Thanks to the Sony hack – and yesterday’s hack of the US military’s Twitter and YouTube sites – security is now clearly on the agenda for all law firms and legal service providers. With excellent timing, the PayneGroup has just announced the official launch of Redact Assistant 2.0. The product is designed to redact electronic versions of Microsoft Word and Excel files while retaining the functionality of the documents – as distinct from just slapping a black box over a static PDF copy of the file.

Redaction, which means removing information from files, is essential when confidential information must be removed from a file prior to sharing or electronically publishing the file. If a file is not redacted properly, sensitive information can be viewed by unauthorized individuals with the consequence of inadvertent disclosure. While competitive products existed prior to this product release from PayneGroup, the primary differentiator is that redacted files sanitized by the PayneGroup Redact Assistant are still functional in their native format. For instance, Excel formulas will still work and the file does not have to be converted to a graphic or PDF. This functionality was requested by users in 2014 and PayneGroup responded with the release of this product.

Redact Assistant obfuscates information from both Word and Excel files. The software comes with useful aids that help to mask common terms to be redacted, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and more. All of which makes the software easier to use.

Says Donna Payne, PayneGroup CEO, “This isn’t just software for a law firm. Government agencies*, pharmaceutical and health care organizations, corporations, and of course legal will find this software not only useful but necessary.” In the past year, PayneGroup worked on a government security agency task force to help define standards for proper redaction and metadata removal. The company is committed to making products that are effective, easy to use, and affordable. Redact Assistant is the latest in a security product line from PayneGroup. Other security products include Metadata Assistant and the Outlook Send Assistant.

* We understand Redact Assistant was given a soft launch with a 40,000-seat US government agency last year and was “very well received”. For further details email RedactAssistant@thepaynegroup.com