Businesses are operating differently today in more than one way. People work remotely with their own devices because it is the need of the hour. The transition seemed daunting initially, but things worked out well enough. Also, electronic documents have replaced conventional paperwork. But the biggest concern for organizations is the security of digital documents. Data breaches are more common than ever.
You can well imagine the risk to these confidential documents as you circulate them among your employees and share them with your team. The outcomes of a breach are daunting, and they go beyond hitting your bottom line. It can damage your reputation and result in legal repercussions. However, some simple measures can help you protect your electronic document from these risks and threats. Here are the ones you can rely on.
Encrypt and backup
Start with document encryption and backup to secure your electronic assets from hacking attacks and vulnerabilities within the organization. Both serve as the basic building blocks for a robust business security system, so you cannot overlook either of these. With encryption, you encode digital assets to ensure that only users with access can open and read them. Users have to use a password or token to get through, so there is hardly a risk of unauthorized access.
The backing up of electronic documents also keeps them secure from accidental events and intentional breaches. Even if something unfortunate happens, you can recover the vital documents without much hassle and hard work. Follow these best practices, and you have peace of mind regarding security and disaster recovery. Both of them are essential to keep disruptions and breaches at bay.
Train your employees
Employees are the weakest link in the security chain because they can go wrong or indulge in illegitimate acts. Either way, the business is at high risk, and documents are vulnerable. Training and educating your employees about vulnerabilities is the best way to go. Make sure that they never send confidential information via email. Choose the employees who actively demonstrate these behaviors and empower them to lead the team.
Every single person who accesses company documents must have proper training. Secure data files with roles and permissions, and convey the information to every employee on board. Get started at the time of induction, and follow up with regular security training programs for your team. Training programs are expensive, but they are a small price to pay for preventing loss or breach of electronic documents.
Tidy up your documents
It is easy to think that electronic documents are less cumbersome than paper files. Although there will be less paperwork to store and handle, things may still get messed up with digital files. Most times, employees tend to store irrelevant information and miss out on crucial one just because they cannot differentiate between them. It is vital to keep the documents tidy and devices clean. Educate your employees about the benefits of clean devices and organized digital assets.
Ensure that desktops are tidy and files are organized in folders. Also, encourage the habit of purging redundant files and documents every month. But employees should double-check every document before deleting it. These measures will speed up devices and make people more efficient. They are less stressed, and the chances of falling prey to vulnerabilities are minimal. Files become easy to access, which means users can do more with less. Implement these measures as strict rules that every single worker has to follow.
Integrate EDI solution
While proper policy and employee integration cover you on the internal front, there are still risks related to external document sharing. Fortunately, edi integration can strengthen security during Electronic Data Interchange of business documents between companies. You may send invoices, purchase orders, shipment transactions, and more to business partners without worrying about breaches on the way. EDI goes a long way in improving the processing efficiency with supply chain partners.
Besides strengthening the security of your business documents, EDI helps you at the very basic level too. It helps you to move from paper to electronic transfer, so you save up in more than one way. It eliminates the need for paper and mailing supplies, taking your business a step closer to cost savings and sustainability. You can curb the manual processing expenses and supply storage costs.
Stay on top with security audits
Regular, scheduled audits of your electronic document storage system give you a great start with their security. The audits help you pinpoint security vulnerabilities even before the worst happens. You can ideate backup practices and assess the current document retention schedules. The audit team must also gather a fair idea about how the digital documents are created, managed, shared, and deleted.
Ensure that only legitimate people have access to the systems. Only these employees should be allowed to view, edit, and share digital documents. You can go the extra mile by updating or removing access permissions based on the employees leaving or changing roles. Adopting a digital rights management technology is a good idea. It limits the number of times a document can be read or printed, so you have tighter control over your electronic assets.
Update your software
While regular audits set the pace for security, you must also upgrade your software to stronghold it. Updating your software sounds daunting because businesses run multiple applications at a time. But its benefits far surpass the efforts. You have the latest security patches protecting your files and documents from the most recent threats. When a software update is around, don’t wait for the right time. Do it sooner rather than later.
Keep track of the latest updates for all applications running on your systems. Once again, employee training plays a crucial role at this juncture. They may update the software on their devices without the help of your IT support team if they are well-educated. It can save a lot of time, money, and effort for the company because every employee will be responsible for themselves.
Create robust security policies
Apart from putting these measures in place, a business that deals in electronic documents must see the bigger picture too. It should start at the policy foundation level so that you can adopt it at a widespread scale. You must design and implement a robust security policy and ensure that every team member handling digital documents follows it. Create a system to manage personal and business information on company devices.
Have a dedicated department to handle document management because it requires a lot of work. You can well imagine the volume of records to be handled for larger organizations with countless employees, customers, and business partners. Identify the kind of documents to be managed, people who have the permissions to access information, and build a structure to secure the data. It can be a daunting effort, but the payout is huge.
These steps take you a long way to secure your electronic documents. Put them in place, and you can be stress-free about your confidential data. Once you have a system in place, you can easily go ahead with your digital initiative. It makes sense because you will expect to make your business more productive and efficient in the long haul.
The author is an IT expert by profession and a writer by passion. While he works as the CTO with a reputed IT services company, he loves pursuing his writing skills as well.