Is Shadow IT Putting Your Business Data at Risk?

What is shadow IT?

Shadow IT refers to your employees’ use of software, apps, email, browsers, or devices that aren’t part of your company’s approved technology plan. This tech is outside your IT team’s control and may violate security protocols. It creates a serious cybersecurity risk that could cost your company millions. It also means all the money spent on authorized devices, apps, and software is going to waste. 

What does shadow IT look like in action?

  • Employees sending work documents to their personal emails to use when working remotely
  • Departments deciding independently to adopt a new collaboration app they prefer 
  • Employees saving business data to personal cloud storage that doesn’t have enterprise-level security
  • Workers storing confidential business files in apps on their unsecured mobile devices
  • An IT team that becomes ineffective at controlling security risks because they have no idea what random tech employees are using

It’s chilling to realize your employees may be putting intellectual property and other sensitive data at risk. Though it’s a serious security threat, try to keep in mind that employees don’t do this with malicious intent; they’re simply trying to provide themselves with the tools they need to perform their jobs well.

To solve this problem, you must get a comprehensive look at the scope of your company’s shadow IT and understand why employees are choosing to use this unauthorized technology. 

How to eliminate the threat

Identify the scope of shadow IT within your organization

You can’t protect against unknown threats, so the first step is to shine a light on all the shadowy activity in your business. 

Tracking apps such as Microsoft 365 Cloud App Security can pinpoint what applications are running on your network. Shadow IT accounts for 50% of the tech used in most companies, so don’t be shocked if you see a figure close to that. 

Tracking apps can help you evaluate the security threat level associated with each shadow app so your IT team can take action if needed. These apps can also help you determine which employees are using the shadow tech so you can talk to them about the threats involved and, most importantly, find out why they’ve gone outside of recommended technology solutions.

Understand why employees prefer using shadow IT 

Now that you have a clear understanding of all the errant technology your employees are using, it’s time to identify why they prefer this over the sanctioned options. You can do this by comparing the features of the shadow IT to the software and other tech in your company’s official technology plan. You can also conduct a survey asking employees what they like about the unauthorized programs and what they dislike about the company-approved technology. 

Common reasons employees ditch authorized technology in favor of shadow IT

  1. The user interface is outdated or difficult to use
  2. It lacks the tools and features they need 
  3. It’s painfully slow
  4. There’s no mobile option

Moving forward with a better technology solution

After evaluating the various shadow software and gathering firsthand information from employees, you may find that one or more of the shadow IT options is a better fit for your business. There’s no reason to hold on to antiquated technology that no one wants to use. If the shadow tech has the features your team wants, provides the level of security your business needs, and fits the budget, go for it! 

If none of the currently used shadow IT is appropriate for your business, it’s time to look for better options. Compile a list of the features your team wants most and the security protocols that are non-negotiable. 

Ideally, you want to find a solution that fits as many needed features as possible into one service. If employees have to navigate half a dozen apps to complete a task, they’re going to continue circumventing your company’s software solutions in favor of a more convenient option. 

What security measures do you need to keep your business data secure?

Encryption

Encryption is a process that makes your data useless to unauthorized users. If a hacker manages to get their hands on an important file, they won’t be able to read the information. Look for a business software provider that offers 256-bit encryption (i.e., the same encryption the U.S. government trusts to protect top secret files). 

Also, keep in mind that your business data needs to be encrypted when in transit (sharing a file) and at rest (in storage). Only 9.4% of cloud service providers encrypt data at rest, which means they aren’t providing secure data storage. 

Hackers are well aware of this vulnerability and will exploit it whenever they can. Just ask Equifax; they learned this lesson the hard way in 2017 when attackers stole the unencrypted stored data of over 145 million people. 

Two-factor authentication

Two-factor authentication is a user authentication method that requires a password and an additional step such as a code sent to a mobile device or an ID card. It’s a much safer method of authenticating a user than password-only logins. 

Most of us are guilty of reusing passwords, and it creates a huge security risk. If an employee is reusing a work password — or, even worse, a work password and work email— any data breach in a secondary site will jeopardize the work account. It’s essentially putting the keys to the castle right in the hacker’s hands. 

Two-factor authentication dramatically reduces this security threat. If an unauthorized user gets hold of an employee’s login credentials, it won’t matter. The second level of authentication isn’t available to them, so they can’t access the account. 

Precise roles and user permissions

Software that allows you to customize the way each employee, client, or vendor can interact with your business files is an essential security feature. Granular roles and permissions let you decide what information a user sees and how they interact with it. 

When evaluating various providers, get a clear idea of the amount of control and customization their roles and user permissions allow. You should easily be able to do things such as add or remove permissions at any time, “view as” each role to ensure it provides the level of access you expected, and dictate whether users are allowed to edit, print, or download documents. 

Strong password enforcement

Two-factor authentication is the best way to authenticate accounts securely, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to use a simple password. Technology advances rapidly, as do the tricks available to hackers. Ensure your employees’ accounts are as secure as possible by enforcing strong passwords. 

The anatomy of a strong password:

  • No sequential numbers
  • No personal information such as name or date of birth
  • At least 12 characters long
  • No common substitutions such as a dollar sign to replace an “s”
  • Use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols

What software features do most employees want?

