There are a number of file sharing and synchronizing services available in the cloud, but to date most have been consumer-focused rather than business-focused. Financial service professionals, because of the nature of their business, have voiced concerns about the security and reliability of many cloud-based file sync/sharing services. Although not all files that advisors deal with are personal or confidential in nature, we think a healthy dose of caution is in order when it comes to sensitive data. That's why we were intrigued to learn that Trend Micro has launched SafeSync for Business.

For those of you unfamiliar with the firm, Trend Micro is a global leader in content security. The firm offers a full line of products, including anti-virus, software firewalls, anti-spam, cloud security and more. Trend Micro offers two versions of SafeSync: the standard version for home use with prices starting at $23.95 per year and 20 gigabytes of storage, and SafeSync for Business, the subject of this article, with prices starting at $90 per year per user with 50 gigabytes of storage per user. Volume discounts are available.

What It Does

In a nutshell, SafeSync for Business provides a method to securely share and access your firm's data online, but in order to truly comprehend the power of the offering, a detailed explanation is required. The services are similar to those of Dropbox, but Trend Micro appears to offer better security.

First of all, each employee gets synchronization of his own files across multiple devices and multiple platforms, including Windows operating systems, Macs, Androids, iPads and iPhones. In addition, there is a copy of each file stored in the cloud, so users can access a file from any device with just a Web browser. Files accessed through the Web can be edited, organized and shared. In addition to personal files and folders, there are team files and folders. These have the same properties as individual files and folders so they can be synchronized, shared, etc. The system provides secure link sharing, ensuring that only those you want to give access to will get it. In addition, the service offers "versioning." This means that if you update a file and later want to retrieve an earlier version, you can do so-or if someone inadvertently deletes a file, it can be recovered.

SafeSync for Business includes video and music streaming to compatible devices. Why might you want this for a business site? There are a few reasons. First, perhaps your firm creates or intends to create promotional videos, which you could stream to prospects. You could also share video market commentaries or short audio reports.

Of course, the big selling point here is security, and Trend Micro, with 20-plus years in the security business, knows what it is doing. The physical security, for one thing, is strong. The data center that houses your data is operated by Trend Micro, not a third party, and nobody has access to the data on the server. There is 24/7 surveillance throughout the facility. The access to all cabinets and servers is controlled so that only authorized maintenance personnel can interact with them, and when they do, they are under constant surveillance.

Files are encrypted in transit and on the servers. Data that is transferred between you and SafeSync for Business travels with strong AES 256-bit encryption. Data is stored on the Trend Micro servers, using the firm's own SecureCloud technology, which makes sure that only those people authorized to access your encrypted data can do it (if you are interested in a more detailed explanation of SecureCloud, it can be found here: 

The Trend Micro network has security characteristics that you don't find at the typical independent RIA firm. The firm has multiple firewalls to defend against cyber attacks. It scans all files for viruses and other malware, one of its key areas of expertise. And SafeSync for Business offers redundancy, maintaining two copies of your data on two separate servers and using two service providers to connect you to the Internet.

Data is synchronized to a specific region, so you do not have to worry about any sensitive data residing overseas. 

Trend Micro currently guarantees 99.9% service availability, supported by a money back service level agreement. I'm told that with the next release, the firm will be upping the guarantee to 99.99%. 

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