Whether you’re dealing with paper-based or digital documents, you need to ensure that your documents are handled carefully and securely. In the case of paper-based documents, you are probably taking great care to secure and archive them, for example, sorting, filing, and locking them in appropriate cabinets.
But, what happens when you work with transition documents (digital to paper-based or vice versa) or digital documents? Such documents also need to be secured, especially if they contain confidential data, such as intellectual property, your clients’ data, and your employees’ personal data.
Here’s How You Can Ensure Document Protection in Your Organization
Let’s take a look at how you can secure physical and digital documents in your organization.
Shred Confidential Documents
Once you’ve taken a print out of a confidential document and finished gleaning all the data you’re authorized to see, it’s time to shred the document. In this way, you rule out the possibility of the document lying around and getting read by anyone who’s not authorized to view it. Shredding of digital documents can occur by overwriting the data multiple times or by using expiry to ensure it can no longer be viewed.
Point of Capture Security
Data leakage is a legitimate concern when your organization uses multi-function devices. In fact, since scan to desktop and scan to email are features you likely use on a regular basis in the day-to-day running of your business, it’s important to ensure document protection at the point of capture.
Copiers and printers are basically shared devices in an office. So, to prevent data leakage at this stage, your IT department should ensure that documents can only be accessed after proper user credentials have been verified (through an access card or another secure method).
Watermarks that identify users (name, email, etc.) can be applied to documents so you know the source of any data leaks.
Train Employees for Security Protocols
A reliable Digital Rights Management (DRM) system can help you select custom controls for select user groups. This will ensure that only those authorized to view or make changes to a document can access it.
But, access controls can only go so far, if your employees don’t take document security seriously. For example, if an authorized user leaves his or her system unlocked, it’ll give miscreants a perfect opportunity to get their hands on your sensitive data.
Maintain Audit Trails
You can control who views your data, while it’s still in your network. But can you do the same when you need to share documents with employees or other stakeholders? Would you have any control over how your documents are being used? Yes. A DRM system can help you set up controls that show you who accessed a particular document, when they did so, and what changes they made. Document DRM can ensure documents can only be used at authorized locations and by authorized users.
Embed DRM Security in Email Workflows
You can prevent data leakage by not putting sensitive information in the email body. But, you also need to consider email attachments. Integrating a DRM system into your email workflow can help you overcome this as an effective e-DRM system can turn an attachment into a secure link, according to the file size and type, keeping all the controls you’ve applied to the DRM-protected document (for example, restricting copying and printing and applying dynamic watermarks) intact.
Opt for Document DRM for Overarching Security
An efficient DRM system is a great investment for all SMEs, especially if you heavily rely on intellectual property and research and development to grow your business. A DRM system can let you set up custom controls for viewing access and customized usage access. Essentially, DRM aims to close most loopholes in document security.
Are you observing these document security best practices in your organization? Let us know in the comments.