Easy file sharing

Employees need to be able to securely share business files with colleagues, vendors, and clients. For the most convenience and flexibility, your employees should have various file-sharing options such as secure direct links for people who don’t have account access, password-protecting files, and setting expiration dates for access.

Communication tools

Good communication is the foundation of a good business. A technology solution that enables fast, easy communication across teams is a valuable asset that boosts productivity and employee engagement. Set your team up for success with features such as leaving comments on specific files or folders, sending messages within the platform, and assigning tasks. 

File syncing and version control

Automatic file syncing and version control make collaboration a breeze. 

Ever been stuck trying to figure out which version of a project file is the most recent? How about working hard on a document and then realizing it doesn’t reflect the team’s recent additions? At best, those issues are extremely frustrating. At worst, they derail important projects and could lose your company money.

Secure data storage providers such as Onehub make sure this never happens to you or your employees. Files are automatically synced across devices, so an employee can go from their laptop to their phone and still have the correct file information at hand. 

Software integrations

Microsoft Office Online and Google Docs are two standard options for creating and editing files. You can save your employees a ton of time by selecting a software provider integrated with both. That means employees can preview, create, and edit documents without having to leave the platform. If you consider the number of files an employee works with daily, you can see how that time savings add up. 

DocuSign is another great integration to look for. If your company regularly needs clients to sign non-disclosure agreements, contracts, or other important documents, this is a valuable feature to consider. Not only is it faster and easier for your employees, but your clients will also appreciate not having to print, sign, scan, and email the files back. 

The best way to prevent the security threats that come with shadow IT is to provide employees with a robust software option. Onehub provides all the security features your company needs and all the tools your employees want. For the best of both worlds, sign up today for our free 14-day trial

Your Guide to Collaboration That Empowers Your Team

Collaboration is an essential tool for an organization’s success. It’s also one of the most difficult to master. Many company executives have gone to great lengths to foster workplace collaboration, from open-plan offices to extravagant team-building retreats. 

Judging by the responses to a recent survey, these efforts haven’t been successful. Nearly 90% of employees blame workplace failures on a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication. 

Designing office spaces to enhance teamwork and encouraging employees to meet in person regularly have long been the go-to tactics for fostering a collaborative work environment. As the general workforce becomes more distributed and focused on remote technology, companies face even more challenges.

Whether your team works together in person or on separate continents, the tips below will empower your employees’ collaborative efforts. 

Improve communication 

Collaboration centers around communication, so it’s the perfect place to start building a team that works together well. 

Make communication a standard practice in the office. Have regular staff meetings to remind everyone of the company’s goals and keep them informed about the progress and remaining tasks on any big projects. This will also give employees ample opportunities to ask questions and present their ideas within a group setting. When this becomes the modus operandi, your team will begin to feel more comfortable working alongside their colleagues (literally or remotely). 

Online collaboration tools can help you establish this new communication-focused routine. With Onehub, you can create a digital Workspace dedicated to your team’s collaborative efforts. All relevant files are stored in the Workspace for easy access, and comments and messaging allow colleagues to reach out at any time with questions or ideas.

By providing specific collaboration tools and making it clear to your team that communication is a priority, you’re establishing a positive environment where collaboration can thrive. 

Share resources 

The adage “Knowledge is power” is especially fitting in the workplace. It’s no coincidence that companies store hundreds of terabytes of data. All that information is a valuable resource, and employees need to access it regularly to do their jobs well. 

In addition to accessing information resources, your employees also need help in the form of online collaboration tools. These types of digital resources aren’t only for remote teams. The Millennial generation will soon make up the majority of the workforce, and they’re much more productive when communicating and collaborating through technology. They are radically changing the workplace dynamic, and digital team tools are becoming a basic necessity for good collaboration.  

When evaluating online collaboration tools to offer your team, think safety first. Secure file storage and sharing are of the utmost importance. Earlier, we mentioned that data is a valuable resource for your team. Unfortunately, it is also valuable to hackers. That means your business files need to be protected by high-level security protocols such as encryption, two-factor authentication, and granular access permissions.

Once you’ve ensured the cloud storage and file-sharing provider has your data security covered, the next feature to look at is functionality. Is the software easy to use? Does it provide ways for your team to communicate within the platform? Does it offer a robust selection of document collaboration tools? 

Collaborative team tools such as Onehub’s file versioning and syncing allow employees to work together more efficiently. Nothing brings document collaboration to a halt faster than someone working from the wrong version of a file or in a file that isn’t synced. It’s a trainwreck, and workers lose precious time and momentum as they try to fix it. You can make sure no one on your team has to suffer through that fate again by providing them with the online collaboration tools they need. 

Define roles

Unclear expectations can derail a project quickly (and may also lead to employee burnout). You can encourage better collaboration by defining each member’s role. If multiple departments are working together, be sure to identify each team’s overall purpose within the project. 

If certain roles require access to sensitive business files, Onehub can help you create digital roles within the platform. With granular permission settings, you can store all project files in one convenient location while only allowing certain users to access confidential information. Our “view as” feature allows you to preview the Workspace in different roles to double check that everyone’s been assigned the correct level of access.

