Document security is critical for any organization. It requires an effective document management strategy to safeguard data keeping documents accessible yet secure. With the right document management system, you reduce the risks and potential consequences of data breaches and unauthorized access. Here we look at the importance of safeguarding your data and the role an effective, secure document management system plays in data security.
What is Document Security?
Document security involves the safe storage, backup, processing, and accessing of your critical business documents. It ensures you retain the records you need so they are sharable, editable, and accessible without the risk of data breaches. Document security also ensures that unnecessary documents are discarded or archived promptly and that sensitive documents are only accessible via role or permission-based authorization.
Document management security services leverage sophisticated technology and expertise with end-to-end solutions that meet the needs of your business. They ensure you can process, store, and retrieve documents from a single integrated system, worry-free. A comprehensive document security strategy also considers the risks of malicious attacks to create effective encryption to prevent cyberattacks.
What are Document Security Strategies?
There are several secure document management strategies you can employ, including:
- Deploy a document management system: A document management system uses passwords, authentication, and verification to protect your data. Document protection is the first security step, using access rights on a need-to-know and need-to-edit basis. Role and permission-based access limits document access and assigns usernames to create audit trails for accountability across your organization. This helps to deter inappropriate behavior.
- Improve document sharing security: To reduce security risks, only authorized users should be provided passwords to access your document networks and share any resources stored in your system. You can also reduce the risks of paper documents circulating in your office using digitized files to avoid print cues that present security risks. Your digital document hub avoids common issues, including:
- Unauthorized document editing
- Inconsistent document versions
- Lost, damaged, or misplaced paper documents
- Inability to control access restrictions due to outdated document storage methods, i.e., paper file cabinets, easy access to documents on people’s desks, etc.
- Protect your data with encryption: Encryption encodes data to hide it from unauthorized use. By encrypting your data, you protect your proprietary data, as well as the private data of your customers. As a result, you maintain customer trust and ensure you remain compliant with government regulations.
- Create a consistent document format: If your organization still uses paper documents and different digital document formats, it helps to create a single format for simplified sharing and improved security. PDFs transform digital documents into encrypted, password-protected files to completely protect your documents. You can scan paper documents, save them as PDFs, and store them with your digital documents so they are ready to share via your access and authorization protocols.
How Does Effective Document Management Improve Document Security?
Effective document management helps address several of the issues that present security risks including:
Proper naming conventions
A strict indexing process ensures that documents are not lost or present a risk for access for those without authorization. Naming protocols ensure adequate categorization of all documents so they are provided with the proper level of security and access restrictions. This also reduces the risk of documents getting lost due to improper file names.
Proper document organization
Document management ensures that documents remain organized based on usage, age, retention needs, etc. Without an automated document management system, all of these tasks must be managed manually, which is very complex.
Automation allows you to manage documents so they are retained in your active files based on particular timelines and criteria, moved to archives for ongoing retention, or deleted when no longer useful. You maintain a more organized central document management storage system for day-to-day operations with more space available through archiving and deletion. Hence, your records, data, and documents are easier to find.
Effective document management also ensures automatic daily backups. If you face security breaches that damage, delete, or alter documents, you have an instant recovery process with the latest available versions.
Authorization and authentication
Your document management system also dictates who can access files. You can assign a role or permission-based authorization to control the number of people using stored documents. Viewing and editing privileges add an additional layer of security, ensuring access rights are far more controlled. Only those with special privileges can physically change documents, and workflows are not disrupted by providing others with the ability to monitor, track or read documents to complete their work. Along with password protocols, you ensure that you keep unauthorized people from trying to access data from authorized staff computers.
Audit trails track activity within your storage system based on usernames and passwords. This can act as a deterrent for fraud and carelessness that puts your business at risk. You improve accountability and can identify questionable activity so you can respond quickly to mitigate damage.
Why is Document Security Important?
Document security offers several benefits, including:
- Improved compliance with regulations: The American Data Privacy and Protection Act requires all organizations to adopt reasonable data security practices and procedures in light of the entity’s size and activities to protect information that “identifies or is linked or reasonably linkable” to an individual.
- Mitigating legal risks: The audit trails tracked and recorded by your secure document management system provide proof of compliance to all industry and government-related regulations from HR to taxes and privacy to patient records.
- Preserving confidentiality: Confidentiality is far-reaching and does not just apply to compliance. You also want clients to feel confident that they can trust you to manage their information with care to avoid competitive challenges and protect the integrity of their brand.
A robust document management system with enhanced protocols and processes protects sensitive data throughout its lifecycle. From creation to disposal, you gain complete control while ensuring your data is secure. By deploying an effective, secure document management system and strategy, you also safeguard your data, protecting your organization from potential security breaches and data loss. Digitization ensures you protect both digital and physical documents and create a consistent format safer for backup, storage, and sharing.
Now is the time to create a more secure infrastructure for your data. The team at MEDI offers security solutions ideal for your business. Click here to reach out to us today.