Due to the recent accelerated digital shift, there are hardly any industries which haven’t been impacted by urgent questions of data protection and security. While most companies are diligent about protecting their internal data sharing, collaboration with external parties is often treated as a secondary concern.
On the other hand, there are specific industries where data security does play a critical role. Due to the confidential type of data that, for example, human resources, finance departments, lawyers, and bookkeepers handle, technical security guarantees are essential for them when collaborating with third parties and clients.
Just imagine the following scenarios:
… The sensitive data of a job candidate falls into the wrong hands when sending an email to the hiring manager.
… You might mistype the email address of your bookkeeper and as a result, your invoices land in the mailbox of a random recipient.
… Or, your email account gets compromised and your clients’ contracts end up being jeopardized and exploited by cyber-criminals.
Collecting files from external parties: 5 industry-specific examples
This article aims to demonstrate the potential threats of external collaboration with a special focus on five key areas. But no worries, we won’t leave you empty-handed at the end. Our new feature, the end-to-end encrypted file request, was specifically designed to tackle the security risks of external collaboration.
1. Human resources departments and headhunters
Challenges of receiving applications
Submitting job applications via email has been a common practice for a long time. However, CVs and application documents contain sensitive identity data such as contact information or certificates, and as such, can be easy prey for hackers. No wonder that there is a steady tendency towards phishing and that 1 out of 10 people are now victims of identity thefts annually.
Sending emails during the recruitment process is a widespread method, and not only for collecting applications. In many cases, application files need to be forwarded to other parties for their second opinions. This can further increase the risk of disclosing sensitive data in the uncontrolled flow of information to a wider circle of readers.
The GDPR also applies strict rules for protecting personal data. Using an end-to-end-encrypted file sharing method is strongly recommended here by data protection officers, but is, however, not binding. Data protection regulations not only apply to using and processing data, but also to data deletion. Personnel departments are responsible for deleting all data related to an application such as CVs, results of recruitment tests, and interview notes after they have fulfilled their purpose.
File request as a solution for recruiters and headhunters
With File Request, recruiters and personnel departments can receive sensitive candidate and employee information without the risk of data loss or misuse. To stay in control of any email exchange with applicants and anyone else who is involved, you can collect all confidential documents into a designated folder and thus you will be able to centrally manage the entire application process. You can easily involve the right decision makers as well by granting them access to your target folder. After the mandatory data retention period expires, files can be deleted with few clicks, freeing up valuable storage space.
2. Bookkeepers and tax advisers
Challenges of collecting invoices
Accounting communications can also include a range of sensitive information; think of payroll data, confidential company information, invoices and account details. Understandably, data protection experts are recommending the use of encrypted file sharing methods for sending invoices via email, especially if those documents contain personal data and, thus, fall under GDPR regulations.
It would be a real misfortune if data transmitted electronically to your accountant would fall into the wrong hands. As last year’s massive malware hack against Wolters Kuwer, the global accounting software provider for small and medium businesses, also demonstrates, data security is not a ‘nice to have’ for bookkeepers anymore. When it comes to choosing the right cloud tools and shaping processes accordingly, end-to-end-encrypted solutions can give them peace of mind.
Keeping accurate records in line with the accounting principle of reliability is also of key importance when considering adopting cloud tools in your company. Keeping records of receipts and clearly documenting them is not just a legal requirement, it also enables you to manage your business and plan ahead on the basis of well-organized, reliable information. If there is no central place for managing your invoices and they are circulating back and forth via email, chances are high that you might lose sight of important files.
File Request as a solution for bookkeepers and tax advisers
By creating an end-to-end-encrypted file request link, you can securely collect invoices, receipts, and tax returns from your clients, directly into your designated folder, even if they don’t own a Tresorit account. You can set up your folder structure so that it provides you a clear overview of each client’s books of accounts and records. All in all, it not just helps you comply with GDPR and applicable occupational regulations, but also to maintain an auditable, well-organized accounting system.
In our next blog article, we will explore the challenges finance departments and law firms are facing when collaborating with external parties. We will also demonstrate why File Request is the magic bullet for securing data transmission with third parties and other internal departments. Stay tuned!