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5 simple steps to secure your digital documents

Protecting digital documents that contain valuable information and data is one of the top priorities of organisations today.  Consequences of a data breach are widespread, with impacts stretching far beyond the direct consequences of critical information loss. Ramifications of a data breach include a hit to your bottom line, damage to your reputation and any legal repercussions. 

Threats from hackers and cybercriminals outside your organisation are those you might most commonly associate with a data breach. Then there are the less obvious risks - those from inside the business. Employees are now known to be one of the most potent cybersecurity risks - whether through malicious intent or inadvertent behaviours. 

As a result, it has never been more important to ensure your sensitive information is stored and made accessible with utmost regard to security best practice. In this post, we will be covering 5 critical steps to take to improve your digital document security.

5 steps to protecting your business’s digital documents

Let’s find out how digital document security can be implemented in your company.

1. Start with a security audit

Regular, scheduled reviews of your digital file storage system are key to identifying security vulnerabilities. Look at backup practices, document retention schedules and how documents are being created, managed, shared and deleted.

With technology evolving quickly, and cybercriminals setting the pace, it's important that your security measures and software are also up to date. Regularly audit your security measures and note when the latest software versions are being updated to keep security tight. 

Also frequently audit permissions and who has access to documents. Make sure you are removing or updating permissions based on any staff leaving or moving roles.

Once you’ve audited your system, you will have a baseline to work from. The next steps will help you to ensure your digital document security is following best practice.

2. Encrypt your data

Encryption is the process of encoding a document so only those with the proper access can open and read (decrypt) it. When encrypted, users need to decrypt data using a password, token or pin code. Encryption is an important yet simple practice to ensure your digital documents are protected when they are stored and in transit.

3. Back it up

Backing up data is important, so is keeping that data secure. Backups should be stored with encryption to provide you with the assurance they are safe and sound. This will ensure no unauthorised access to important digital documents while they are being stored.

4. Update your software

Yes, updating your software is annoying. But keeping your software up to date means your data benefits from the latest security patches that are designed to protect it from the most recently discovered threats. Leaving your updates too long puts your system and data at risk. The best way to go forward is by setting your operating system to update automatically, and regularly, or as the updates roll in.

5. Train employees

Designing and implementing a tough security policy is great, but the behaviour of staff is another thing altogether. Training your employees on tools like data encryption, VPNs, software updates and not sending confidential information via email is just as important as implementing these things in the first place. Plus, don’t forget to find champions who will openly and actively demonstrate these behaviours as standard, so others follow suit. Keep your workers up to speed and they will, in turn, keep your data secure.

How ECM can help protect digital documents

Electronic content management (ECM) is a system solution designed to manage your business's documents and other content. ECM solutions help you manage, store, index, activate and share content in a streamlined and secure way. ECM also provides you with audit trails and real-time reporting which can assist your business in tracking suspicious behaviour.

An effective ECM can consolidate access and business processes, maintain integrity, minimise overheads and optimise your digital document security.

A new ECM will change how people work and affect the way documents are managed right across your organisation. It's not an easy or quick decision to make, but our Enterprise Content Management Checklist will help you consider your options and identify the right ECM to meet your business needs.