Employees also need clear guidance on what tasks they need to complete. For complex projects, especially ones with multiple deadlines, it’s helpful to have a “task” tool in your chosen business software that allows you to assign tasks to each team member. 

In Onehub’s interface, admins can view all assigned tasks or sort them by employee to check overall or individual progress. Each employee can see what tasks they have assigned to them, so they always know exactly what’s expected of them. This feature also allows managers to monitor everyone’s workload and prevent anyone from being buried under a mountain of work.

Whether you choose to go digital or analog to assign project roles and tasks, this level of clarity is essential for good workplace collaboration. 

Encourage brainstorming

Create a physical or digital workspace where employees can connect to brainstorm. There should be a strict “no bad ideas” policy to encourage everyone to share their thoughts, even if they aren’t fully formed yet. This establishes a creative, collaborative atmosphere where all employees have equal opportunities to be heard without judgment. This is a fantastic way to come up with fresh ideas to move your business forward, and it doubles as a team-building exercise that will enhance future collaborations. 

To ensure no brilliant ideas get overlooked, create and share a file with the team that recaps each brainstorming session. Team members can easily access the document whenever they need some inspiration. You never know — there may be some gems in there that will inspire a future project!

Onehub can set your team up for successful collaboration. Sign up today for a free 14-day trial to see all the ways we can help. 

Data Encryption: Learn the Basics to Protect Your Business Files

What exactly is data encryption?

Data encryption is a complex facet of data security that consists of high-level mathematics and cryptography. Encryption protects data such as business files by making the information unreadable to unauthorized users. An algorithm processes the regular data (plaintext) into an encrypted format (ciphertext) that requires a key to access. If a hacker intercepts encrypted data, it’s useless without the decryption key.

Fully understanding data encryption would require a stack of reference texts and countless hours of study. Luckily, a deep understanding isn’t necessary to make informed decisions about protecting your business data.

If we told you right now that Onehub uses 256-bit encryption to protect your data both in transit and at rest, would you know if that’s good? If your answer is no, that’s okay. We’re going to cover common questions and terms that will give you sufficient working knowledge of data encryption for your business. 

Do I really need to encrypt business files? 

Yes, urgently. 

In a report to Congress, the Congressional Research Service stated, “[Strong encryption] is important because the world has become more connected, and attackers have become more persistent and pervasive. It is difficult to overemphasize the extent to which Internet-connected systems are under attack.” 

The average cost of a data breach for a U.S. company is nearly $4 million. On top of that, customers are wary about continuing to do business with a company that exposed their personal information. 

Avoid this nightmare scenario with sensible cybersecurity protocols. Encrypting your company’s data should be standard practice because it renders any stolen data useless. 

Why can’t I just password protect files?

Some people rely on password-protected files or password-protected folders to keep their information safe, but this is a woefully inadequate security measure. 

Passwords are easy to crack. In 2020, nearly all of the most commonly used passwords could be cracked in under one second. (Not surprising considering the most common password was “123456”.) Hackers can even avoid this half-second inconvenience if they’ve acquired your passwords from a data breach. They simply log in, collect all the juicy information they can find, and then sell it for easy money.

To give you a real-world comparison, password-protecting a file is like the lock on your child’s diary, and data encryption is Fort Knox. If you encrypt your data, no one is getting access unless you want them to.   

How does encryption work?

A cryptosystem, a complex series of algorithms, controls data encryption. The system uses encryption and decryption algorithms to switch up the characters contained within the data. The encryption algorithm is responsible for substituting plaintext characters to turn the data into unreadable ciphertext. The decryption algorithm reverses this process, changing the protected information back into readable plaintext.

To give you a visual of how the process works, imagine you need to send a box full of diamonds to a very lucky friend. Obviously, the diamonds are valuable, and many people would love to get their hands on them. You decide to secure the box with a padlock. Before sending the locked box to your friend, you send them the padlock key. Once you use the padlock to secure the box, the only person who can open it is your friend who has the key. 

That is encryption and decryption in a nutshell, though it does leave out one crucial aspect. A padlocked box can be broken into by brute force, whereas encrypted data is impenetrable without the key.

What’s the difference between 128-, 192- and 256-bit encryption?

The number in front of “bit” represents the numeric length of the key used to encrypt data. The difference between them is simply the number of bits in the encryption key. The more bits, the more time it will take a hacker to crack the ciphertext.

128-bit and 192-bit encryption are both considered relatively safe to use right now, but they are becoming increasingly less secure as technology advances. 256-bit encryption is one of the most secure data encryption methods available today. Banks use this encryption method to protect sensitive financial information, and the U.S. government trusts 256-bit encryption to protect top secret information

Can encrypted data be cracked?

In theory, yes. It’s a math problem, and it can be solved, but the security of data encryption lies in its mathematical complexity. While it’s technically possible to crack encrypted data by brute force, the amount of time it would take is astonishing. 

For a hacker to crack 256-bit encryption without the key, it would take approximately 27 trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion years (aka vigintillion years). For context, our universe is less than 15 billion years old.  It’s more likely that the universe would end before the encryption was ever broken (Scrambox).

What does it mean to encrypt data in transit and at rest?

When you share a file via the internet, that data is in transit. The thousands of business files saved to your local or cloud server are at rest. Files are vulnerable in both states, though at-rest data is overlooked in many security plans.

