Dekko pushes secure digital tools for remote work world

The sudden rush of people working from home has driven a surge in the use of digital tools for sharing of sensitive information. But in many instances, these tools started life as consumer-grade solutions, with security built in later.

For the Australian collaboration technology company Dekko, having clients that work in many of the most sensitive and secure fields of law enforcement and the judicial system has meant being secure by design is a guiding principle.

According to Dekko's chief executive officer, Jacqui Nelson, this has provided her company with the opportunity to build browser-based communications and collaboration tools that feature military-grade security and deliver an exceptional user experience in order to address her client's specific needs.

 "Employing the technology that we do in the web browser allows these organisations to be able to engage with our technology very easily and ensure that sharing takes place securely and with a really comprehensive audit trail," Nelson said.

This approach is exemplified by DekkoVault, which incorporates a document sharing, storage, management system and messaging features to facilitate collaboration and productivity that are all contained within a highly secure web-based repository.

According to Nelson, all Dekko products are built on the principle that security should be an enabler to productivity, and not a hindrance. To hone in on this, her company has worked closely with clients to design solutions that make workflows as easy to use as possible.

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This includes simple processes for tasks, such as adding approved parties to groups and having documents signed and sent for approval. DekkoVault users are also able to communicate securely using an encrypted private chat capability.

"We include a lot of things into our platform that really save time, and we do all of that transparently for the user," Nelson said. "We have put a lot of thought in setting permissions for who can access documents, the workflows around them, and the visibility of people downloading documents."

DekkoVault features advanced capabilities for auditing the handling of documents, including the ability to manage the complete chain of custody for a document, which Dekko guarantees can provide immutable conversations and non-repudiation of documents.

The document signing capability within DekkoVault has also been recognised as a legally binding tool by the Australian Government solicitor.

Nelson added that DekkoVault places no limits on the size of documents which can be stored – a definite benefit for legal clients, whose briefs of evidence can run into the dozens of gigabytes.

"It is one platform that offers a single repository and a single source of truth," Nelson said. "This product has the capability to eliminate four or five other pieces of technology in their organisation because we have them all sitting on one platform."

Dekko's solutions engineer Alex Lyons explained that because Dekko's tools are web-based and accessed from a browser, there is also no need for users to download a dedicated client app to use the platform.

According to Lyons, this alleviates the need to test and update user apps, which translates to no burdens being placed on a client's systems. It also eliminates the risk of unauthorised internal users inadvertently or maliciously accessing data.

"Web browsers are robust and have become very capable at facilitating things like file sharing, so there is no need to introduce new applications to all devices," he said.

And because the DekkoVault service is hosted on Microsoft's secure Azure Cloud infrastructure within Australia, Lyons explained users could be assured that their data would be protected by the highest levels of security while also ensuring they remain compliant with data sovereignty obligations.

Future developments will see the functionality from DekkoVault begin to be integrated with Dekko's secure videoconferencing service DekkoLynx, which will deliver the ability to collaborate on a secure document within a secure video call.

Dekko has also had its tools independently assessed by the accredited verification and validation services company Enex TestLab, Nelson said.

According to Enex TestLab's chairman and managing director, Matt Tett, making these capabilities available as a fully supported product will be appealing to many organisations that are looking for a heightened level of security when collaborating.

"It's a good thing to know that a functional product has come out of a security organisation, rather than that an organisation has made a functional product and tried to add security on to the best of their ability," Tett said.

Nelson said she has witnessed a significant increase in interest in DekkoVault this year, due to both the greater requirement for remote collaboration tools in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, and because of the increased attention given to the threat of cyber espionage.

By developing a military-grade secure web-based solution, Nelson believes Dekko has delivered a comprehensive information sharing platform that meets the highest requirements for document security without compromising user experience.