Metadata document scrubbers are no longer "nice to have" luxuries for small and mid-sized law firms. This type of application should be a standard part of your data security system.
Affinity has long advocated the use of “metadata scrubbers” linked to your Outlook and Document Management System. For those still not using this type of software, a metadata scrubber intercepts all outbound documents and removes metadata to create a benign document that no longer carries a history of the source location on your network, edit time, authors, track changes, original creation date, modifications, annotations, etc. It works at the "back end" of your document workflow process – and will pop up AFTER you have sent your document, thus it does not slow down your workflow.
Here at Affinity, we use DocsCorp’s cleanDocs solution, which scans your sensitive or confidential attachments and compares them against your firm’s data loss prevention policies and then takes action based on the firm or user preference – either automatically removing more than 100 different type of sensitive metadata, alerting you to risk factors, converting your documents to PDF/A format, or perhaps just leaving it up to the attorney or paralegal to choose an action.
However, one of my favorite features of cleanDocs is actually the alert that pops up when sending documents to those outside of your firm from Outlook or your DMS. cleanDocs triggers a confirmation window that allows you to double-check your recipient list. I am notorious for using Outlook’s “Recent People” feature to choose my recipients and this confirmation window saves me from accidentally sending sensitive internal documents to outside recipients with similar names. For those of you that have experienced one of those "face-in-hands" moments, I’m sure you’ll readily agree that automatic recipient risk checking is truly worthwhile!
Affinity recommends the cleanDocs because it combines all of the above features with the benefit of a central administration console so your firm can enforce security protocols rather than relying on a voluntary "opt-in." That gives your firm strong protection against data breaches and compliance with industry protection standards. It also allows for packaged deployments across your networks and a silent update feature that will make your IT department happy.
For those interested in software ROI (everyone should be), cleanDocs contains reporting capabilities that allow your firm to understand the volume of documents that are being sent out of your offices and the amount of metadata cleaning that is going on in the background. Furthermore, cleanDocs is keenly focused on integration with all of the major legal Document Management Systems, with integration support for NetDocuments, OpenText, Worldox, Sharepoint and iManage. cleanDocs offers competitive pricing (less than $5 per user per month), and you’ll get the DocsCorps' "Legal first" approach where they offer packaged installation, training and support services as part of your subscription.
If you need help with your firm's data security or document management systems, contact us or call (877) 676-5492.