According to a study by McAfee, 81.8% of cloud storage providers encrypt in-transit data; however, only 9.4% encrypt data at rest. Hackers know this, so instead of trying to crack encrypted in-transit data, they look for unprotected data at rest.

Equifax’s 2017 data breach is a prime example of why encrypting both is essential. The personal information of over 143 million customers was breached because the company did not encrypt its stored data. 

Ex-CEO Richard Smith confirmed that the stolen data was stored in plaintext. He went on to say, “There are varying levels of security techniques that the team deploys in different environments around the business” (Wired). 

Is it just us, or is that statement meaningless? 

Generalized statements like Smith’s should be a red flag to anyone evaluating data security or cloud storage providers. If they can’t plainly state their security strategies, strike them off your list and continue your search. Companies with solid security and encryption protocols will be happy to share the methods they use to keep your business data safe. 

Safeguard your business data today

Protecting your business files should be a top priority in 2021. The internet can be a scary place for data, and there’s too much at risk to leave valuable company information unprotected. Encrypted files give you the peace-of-mind you want for your most sensitive data.

Onehub takes data security seriously. Our 256-bit encryption protects data both in transit and at rest, so our clients’ business information is as secure as top secret government files. Sign up today for our free 14-day trial, and rest easy knowing we’ve got you covered. 

Introducing DocuSign for Onehub!

We’re excited to announce the launch of our newest feature, DocuSign for Onehub. This feature allows you to easily send documents from your Onehub account to DocuSign for e-signature. Once your documents have been signed by all parties, they are automatically saved back to the original folder or Workspace from where they were sent. It’s that easy! 

With this newest integration, you can seamlessly get your documents signed without the hassle of downloading & uploading to a new application. We’ve eliminated the back-and-forth with your files so you can get your work done better and faster. 

This feature is available for Onehub accounts on the Advanced, Data Room, and Unlimited Plans and a DocuSign account is required for all users that would like to send documents to DocuSign for e-signature. 

This new feature supports multiple file types saved to Onehub, including:

Document.doc, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .htm, .html, .msg, .pdf, .rtf, .txt, .wpd, .xps
Image.bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .tif, .tiff
Presentation.pot, .potx, .pps, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx
Spreadsheet.csv, .xls, .xlsm, .xlsx

We hope this new feature helps you be even more productive with Onehub. As always, if you have any questions you can check out our support site or reach out to our support team directly at support@onehub.com

File Encryption Makes Mobile Business Apps a Safe Bet

What is file encryption?

Encrypting business files is a critical practice that protects sensitive company data from unauthorized users. The process involves an encryption algorithm that processes a file’s data, turning it from plaintext (accessible to anyone) into ciphertext (requires a password or decryption key). Encrypted files are extremely difficult for unauthorized users to decipher so your business is less likely to experience a data breach.  

The average data breach costs companies $3.92 million. That’s a hefty price to pay for an incident that’s easily avoidable with proper security practices. Choosing mobile software that can protect your files with encryption is a wise investment.

File encryption may sound daunting, but it’s more of a “set it and forget it” measure. With software such as Onehub, file encryption and decryption for authorized users is automatic. These processes don’t require any technical know-how, and they’re not additional steps that you and your employees have to remember. You can share business files confidently, knowing they won’t be intercepted by any unsavory characters. 

Benefits of mobile business apps 

Saves money

Imagine you’re at a professional development training, and you receive a phone notification from your Onehub file share app. It’s a client who wants to change direction on a project you know your team is currently working on. With the app, you can quickly distribute an encrypted file with the new specifications to your whole team, saving them countless hours of wasted effort. Those hours directly translate to money saved for your company (not to mention saving your workers’ sanity). 

This type of scenario is standard in today’s business world. Being able to quickly adapt to a project’s changing landscape enables your company to save money while outperforming less tech savvy competitors.

Boosts productivity

A huge portion of the workforce now consists of individuals who grew up with the latest technology at their fingertips. For them, secure file sharing apps and other business technology isn’t a “nice to have” benefit. It’s a requirement for them to complete their work confidently and efficiently. 

More than 70% of workers today expect employers to provide a level of technology that’s on par with what they use in their personal lives. Dynamic Signal, a business communications provider, explains that using mobile business software “engages workers on their terms, so they feel more connected, more informed, and can do their jobs more effectively.” 

Employees with secure file sharing apps such as Onehub’s can react to important work updates in real-time no matter where they are. On-the-go access and device flexibility is key to keeping your team productive. 

Reduces turnover

By 2025, the Millennial generation will represent approximately 75% of the global workforce, and these tech-savvy workers pass harsh judgment on employers that don’t embrace new technologies. 

In the book, Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success, author Dan Schawbel explains the connection between technology and employee retention. He says, “Companies that … limit mobile device choices will have trouble recruiting and/or retaining Millennials.” He also reveals that 33% of workers would choose device flexibility and social media freedom over a higher salary. 

Companies that embrace technology and encourage mobile device use will have no problem retaining employees, and a low turnover rate has huge benefits. It allows you to develop an experienced team that works together well, and it saves a small fortune by avoiding the nonstop hiring and training cycle that comes with high turnover. 

