Document Management and Cybersecurity – What you need to know.
For a growing organization on the path to digital transformation, cybersecurity is often relegated to the bottom of the to-do list. To the slot where one might attend to at some point later. Not now, while seemingly more important challenges are in play.
However, it’s important to remember that as an organization grows, so does its potential risk in case of a cybersecurity ‘event’. And all it takes for a hacker is a single vulnerability, to hold an organization’s future to ransom.
With the inevitable digital transformation journey many growing companies are undergoing, creating and managing documents digitally has become a key step in the process. It offers increased productivity, better client service, and reduced operating costs. However, another benefit to doing business digitally is enhanced cybersecurity.
Although some may see it as counterintuitive, a robust document management system actually allows an organization to integrate cybersecurity controls while ensuring that regulatory requirements are met efficiently.
What is a Document Management System and why do you need it?
In the simplest terms, a DMS is a software solution that enables businesses to collect and manage their information digitally, automating processes like collecting, protecting, archiving, digitizing, categorizing, approving, and managing business files.
With the documentation and paperwork digitized, a document management system sets your business free to do the stuff it’s actually supposed to.
- It logs all activity about files that enters and leaves the system
- It offers a secure Cloud-based backup. Which means a scalable, secure, accessible, and cost-effective platform for all documentation across verticals in one place.
- It removes the clumsiness of scattered files and keeps things together, clear, intact, and organized.
With the benefits of a centralized, secure system, firms are increasingly adopting DMS as a go-to solution to their growing digital needs while addressing cybersecurity concerns.
Security concerns regarding Document Management
When evaluating a document management platform, an organization needs to know that the information it stores is protected. Broadly, the most common concerns are outlined below.
- Physical security of data, i.e. the security of physical servers and data centers where the data is hosted.
- Operational security, as in access control, workflow approvals, and audit conformance. Who has access to what information? What are the ‘data privileges’ of users? Can they view/suggest/comment/edit?
- What are the encryption technologies used? Are they up to date?
- Monitoring and notification of system incidents. This includes flagging of issues as well as detailed report generation.
- Vulnerability Testing of web applications and remote access to document tools
- Backups, what policy is being applied and how robust is the system?
How does a Document Management System improve security?
Cyber attacks are cheaper to prevent than to repair. While accountants can measure the cost of litigation, it’s difficult to assess the reputational cost of a data breach. The right DMS solution provides data security and protection in the following ways.
- Secure document management
When we talk about document management, we talk about strong passwords, restricted access, invisible folders, and sensitive contracts. A secure DMS provides granular access restrictions. This gives the organization great control over its information, making all processes less vulnerable to leaks, be it a hacker or competitor.
A cloud-based document management system ensures world-class data security solutions. Moving data to the cloud provides small businesses with access to reliable data security services. Data can be controlled or viewed only by authorized employees. It can be hidden, protected, and removed using cloud services.
Envisaging worst-case scenarios and planning for them is a sound risk-mitigation strategy. Loss, corruption, sabotage and manipulation of data are all likely in the event of a security breach. All documents stored in the DMS can easily be backed up to another secure database which can be used to quickly restore access. In fact, a DMS can be automated to back up the data at regular intervals seamlessly in the background without any intervention.
DMS servers can be located wherever it needs to be. Data centers within organization premises give greater control over the physical security of data. Whereas even in data centers hosted remotely, the servers can be securely sealed in hardened datacenters and protected by biometrics-based access systems.
Lower risk is its own reward.
Advances in technology eventually drive down costs. And that includes the cost of perpetrating cyberattacks. As it has become cheaper and cheaper to acquire the skills and tools to hack, infiltrate, and sabotage in the cyber world, the threat has become ubiquitous and commonplace. Vulnerabilities to such attacks are rarely apparent immediately. These vulnerabilities compound and fester. For an organization on a digital growth trajectory, the threat increases by the exponent. Mitigating such risk is in itself a worthy goal.
A document management system not only improves the overall enterprise efficiency and accelerates growth, but also improves the overall cybersecurity of the organization. It is therefore a solution that makes attention paid to cybersecurity feel like less of a compromise.