FutureVault Can Make Your Documents More Secure and More Accessible by Putting Them Online

Joel Anderson  |

Two of the biggest trends in business right now are at odds with each other. Cloud computing has streamlined many business practices, allowing people to share important documents instantaneously to facilitate working together. The other, though, is cybersecurity, with a number of high-profile security failures from Target (TGT) to the State Department reminding everyone that while a new era of digitization may remove a lot of friction to doing business, it also has the potential to expose important information to hackers.

However, one company may be taking these two seemingly opposing forces and binding them together into one new product. FutureVault is built on a simple premise: creating a secure cloud platform that people can use for their most important documents.

A secure, cloud platform for selectively sharing key medical and financial documents could fast become a must-have service for credit unions, banks, accounting firms, and lawyers to offer to their clients, paying for a service that makes it much easier for them to do business even as it dramatically improves the quality of life for their clients.

Simplicity Through Categories

Whether it’s a birth certificate or a stock warrant, everyone has a number of important documents they need to keep secure. Keeping them safe from hackers would mean maintaining physical copies alone, but that can make dealing with people like accountants or doctors involve shuttling back and forth from their offices the necessary documents. With FutureVault, users have a single platform where they can store all their documents, keep them totally secure, and still have the sharing functionality of the cloud.

“I think when everyone sees this platform, they totally get it,” says FutureVault CMO Michael Bradley. “You have documents that are in your basement with your accountants, with your banker, with your lawyer, with an ex-spouse, with your family members. They’re everywhere. We wanted to create a platform that really brought all these together.”

FutureVault allows the complex lives of its users to find organization and simplicity.

“I was the alpha customer,” says FutureVault’s Executive Chairman, CEO, and famed investor G. Scott Paterson. “My office and myself, we're saving thousands of dollars per month and finding unbelievable efficiency gains.”

The platform can take myriad different types of secure documents and gather them together into one place, allowing users to customize their vault or leverage the pre-existing organizational system and categories.

“Categories come pre-loaded into FutureVault, because one of the things we found in our research was that nobody really knows how to file their stuff,” says FutureVault Senior Business Analyst and Head of Research Corbin Hudson. “There is no gold standard. We took a stab at it. We broke it down into 25 categories, a 170 sub categories, then further drilled down into 1,100 suggested document types so that you've got a professional filing cabinet done from the beginning.”

It All Hinges On Cybersecurity

Beyond simply organizing a person’s life in a single location, one of the key pieces of functionality for FutureVault comes in the selective permissions that a user can assign.

Take that most hated time of year for everyone who’s not an accountant: tax time. Filing your taxes can be agonizing, particularly when you have to coordinate with your accountant to get them W-2s, investment returns, and receipts, among other things. Sending them via email raises serious security concerns, but shuttling them back and forth from the accountant’s office can take forever.

However, with documents in FutureVault, users can identify specific people and give them access to specific sections of their vault. With so many categories, sub-categories, and document types, you can approve access for your accountant only to the parts of your life she needs access to while keeping your medical records private and secure.

“A really big part of the platform is Trusted Advisors,” says Hudson. “You can permission a person into only the categories that are relevant to them. You can completely outsource this task to a financial professional. That can include your property insurance guy, your lawyer, your accountant, they all just come in here whenever they need to. People sometimes stop us and say ‘Whoa, you're letting people into your account?’ It’s really sensitive stuff, but everything is fully tracked and secure.”

Of course, that last point raises a pretty significant concern: safety and security. No amount of smooth user experience is going to mean much unless it’s paired with top-tier cybersecurity. And in that regard, FutureVault has also gone to great lengths to ensure that both of these twin pillars of its business model are well constructed.

“We have top bank guys building top bank security,” says Hudson. “The end to end encryption is top of the line, our servers are completely hired in, there’s full redundancy, and we have behavioral analytics on there as well as the compliance and third party validations. The user doesn’t really see it, but it’s there. Normally, nobody thinks about security until something goes wrong, because it doesn’t actually affect their account, but we're building best in class security from the get go. Without a doubt.”

The Next Big Step Forward in Online Finance

FutureVault is ultimately looking to stay ahead of the curve on what appears to be a growing trend in the financial industry. The lives of consumers have been moving online for years, but the remaining piece has been the sort of important documents that have to remain completely secure. In FutureVault, consumers finally have the service that can allow them to take that final step into the cloud computing lifestyle.

“Our view is that in five years, every single financial services organization in the world is going to deliver their documents, their monthly statements, the compliance documents, their marketing documents to their customers and clients through a FutureVault type platform,” says Patterson. “The way we built it, there's so much functionality. A banker, credit union, pension fund, union, mutual fund, accounting firm, law firm, whatever it is, it can be white labeled in FutureVault so that it can be categorized. Users are going to have a high degree of stickiness, a degree of loyalty, and then as a result of a whole series of data analytics, organizations can really grow their relationship with that vault holder.”

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