Investing in mobile technology for the workplace will pay significant dividends, but it has to be done right. That means keeping data security top of mind and ensuring that whatever apps you choose will protect your business files by encrypting data both in transit and at rest. Encrypting mobile files for storage or secure file sharing opens up a new level of business opportunities. 

File encryption on mobile apps keeps business data safe

Nearly 60% of employees think their organizations are behind the times when it comes to providing business apps. When employees aren’t given authorized business apps to use when accessing cloud data or sharing digital files, they don’t simply stop using their smartphones for work. Instead, they choose apps on their own. 

Seventy-one percent of employees spend over two hours each week accessing company information on mobile devices. If you don’t have a vetted app for them to use, they’re spending those two hours working in an app that may not be secure. This puts your company’s confidential files in serious jeopardy.

Securing business files is as crucial on smartphones and tablets as it is on a laptop. Over half of your employees likely conduct some level of business using their smartphones, but reports show that many people aren’t aware of how vulnerable their devices are. In fact, only 42% of Android devices have current security updates, meaning their phones do not have up-to-date protection from cyber attacks.   

When introducing employees to a mobile app for file sharing or other business activities, it’s important to educate them about mobile security. This doesn’t have to be anything in depth, but they should be aware that it’s essential they only use company-approved work apps and that they promptly install any new security updates on their devices. 

Companies that are proactive in supplying business apps to workers have the opportunity to evaluate the security practices of different providers and select the one that best meets their needs. Take control of your company’s data security by offering employees a designated app for safely sharing files and collaborating with colleagues. 

Onehub’s mobile file share apps offer everything your business needs

Onehub’s robust mobile apps for iOS, Android, and iPad provide the level of secure technology your employees want and your business needs. Bank-level encryption is the standard protocol for all of our apps. Your business files are encrypted both in transit and at rest. Role-based permissions and audit trails offer additional protection, ensuring that your data is always safe. 

We’re dedicated to providing our customers with top-notch security features and productivity tools. Our powerful software enables you to upload, share, or edit documents, and real-time synchronization across devices means everyone on the team is always viewing up-to-date files. Messaging, viewing files, inviting new users, and commenting on documents are just a few other ways our apps make workplace collaboration easier. 

Sign up today for our free 14-day trial and enjoy all the benefits of on-the-go secure file access and productivity tools. 

Client Portals: The Magic Tool for Better Customer Engagement

Why is customer engagement so important?

For many industries, providing clients with the best final product or service requires them to work collaboratively with your team. Fully engaged clients bring in 23% more revenue than their less involved counterparts. They’re also more likely to be satisfied with your services because they had an active role in shaping them.

It’s an ironic truth that clients sometimes seek out services and then derail their own projects by not fully participating in the process. They will seemingly drop off the map, not responding to emails or calls, consistently missing deadlines, or not approving project milestones. Often, the problem isn’t that they don’t want to participate; it’s that they’re busy, distracted, or overwhelmed. A customer engagement portal allows you to seamlessly integrate your collaboration process into your clients’ daily lives.

Onehub client portals improve customer engagement and collaboration 

If your typical client collaboration process involves a jumble of phone calls, emailed files, random Post-it notes, or complicated software, we’re here to show you a better way.

The key to profitable client engagement is organization and convenience. Onehub client portals are a straightforward and cost-effective way to provide this. 

A client portal is a secure login area on your company’s website. Users enter their credentials to log in and access a digital Workspace that’s custom branded and tailored to their unique needs. The Workspace provides cloud storage for business files, enables easy and secure file sharing, and offers collaboration tools such as automatic syncing, comments, and tasks.  

If you’ve tried a technology-based approach before and found that customers worked around the platform rather than in it, your software was likely difficult to navigate and inconvenient to use. When you provide a simple user interface such as Onehub’s, clients are more than happy to reap the many benefits a portal offers. 

How portals benefit your clients

Client portals keep business files secure

Without a doubt, convincing clients to stop emailing files is one of the biggest hurdles to securing and streamlining your client collaboration process. Emailing files is second nature for many people, but it’s an inherently insecure file-sharing method. It also makes it extremely difficult to search for files later.

To make sure clients switch over to securely sharing files, start by letting them know the dangers of emailing files. They may not realize that hackers can easily steal their emailed business files, or that once sent, a recipient can use and share the file however they like. Confidential files such as financial documents or intellectual property are a gold mine for hackers, and they won’t hesitate to steal poorly secured files.

Onehub’s secure client portal protects that information by requiring credentials to access the Workspace. Files stored in or shared from the Workspace are protected by bank-level encryption, and SSL protocols ensure that every communication is sent over a secure connection. Features such as role-based permissions, audit trails, session timeouts, and two-factor authentication mean your client’s data is fully protected. 

Once clients see that sending a file through the Onehub platform is just as simple as emailing it (arguably even easier) and that it protects their confidential information, they are happy to make the switch. 

A client portal allows customers to self-service 

For easy-to-answer questions or general information, clients want the option to help themselves. This is great news for your team because it means fewer phone calls and emails to respond to and more time to focus on delivering a great product or service.

You can custom-brand your client portal and Workspace to look like an extension of your website and not a third-party feature. Within the Workspace, you have total control over what clients can see and do. Project files, invoices, FAQs, and tasks are a great foundation to start building out your client-specific Workspaces. 

