"Document management" is a valuable keyword these days. It comes up in almost every business conversation, from digital transformation and modernization to improved communication and productivity. However, there's one part of the document management journey you can't afford to overlook: security.
Why Document Management Security Matters
Document management comes with a lot of automatic benefits. For example, you'll streamline your workflows just by having a document management solution in place, simply because this solution works behind the scenes to eliminate extra steps, bottlenecks, and inefficiencies.
But it's not all fun and games. There's also a critical component to document management that requires a little homework on your part--and that's security.
Document management security matters because it has to be woven into your approach from the very beginning. This helps you build a document environment that's "secure by design" instead of "secure as an afterthought." What's the difference? Let's take a quick look:
Secure as an afterthought
Any security is better than no security--but when you layer solutions on top of an existing system, you could end up with a messy approach. It's like making after-market alterations to your car: They might look and work fine, but they won't necessarily match the options offered by the manufacturer--and they may not work together very well, either.
Secure by design
If "afterthought security" is like after-market car alterations, "security by design" is like building your own car from the ground up. You'll never have to worry about choosing solutions that don't fit together, because you're thinking ahead and adding everything you need right now. That way, every decision you make is based on this solid, secure foundation.
Most document management systems and solutions come with some level of built-in security. However, it's up to you to actually leverage, utilize, and plan around these features--otherwise, you could be missing out on the opportunity to protect yourself from data dangers.
How to Build Security Into Document Management
It's one thing to say that you should think about security as you're implementing document management solutions--but it's another thing entirely to actually do it. Let's take a look at some concrete ways to make sure you get security by design:
Think about backups.
Backups are a critical tool for any security approach and should be built into your document management system from day one. That means creating rules, folders, and permissions so these backups are both automatic and efficient.
Encryption might be more like a "safety net" than a frontline defense, but it's still an important part of document management. When you encrypt your files, you ensure they can't be read or utilized by outside parties, which protects you in case of a breach. (Hint: Don't forget to encrypt stored files and backups, too!)
Digitize as soon as possible.
Digitization is probably already part of your document management approach, but when you add security to the mix, this step becomes even more important. Digital documents are easier to monitor and lock down--which means the faster you digitize, the less you have to worry about a physical file walking away in the wrong hands.
Standardize your approach.
Many document management security solutions are about adding tools to defend your data or simplify your processes. However, one of the best things you can do is use document management as an excuse to turn your focus inward. After all, if your approaches aren't effective, even the best solutions won't keep you safe from all the threats out there.
The best place to start is standardizing your approaches. For example, employees should always know when to attach a document to an email and when to use a file-sharing app or system instead. They should also know the rules for creating passwords, using mobile devices at work, staying away from unauthorized apps, and protecting data both online and off.
Include version control.
Version control is another simple but powerful tool for document management security. This approach helps you make sure everyone is working on the same document at the same time. Without version control, you can quickly lose track of who's making which edits and how many people actually have access to this document.
It's easy to get so wrapped up in document management that you forget to include security solutions on day one. However, if you want the best results from your new solutions, you need to weave security into everything you do--which means adding tools and paying attention to your own habits.
The good news is that secure, reliable document management doesn't have to be a struggle. Contact us today for help designing your document management approach the right way!