The challenge of keeping on top of business

Finance is the life blood of an organisation: keeping the money flowing in from customers and ensuring timely payments to suppliers, employees and investors.

Whether your organisation is large or small, you need to issue payments to, and process requests for payments from many different external parties. You also need to examine work orders and customer contracts. Transactions are supported by emails and documents provided in industry standard formats such as PDF documents or Microsoft Office Word documents. Increasingly links to electronic documents and payment requests are exchanged via email.

Untrusted digital content is entering your organisation

Regardless of the process you use for handing requests for payment and inbound communication, at some point, it is highly likely you will be reading a document sent to you, or clicking on a web link sent to you, from a person you have never met, from an organisation you may not know, and don’t even know if this person or organisation really exists.

The documents you read may be full of malware that is designed to infect your organisation and gain important, confidential information or enable financial fraud.

Common document formats such as PDF and Word documents have a long history of being used to spread malware. Furthermore, even though the document you have received may look like a legitimate document with a legitimate icon, it may actually be a piece of malware. You just don’t know. Sending you to look at compromised or phishing web sites are another way that you, as finance, are vulnerable to malware.

Once in an organisation, infections can spread very quickly, across all areas of a business. Do you want to take the risk and be the person who spreads the infection through the organisation?

You need to read untrusted emails, web sites and files to do your job

Even though you are receiving these documents and links from people you don’t know, and are worried that you could end spreading malware throughout your organisation as well as to all your contacts, you still need to read these documents. If you end up skipping some documents because you are uneasy about the risk, you may end up missing an important opportunity, or mishandling a key financial transaction vital to the organisation’s future. You need to take a calculated risk with each and every unknown email, document and link you open.

How do you remain safe?

Most organisations have multiple layers of security in place to help protect against cyber security threats, and each of these mechanisms serves a useful purpose. Firewalls of various kinds protect against external threats, antivirus and email filtering systems help prevent known viruses from reaching and infecting your machines.  These are essential pieces of infrastructure to help protect you. However, these typically only protect against known threats, and not all organisations deploy the full range of protections available. Antivirus detects viruses it knows about. It does not protect you against malware and viruses that are not yet identified. The existing infrastructure in place is not enough. If you get infected in the current world, your machine still stays infected, and can spread the infection throughout your organisation.

Safely Open is a new way to let you manage finances and  keep your organisation protected

Safely Open is an entirely new way to help protect you and your organisation from threats, including those not yet identified by antivirus software. If you can think of existing mechanisms as acting like vaccines, where they work against known infections, Safely Open acts like a quarantine station, where you can interact with and look at suspicious documents in a safe environment, without risking your organisation.

Safely Open works by opening your suspicious emails, documents and web links in a disposable, one time use environment in the cloud, as an entirely anonymous user, each time. Your PDF and Word documents are opened in our Safely Open cloud environment, yet we let you see what the document or web site looks like on your screen in your web browser so you can read it just like you would on your normal screen.

However, the big difference, and what protects you is that while you can see the contents of the document in your web browser on your screen, the actual document is opened inside the Safely Open environment. If there are any pieces of malware in the documents or web sites, then the infection is contained within our Safely Open environment. Once you are finished with the untrusted content, the Safely Open environment is destroyed, and any infection is destroyed along with the environment, preventing its spread. It works just like a containment box in a nuclear power plant or a biohazard suit around dangerous chemicals.

Safely Open resolves the fundamental conflict of having to look at untrusted documents, while being able to help protect yourself and your organisation at the same time. This lets you fulfil your goal of keeping your organisation financially healthy and under control, without you having to always second guess what will happen if you open an invoice or remittance advice from an unknown person or company.

Safely Open is available in a variety of plans to suit your needs. Go to Safely Open today to get started.