Access to necessary files and information empowers clients to answer some of their own questions. The more convenient the collaboration process is for clients, the more they will engage and recognize the value your company offers. 

Client portals improve communication and productivity

A client portal encourages customer engagement with your team. Clients can access this dedicated space at any time and from any device, making it extremely convenient for busy schedules. 

Clients can check in to see if there are any pending tasks they need to complete, leave comments with questions about new updates on a file, or approve a mockup. They can also send messages when they need more in-depth information from the team. 

To increase productivity even more, clients can preview files without leaving the Workspace. They can also create or edit files using our helpful integrations with Microsoft Office Online and Google Drive. 

These details and tools are easy to see at a glance and provide clarity at every stage of a project. When your client collaboration process is perfectly streamlined, customers don’t have to force themselves to stay engaged. There’s no frustrating or inconvenient software to muddle through or an unorganized mass of emails to excavate; the client portal simply becomes a seamless part of their routine. 

Client portals promote brand loyalty

When your clients log into a white label client portal and access the Workspace, they see a professionally designed platform branded with your company’s logo. Everything is organized and easy to use without any training. That is an excellent impression to make. Clients immediately know that they’ve hired a competent, professional company to meet their needs. It inspires trust, strengthens business relationships, and makes clients want to hire you again. 

Keep your customers happy and your business healthy with a Onehub client portal. Sign up today for a free 14-day trial

Is Your Workplace Toxic? Onehub Can Help

In the realm of bad jobs, there are two major types. There are bad jobs that simply aren’t a good fit for the employee, and then there are toxic jobs that aren’t a good fit for anyone.

Toxic work culture is more than employees occasionally suffering through a groan-inducing annoyance. It’s a distressing environment characterized by poor leadership,  high turnover, ineffective communication, employee burnout, and bullying or harassment. When these problems begin to affect the company’s productivity and well-being of employees, you officially have a toxic workplace culture. 

Employees are the most valuable resource a company has, so it’s a smart investment to cultivate a positive work culture.  

What effect does a toxic workplace have?

It takes a toll on employees’ physical and mental health

Imagine you’re being chased by a bear.* Your heart is pounding. You’re hyper alert. Your muscles are tensed. Your body is as ready as it can be to handle this situation. 

That’s your fight-or-flight response. It’s triggered when your brain perceives a very stressful event. Unfortunately, our brains aren’t that great at distinguishing between stressors. Is it a bear? Is it a toxic job? It can’t tell, so the fight-or-flight response is initiated. 

In the case of a toxic job, the perceived danger doesn’t go away, so the stress response continues. Eventually, this life-saving evolutionary response begins to backfire, making employees sick. 

A toxic workplace often sees a higher than average rate of workers using sick days. Even when employees are at work, they’re much less effective. They miss deadlines, overlook details, and lack motivation. This chronic stress also makes people prone to irritability and less able to control their emotions, which adds to the toxicity of the work environment. 

*Safety note: Never run away from a bear

It makes employees lose the motivation to do their jobs well

Toxic work culture breaks the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The results are a cascade of problems that start with high levels of stress, moves to low morale, and quickly turns into poor productivity or work quality.

Emtrain’s 2020 work culture report showed that 95% of employees say their commitment to work plummets after just one to two toxic incidents. In an interview with NPR, a mistreated employee said about her toxic job: “I did the absolute bare minimum to get my paycheck. It did not make me want to help the company in any way.” 

Most employees want to do their jobs well. This “I’m just here for the paycheck” attitude results from bad work culture, and it can be a business’s downfall. 

It creates a high turnover rate that increases costs and derails projects

According to a 2016 report from the Society of Human Resource Management, the average cost-per-hire is $4,425. That’s a significant investment, and the higher the company’s turnover rate, the less return they see on those investments.  

That cost-per-hire figure doesn’t include the money a company may lose when it no longer has enough experienced staff to perform to clients’ expectations. A team that’s operating shorthanded and in a toxic environment has little chance of success. They’re set up to fail, and as they do, so does the business.

How can you maintain a healthy and productive work culture?

Make communication a priority

Communication is the basis for all human interactions, and it’s critical to maintaining a good work environment (or correcting a toxic one). In Inc’s article, “Why Do Employees Really Quit Their Jobs?” six of the eight reasons given are related to communication. 

The first step to good workplace communication is, fittingly, to talk about it. Make it clear to your employees that they’re welcome to ask questions, discuss concerns, or have the occasional friendly chat. 

Sometimes employees won’t feel comfortable initiating discussions, especially if open, honest communication has not been the standard operating procedure until now. Managers can make workers more comfortable by asking specific questions. Instead of saying, “Any questions?” at the end of a meeting, assume that there are. Try to gauge what they might be. A question such as, “What are some potential downsides to this project?” is much more effective at opening the door to communication.

Onehub can improve workplace communication

It’s important to provide your team with effective communication tools. In-person meetings are great (or were, pre-pandemic), but they’re not always practical. Sometimes an employee just has a quick question or update, or their problem would be more easily understood within the context of the file they’re asking about. With this type of communication, technology is the best way to get the message across. 

