPreserve.  To get your own secret agent (code name: WatchFolders), call us at (585) 542-4183.