“Moving to the cloud” can sound like a no-brainer when it comes to efficiency and productivity for entity management – especially in these times of increased remote working and global uncertainty. But some of the biggest concerns reported by Chief Technology and Chief Security Officers about moving to the cloud center around the questions of security and access.
Poor access controls and access policies are a big red flag when it comes to cybersecurity, which is why many CISOs prefer to keep confidential corporate data – such as that found in legal entity management processes – locked down behind a firewall on the company’s own servers. It’s something they feel comfortable with, because they know and understand it and feel they can deal with any issues as and when they emerge.
However, that kind of thinking limits productivity, and also puts entity management at risk of human error and incorrect data. Cloud-based systems can actually be more secure than network-based ones because software updates and security patches are automatic. Plus, access is easily controlled from a central dashboard, wherever you are and whatever time of day it is. This single source of truth means violations of access policies can be dealt with swiftly.
The At–a-Glance View of Corporate Data for Entity Management
A central dashboard and cloud-based software brings other efficiencies to the table, including automated reporting for governance and compliance matters, and all-important user permissions to limit who gets to see which parts of the corporate record.
Gaining an at-a-glance view of the health of compliance via a single source of truth helps to empower paralegals and corporate secretaries to be more proactive with governance and compliance, meaning they’re no longer constantly running around playing catch-up.
Automation is the Paralegal’s Friend
The term “automation” can mean so much in today’s software world, but in general we’re talking about removing the manual side of checking compliance status, looking for filing dates in the calendar, and getting the right people involved at the right time.
Entity management software can help take a load off the plates of corporate secretaries, paralegals and legal operations professionals by automating some of these more manual tasks. The system can send compliance reminders and other alerts, including letting the appropriate stakeholders know when there is an impending risk to good standing.
Pay Attention to the Orange Light
These entity management dashboards also provide a single source of truth for corporate data, and an overview of the entire compliance picture to those with the right user permissions. By employing a traffic light system – green is in good standing; orange means it needs attention; red spells danger – the platforms help draw legal eyes to those issues that need immediate rectification.
As well as automating email reminders or other notifications to warn stakeholders of an issue, the traffic light system on the dashboard brings immediate visual cues to any user that can help to rectify the situation. This in turn offers peace of mind to the legal entity management team, who know that issues can be dealt with before they become major compliance problems. All the essential steps to legal compliance can be handled from that first screen.
Control Who Accesses What and When
And now to the question of access. A dashboard is such a powerful tool, and creates a single source of truth for all information, so surely you don’t want every person to be able see the state of entity compliance across the organization nor to be able to tinker around and threaten the integrity of corporate data?
Cloud-based legal entity management technology brings easier access to the corporate record, but it also helps security and IT teams to tightly control who has that access and what they have access to, right down to the smallest level. In fact, access control and managing user permissions is so important that it’s considered one of the 10 essential steps to cybersecurity by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre.
Role-based access control helps to restrict access to a network based on a person’s role within that organization. Working together with the General Counsel’s team, IT teams can restrict lower-level employees from gaining access to sensitive board information while enabling them to upload contracts or other important documents for the corporate record. They can give short-term access to third party stakeholders who need to input on a project, or they can ensure that directors can give their eSignature to a contract while they’re on holiday.
Access controls help to reduce the administrative burden for the corporate secretary; it means they can exert tight control on the data specific people need, and stop fielding questions by email for the current state of that entity, or access to this contract. Furthermore, it enables better collaboration and more robust security practices, while improving the overall state of compliance.
Entity Management Software Can Deliver Control and Automation in One Platform
Those handling entity management, especially in complex or multinational organizations, need to be able to trust the state of the entity data in their systems. One way to support the integrity of this information is to ensure only authorized users have access to the data at any time from a single source of truth.
Diligent Entities is built with user permissions which help legal entity managers to control who has access to what, from where, and when. Generally, there are a couple of “super users” who can edit and maintain information, with others simply able to read information or receive reports on a regular basis. For example, the regional director might only want updates on the entities that fall under their region and won’t want to be overloaded with all of the other information available in the system.
The Diligent Entities dashboard makes it easy to identify any compliance issues before they become concrete problems, too; a traffic light system in the compliance calendar shows whether an entity has completed its filings, whether they’re due soon, and if they’ve been missed.
Diligent’s full compliance ecosystem integrates this entity management system with the Governance Cloud, aligning entity management with board management, secure file sharing, eSignature capabilities and more. Get in touch and request a demo to see how Diligent’s modern governance software can help to take a load off your legal operations’ shoulders.