Document security has emerged as an important business concern no company should ignore. With all the sensitive data flowing through most modern organizations, there is much to protect. Businesses are responsible for information such as personally identifying information, payment details, and medical records, just to name a few. As such, they must take reasonable steps to preserve and protect both paper and digital documents.
Threats businesses face
Business documents are stored and accessed in many places, including email applications, hard drives, mobile devices, USBs, and the cloud. As a result, organizations face very real threats if they aren’t proactive about securing documents, such as:
- Data breaches – Either accidental or intentional (i.e. employee loses a laptop or an employee steals information and sells it).
- Hacking events – Infiltration by a cybercriminal with nefarious intentions.
- Document flow – Data can be lost or breached in motion as it moves between mobile, print, and other devices.
- Tech updates – If firmware, software, and patch updates are not performed, businesses are at risk of experiencing unauthorized access to their documents.
- Botnet infections – With the rise of the Internet of Things due to so many connected devices, infection by botnets are now more of a risk.
These threats are serious and cannot be ignored. In addition to leaving a company financially vulnerable if data is lost or exposed, organizations also face any penalties associated with non-compliance of regulatory or industry requirements.
Why document security matters to all businesses
Statistically speaking, many businesses leave themselves vulnerable to exploits, especially small companies because they feel they are less of a target. Realistically, small businesses today are under more a threat than their larger counterparts. This is because cybercriminals and data thieves know small companies are less likely to invest in strong security.
According to a 2017 report, researchers found 75% of data breach victims were small businesses. While it can be costly to increase cybersecurity, consider the far higher costs of not securing important documents containing sensitive information:
- Loss of customer confidence
- Damage to brand reputation
- Actual financial losses if data is lost or stolen
- Fines and penalties associated with data exposure
- Impact on future revenue opportunities
Any of these events associated with information theft can be devastating to a business. It’s important to note that about 60 percent of small businesses are forced to shutter their doors after just one data breach. A big price to pay.
How to secure your documents
To better secure your documents, you want to be proactive. To start, establish best practices to handling sensitive documents—make it a part of your company’s culture. Here are some good practices to integrate into your organizational policy:
- Control access to data, including viewing, writing (editing), and sharing.
- Educate employees about the importance of document security.
- Routinely back up data and store copies in a separate and secure location.
- Use encryption to protect documents from being seen by those unauthorized to do so.
- Employ document tracking with name, date, and time.
- Perform routine updates to operating systems, firmware, and software.
- Use strong authentication methods (i.e. two-step) and hard-to-guess passwords.
- Always change default passwords that come with any devices or equipment.
- Lock up sensitive paperwork and limit access to the storage areas.
- Use secure document couriers when you must share or deliver sensitive hard copy documents.
- Partner with a vendor such as ACP who can apply their expertise and put their full focus on document security.
As a bonus, document security solutions are highly streamlined, which means businesses utilizing them enjoy better productivity and efficiency, helping them to scale back on costs.
If you’d like help protecting your documents and the sensitive information contained within them, contact us today to learn more about ways you can strengthen document security.