Secure online forms and automation

Secure online forms and automation

Businesses need information from their internal users, external customers and suppliers all the time and it is highly likely this will include personal or sensitive data.

It is definitely not appropriate to ask users to share this information over email, but we know that is still common practice for many organisations. Email is not secure, so you risk a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), plus there is no guarantee of delivery. Email cannot support large files either.

Online forms provide a secure, customisable mechanism for your customers, suppliers and internal users to submit information to your business. It is a popular feature of Managed File Transfer systems and can capture any type of information or file size. Fields can also be configured to trigger onward business processes or integrate with internal systems.

To demonstrate the versatility and functionality of secure online forms with automation, let’s look at a use case from the motor insurance industry.

Use case: Motor insurance company

A customer is involved in a collision and needs to claim on their insurance. Using the secure online form, they enter the information required: Policy number, personal details, vehicle information, details of the collision and images of the damage.

Once the data has been received, a number of tasks need to happen to progress the claim.

This is where the technology really comes into its own. Automated actions sitting behind the secure online form, can execute many of these tasks and you can find out more in this video.

Examples of automated workflows

Once the user submits the form, it can trigger a range of automated workflows, such as:

  • Check the policy number meets alphanumeric sequence
  • Validate customer name against policy number
  • Assign claim to a claims handler
  • Automatically input the description directly into the customer database
  • Rename images to a pre-determined format, eg: policynumber_date
  • Move images to the image server
  • Send an automated reply via email or SMS or other business communication platform. The template can be personalised to include the name, assigned claims handler, policy number etc.

All of these processes can take place without any human intervention, demonstrating just how more efficient these labour-intensive tasks can become. You can see how this would suit other industries, such as mortgage brokers, doctors and private healthcare providers, or any outsourced business service, such as HR or payroll.

These are fairly simple use-cases, but there’s no end to the automation capabilities that can be applied. We recently customised secure online forms for a company sequencing hundreds of thousands of anonymised records of biological data. Customised logic built around metadata in mandatory fields in the form triggered the next step in the process.

Can you see how your organisation could benefit from adding secure online forms to your infrastructure? Get in touch for a chat now. Alternatively, complete our Managed File Transfer (MFT) comparison; answer a series of questions about this and other business requirements and our technical experts will recommend the best solution to suit your needs.

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The World Cup 2018: A file transfer use case

A file transfer use case: The World Cup 2018 has many ways MFT can be used

Are you missing the World Cup already? It’s been an exciting few weeks of football!

As the novelty of England’s best performance in years wears off, we turned our attention to the IT infrastructure that underpins a tournament of this scale. It’s actually a really good example of the many ways data is sent, received and processed, and the types of technology that enable this to be done quickly and securely.

This article looks behind the scenes at this file transfer use case, which translates across many different industries.

High definition broadcast

Firstly and most importantly is the high definition broadcast that sports fans have come to expect. Streaming the World Cup involves data sets measuring in tens of terabytes or even in petabytes, and it needs to be moved quickly with perfect quality maintained.

The broadcasters would use a fast file transfer solution combining UDP and TCP technology across high bandwidth networks.

Traditional UDP transfers move big datasets much more quickly than TCP, regardless of size, distance or network conditions. That’s because it continually sends data packets without waiting to see if they are received successfully. In this case, the usual UDP trade-offs (slight distortion, or frames freezing) are offset by the TCP protocol, which ensures any lost packets are resent. An agent at the receiving station reconstructs the data after the transfer.

The result? The viewer sees every kick, goal and penalty in real-time high definition.

 

Sharing sensitive documents securely

During the World Cup or other football tournaments, sensitive data is continually shared between managers, medics, FIFA and other parties. It might be personal information about players, which needs to comply with data protection legislation like the GDPR, or sensitive data critical to a team maintaining a competitive edge. Some examples include:

  • Player details are sent to their training camp with medical and dietary requirements;
  • Medics sharing injury information and treatment plans back to the player’s home club;
  • Referees sharing match reports with the officiating body;
  • In the run up to the tournament, scout reports are shared across the globe, providing valuable insights into the competition;
  • New contracts in the aftermath of a big tournament are uploaded to web portals.

A secure file sharing solution would typically have a set of features to protect the data from hackers and malware: Secure protocols (SFTP, FTPS or HTTPS); Encryption (PGP or AES); Access control with the ability to restrict user permissions; User authentication; Secure data wiping; Administrator view; Audits and reports to show what was transferred, when and how.

 

Of course, these examples aren’t exclusive to the World Cup. The chances are that you face similar challenges in your organisation. Maybe that’s live streaming events or simply sharing employee data.

There are many reasons why a business might decide to implement a file transfer solution. If this has got you thinking about your system, our free resource – Does your organisation require a file transfer solution? – will help.

Inside you’ll find a questionnaire to record your responses to some typical file transfer challenges. There’s information on how a system can resolve these, plus recommended next steps for your project.

Does your organisation need a file transfer solution?
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Outsourcing finance operations: A file transfer use case

A file transfer use case: Outsourcing finance operations

Outsourcing finance

A major label in the music industry decided to outsource a particularly large area of its operations: finance. Managing invoices and collating data for reports was a time-consuming process that could be better handled by a specialist company.

However, financial data often forms the basis for decisions across the entire business. If data ever becomes out of date or is not processed correctly, the consequences could be disastrous.

Without an effective electronic solution, the only way to move data was to send forms through the post and scan them—a time consuming, manual process.

The right Managed File Transfer solution will allow organisations to seamlessly move data out to external suppliers for processing, and back into the business.

With event-driven automation, the music label can automatically move financial files individually or in batches over a secure connection. The data is “pushed” to the supplier.

After processing, edited documents are then pushed back to the internal network for storage and archiving.

The entire process can be managed from a single, convenient interface and data movement can be audited every step of the way.

If you plan to outsource data processing, you need a solution that seamlessly connects external trading partners with your own unique infrastructure. This particularly use-case applied Globalscape’s EFT Server as a solution. This music label saved time and money by outsourcing this vital business process—without compromising visibility or security at any stage.

 

 

 

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