Onehub’s comprehensive business software provides many avenues for work communication and collaboration such as comments, messaging, and tasks. Comments can be left directly on files or folders to share feedback with colleagues, and comment icons clarify which items people are interacting with. Workers can easily communicate with everyone in the Workspace by posting messages, and tasks clearly convey who is responsible for what.

Don’t micromanage employees

Micromanagers are one of the top complaints from unhappy employees. It’s insulting to an employee’s intelligence and skills when their boss constantly checks in on them. It hinders their ability to do their job well, and it can dramatically lower their morale and commitment to their work.

Micromanagers suffer from a fear of the unknown. Is the new client account being handled properly? Will the stakeholder presentation be ready by Friday? These types of questions plague them. They don’t feel comfortable unless they know exactly what everyone is doing and where every project or account stands. 

If not addressed, a micromanager can single-handedly create a toxic work environment.

Onehub can save employees from micromanagement

An easy way to circumvent anxious micromanagers is to provide them with easy access to everyone’s status — without them checking on employees directly.

Onehub allows users to assign tasks to employees and track their actions and progress via audit trails. Assigned tasks can be viewed all together or per person, and audit trails show the granular details micromanagers crave, such as what files someone viewed or if they made changes. When a task is completed, Onehub can send a would-be micromanager a notification. 

Having access to this information makes it more convenient to check Onehub than to interrupt an employee’s work to find out what they’re doing. 

Share information

“Knowledge hoarding” is a real problem within the workforce, and a toxic work culture is often the catalyst for it. In a job where colleagues are always in competition or workers don’t feel valued, employees are understandably concerned about their job security. If people have to come to them for help or information, it makes it clear that they’re a valuable asset. 

This unwillingness to share information has expensive consequences. Your company loses money every time an employee has to stop working to search for information or reinvent the wheel to complete a project. Some estimates put this cost at around $63,000 annually

Any information that a worker needs to do their job should be readily available to them. Your company can ensure this by taking time to document processes and creating an environment that supports collaboration and knowledge sharing. 

Onehub makes it easy to share information

Once you’ve established a work culture that supports sharing information, the next step is to make sure employees can easily do that. 

Onehub is built around information and file sharing. Administrators can quickly grant access to the platform and define permissions for every employee at the Workspace, folder, or individual file level. This ensures sensitive information remains confidential while necessary files are easy to find and share. 

Once they have access, employees can collaborate with colleagues and freely share information via comments, messages, or tasks within the user-friendly Onehub Workspace.

If any of these common workplace problems look familiar, it’s time to take action. Try Onehub’s free 14-day trial to see how easy communication and free-flowing information can be. 

7 Reasons Your Clients Will Love Onehub

Meeting clients’ needs is the number one goal of successful businesses. For many companies, meeting those needs involves a significant amount of client interaction and collaboration. The processes and software you use to collect information from clients are just as important as the final product or service you provide them. Onehub was created with these needs in mind, and our platform consistently wows clients with its user-friendly interface, top-notch security, and robust functionality.

Onehub makes your clients’ lives easier

1. Clients know their confidential business files are protected. 

Data security is understandably a top concern for your clients. Onehub can help you ease their worries and win their trust by ensuring confidential information stays secure. Our security protocols mirror the fastidious measures used by banks, such as 256-bit encryption and data stored across multiple facilities and devices. 

In addition to bank-level security features, Onehub provides users with an arsenal of privacy and security tools such as granular permission settings, secure link sharing, encrypted communications, and Custom Agreements clients must accept before accessing content. 

To provide an even higher security level for your most sensitive business interactions, you can create a Virtual Data Room (VDR) for your clients. Within the VDR, you have the same security features as a traditional Workspace but with additional tools such as document watermarking, user anonymity, and more extensive audit trails. These extra features make clients feel confident that their confidential information is always safe.

What users are saying

“Look at Onehub, and you see an elegant, easy to use, and highly secure data management system.” Elie Azar, Managing Director, White Wolf Capital 

Defining precise permissions puts my customers at ease,and limiting content interaction allows me to better control access to sensitive data.” Matthew Holland, Ray White Business Sales

2. Our intuitive interface is easy for clients to use from day one.

If you’ve ever had to train a client to use complex business software, you know what an arduous task it is. It requires the patience of a saint and many deep, calming breaths. It’s also a trying experience for your client. They just want to securely share files with you or approve new changes to a document. They don’t want to endure a training session for overly complicated software. You can save yourself, your team, and your clients from this fate by choosing Onehub. Our technology solution has everything your clients need in a streamlined, easy-to-use interface. 

Many businesses have trouble convincing clients to work within their designated software instead of sharing files and information via email (which is not secure and makes finding attachments difficult). Clients only do this when your chosen platform is intimidating, difficult to use, or lacks necessary features. Onehub is simple to navigate and has everything your clients need in one convenient location, so you don’t have to worry about them operating outside of our secure platform. 

