So you need a secure way to share files with your clients and customers, but SecureDrawer isn't working for you. You're not alone. Is there a better option? What specific features should you be looking for? We recommend FileCenter's Client Portal as the perfect SecureDrawer alternative and replacement, and in this article we'll show you why.
SecureDrawer Alternative and Replacement Summary
- What is client portal software?
- Your SecureDrawer replacement needs to emphasize security.
- The best SecureDrawer alternative will work tightly with your document management software.
- How does sharing files work? How does my client receive them?
- What's wrong with just emailing files as an alternative to SecureDrawer?
- Jump to our recommendation »
What is Client Portal Software?
Everyone's talking about "The Cloud" these days. With the birth of the Cloud came the idea that we could use the Cloud to securely pass files back and forth with our clients. The process is simple: You decide to share a document electronically with your client, but you don't want anybody but your client to be able to intercept it. So you upload the document to a client portal – in other words, to a secure, intermediary server out on the Web. Your client gets a link they can use to pull the document down from that server whenever it's convenient for them. It's almost like escrow for files.
Your SecureDrawer Replacement Needs to Emphasize Security
When shopping for a SecureDrawer replacement, keep one critical word in mind: encryption.
In order for your documents to make the trip from your local network to your client, they have to cross public space – they get uploaded to the Cloud then eventually get downloaded to your client's machine. To ensure complete privacy, you must be absolutely certain that every single leg of the journey is encrypted. Here's what we mean:
Most client portal alternatives offer encryption on their server. Which is nice, except that's the least likely point of breach. Hackers, like the highway robbers of the past, know that the most vulnerable place to pick off a document is on the roads to and from the server. What does this mean for you? It means you need to make sure your SecureDrawer replacement encrypts documents before they leave your computer and doesn't decrypt them until they safely arrive at your client's machine.
The FileCenter Client Portal, for example, ensures that the entire journey takes place in a virtual armored truck. Your files are encrypted before they leave your computer, remain encrypted as they travel to some of the most robust cloud servers in the world, and don't get decrypted until they reach your client.
The Best SecureDrawer Alternative Will Work Tightly with Your Document Management Software
Here is what your ideal SecureDrawer replacement would look like:
It would have two components. First, a document management system for organizing your office files. Among other things, your document management system lets you share files internally, scan documents, work with PDFs, etc. It's really the backbone of a thriving company.
Second, your document management system should have a tightly-integrated client portal. The client portal lets you share very specific documents with your clients. The client portal makes it so clients can access the documents they need to see without gaining access to your whole document repository.
FileCenter has become the preferred document management system for offices of all sizes because it's easy to deploy and easy to maintain without sacrificing features. FileCenter, in turn, integrates tightly with the FileCenter Client Portal to make sure that sharing documents with your clients is as effortless as staying organized yourself.
How Does Sharing Files Work? How Does My Client Receive Them?
Any good SecureDrawer alternative will do all of the work for you, especially if it's closely integrated with a good document management program. With FileCenter and the FileCenter Client Portal, for example, a simple button-click lets you upload any file to the FileCenter Client Portal. Select your client as the recipient or enter the email address of a different recipient, and you're done.
Your client will get an email notification that they have a file waiting for them. The email message includes a link your client can use to download the file. That's it.
For added security, you can require a password to access the file. This will prevent unauthorized eyes from seeing the document if, for example, you mis-type an email address (see below).
What's Wrong with Just Emailing Files as an Alternative to SecureDrawer?
Too many businesses email documents to their clients. It's fast, it's easy, and it's free. But is it a safe alternative to a client portal like SecureDrawer? Three things to consider:
First, security. We don't think about this, but because the Internet is one giant network, any computer in the world can potentially read your email messages. Why? Because email isn't encrypted and it flies through public channels. Any greasy-haired geek, with a little effort, can peek at email messages as they move through public space. That's why banks don't email sensitive documents. And that's why financial institutions and health care providers have already adopted client portal software.
Second, misdirection. This morning, for example, I received an mis-addressed email message with closing documents for a townhome in Colorado Springs. While I didn't look, I'm sure those documents contain all kinds of financial info for a couple I've never met, but whose email address is probably just one or two characters away from mine. And right below that email, I got an email from Mexico containing a construction quote. To this day, and despite a dozen emails from me, the sender thinks that my email address belongs to his partner, Jiminez. The moral: if you're thinking of sharing documents via email, you'd better be very sure where they're going.
Third, the ability to withdraw a document. In our prior example, the senders have no way to get those documents back from me. Once an email has been sent, there is no getting it back. With good client portal software, on the other hand, they could simply revoke my access to the documents. One click, problem solved.
Why We Recommend the FileCenter Client Portal
The FileCenter Client Portal is available as a stand-alone application or you can use it with FileCenter. The FileCenter Client Portal makes it easy to share and receive files, and easy for you to manage all aspects of your file sharing. With generous storage space and no limit to the number of clients you can share files with, the FileCenter Client Portal makes sharing files even easier than email. Download a free trial today!
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