What users are saying

“With the previous program, we constantly got calls about login and account setup problems and how to use the file sharing. Onehub applies the same kind of file and folder navigation that people use every day, so clients catch on quickly without any help.” J. Bruce Ricciuti, President, Birch REA 

“Ease of setup and use were essential. The same functionality that made it easy for us to adopt [Onehub] has made it easy to onboard additional users both inside and outside our organization.”  Abram B., Director of IT

3. Clients can share files quickly and securely. 

Email is often clients’ go-to method for sharing business files because it’s familiar; however, emailing files can create several problems. Email is inherently insecure, so it’s simple for hackers to intercept business files that may contain sensitive information. Email also has frustrating file size limits, makes it difficult to find attachments later, and doesn’t provide confirmation that the file was received. 

Some businesses avoid email file sharing by using file transfer protocol (FTP). As the name suggests, it’s a much more technical option. Many clients find it confusing or overwhelming and will often default back to emailing files. FTP is more secure than email, but it’s still vulnerable to attacks and can be slow to transfer files.

Once your clients understand the risks involved with emailing files, they’ll want a secure option that’s simple for them to use. Onehub’s platform makes secure file sharing fast, easy, and secure. The interface is user-friendly, and clients can transfer files directly or with secure links. Our stringent security protocols protect every file sent via Onehub, so your customers can confidently share their business files.

What users are saying 

Everyone is saved from the painful process of sending files by email or FTP … To be competitive, we have to provide a project management solution that lets clients collaborate on projects, saves them time, and is easy to use while maintaining the security of their information. Onehub is the solution that offers this and more.” Cindy Hearn, Sales & Marketing Specialist, PRG

4. Custom-branding and white-labeling options give clients confidence in your business.        

Onehub users can create unlimited custom-branded or white-labeled Workspaces. These are essentially digital office spaces that cater to each of your clients. Creating this dedicated space for clients sends a clear message that you value their business. A custom-branded Workspace provides them with a secure and easy-to-access central location where they can find all the files they need, approve project updates, complete or assign tasks, and collaborate directly with your team.

Clients appreciate having a polished Workspace that’s organized and gives them access to all the tools they need. It makes your business look extremely professional, capable, and conscientious, all of which boosts clients’ confidence in you and your team. 

What users are saying

“I love how quickly we can set up custom client Workspaces. It delights our clients to have their own area and provides special value to them.” Marcy Kalina, Vice President, MossWarner

“One of the most significant features that OneHub offers is their custom white labeling. This feature allows you to add your own company’s logo on all of the web addresses that your users visit. Your users (vendors, customers, contractors) don’t feel like they are visiting a third-party vendor, which is a plus in my book.” Randy P., Senior Project Manager

“We use the site to share content with clients, and [white labeling] makes us seem polished and bigger than we are to have ‘our own’ file-sharing site.” Lee T., Client Relationship Manager

5. Custom Agreements and DocuSign make it easy for clients to sign NDAs and other important documents.

Printing an NDA, signing it, scanning it, and emailing it back to your contact is a frustrating process. Onehub simplifies non-disclosure agreements by providing Custom Agreements and DocuSign integration. 

You can choose to customize the Agreement tool to reflect the legal requirements you want clients to abide by. Before entering the Workspace, Client Portal, or Virtual Data Room, clients can review the document and accept the terms with one click. 

Our DocuSign integration is similarly easy, with clients accessing files from within the Workspace and typing their e-signature to acknowledge receipt of the document or acceptance of the terms. Clients value these two features because they dramatically simplify what used to be a lengthy and tedious process. 

What users are saying

“Getting sales leads to sign a non-disclosure agreement used to be complicated, stressful, and time consuming. After discovering Onehub’s Custom Agreements feature, BankTEL was able to unify and transform the entire process into a more automated and auditable one-click action.” BankTEL case study, details provided by Bonnie Baker, Director of IT

6. Microsoft 365 and Google Drive integrations make it more convenient to access files.

It may not seem like switching back and forth from your browser to a downloaded file multiple times a day is a huge deal, but it has a surprisingly negative impact on your efficiency. Research has shown that these short breaks in our focus collectively reduce our productivity and increase fatigue. 

Our Microsoft 365 and Google Drive integrations combat this issue by allowing users to view or edit documents without downloading them. New documents can also be created directly within the Workspace. Clients appreciate this optimization that enables them to do everything in one central location. It saves them time and makes their tasks less stressful. 

What users are saying 

“I love the ability to share files securely on a temporary basis with or without a password, the activity log, and the ability to integrate and edit documents in either Microsoft 365 or Google Drive. [This] means I don’t have to download files any longer, increasing my productivity.” Brenda B., CEO and Certified ProAdvisor

7. Onehub’s app gives clients access anytime, anywhere.

Sometimes work needs to happen away from the office. We’ve all experienced a moment when we’re out and about and suddenly have a “this can’t wait” idea or question. With the app always handy, your clients never have to worry about losing their stroke of creative brilliance or forgetting to clarify an important contract detail. They have convenient 24/7 access to the Onehub platform from their phones or iPads. The app is available for both Android and iOS users.

What users are saying 

“The easy accessibility for my clients on both their PC and the phone app is a pro.” Mike N., Owner,  Accounting Firm

I love the mobile app as well, which is simple with no additional apps to install to use it whether for iPhone or Android.” Brenda B., CEO and Certified ProAdvisor

Onehub is a user-friendly and cost-effective solution that will meet all of your clients’ file-sharing and collaboration needs. Try us out for free for 14 days to see how much your clients will love Onehub!