Time to beef up document security
No matter how large or small your business is, you need to have a plan to ensure the security of your data assets both from outside and inside threats. Complacency, negligence or insufficient access controls to sensitive or confidential data can lead to serious and costly problems.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) learned about this the hard way when early this year a former employee of ABS was discovered to have passed market-sensitive information to an employee of the National Australia Bank (NAB). They reportedly used this information to enter into foreign exchange derivative products and personally profit from favourable movements in the prices of those derivatives.
A robust and reliable document management system will protect your data, and improve business processes.
Which one do you need?
- Software – Provides management of files in electronic format
- Imaging System – Converts paper documents to electronic files
- Both – Imaging and software system combined
Benefits of having a Document Management System (DMS):
- Reduces storage and enhances search and discovery capabilities – Because documents or files are being stored in a single digitised repository, there’s no need for rows and rows of filing cabinets in your office. All you need to do is scan physical documents and import as digital files. You can retrieve specific documents in seconds and distribute them in standardised formats. Less time is spent locating the documents and less energy because you don’t need to leave your desk.
- Greater control and faster document distribution – Electronic copies of documents are easier to share with colleagues and clients over a network or by email, in a controlled manner by restricting information access on a need-to-know basis. It provides cost savings by reducing the overheads associated with paper based document distribution, such as printing and postage, and removes the typical delay associated with providing everyone hard copy information. Whilst cloud-based DMS allows out-of-office users to access company and project-related documents through a wireless connection.
- Improves security – The system will serve as your gatekeeper to prevent unauthorised accessing, e-mailing, printing, and sharing of documents. There are DMS solutions which provide an audit trail of who viewed an item, or who modified an item and when. But even if a user is allowed to access a resource, you can still password-protect particular documents. Contents of documents can also be encrypted, making them accessible only to those who have the required encryption key. No need to worry about confidential material or trade secrets lying around in your office, unattended. You can easily revoke access from any device, any time.
- Establishes an effective disaster recovery strategy – Reducing the risk of data loss when a natural disaster strikes. We all know that corruption or losing your valuable data can be expensive and time-consuming to replace. DMS back-up documents easily for offsite storage and disaster recovery. New documents are less likely to be incorrectly filed and even if incorrectly stored can be quickly and easily found and moved via the full-text searching mechanisms.
Cost of the software will vary depending on how many employees will be using it and the volume of documents you wish to store. If you’re ready to give DMS a try, here are some of your options:
- McAfee Complete Data Protection – This suite protects your data using a combination of powerful endpoint encryption, access control, and user-behavior monitoring. You can establish and enforce a data protection policy and centralise data security management using the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) management console. Advanced features include data loss prevention and device control. Management of native encryption for encryption native to Mac and Microsoft Windows PCs is optional. Another great thing about this suite is that you’re allowed remote security management to access Intel vPro-based PCs to implement patches, reset passwords, and to remediate broken endpoints.
- eDocXL Pro – This software can index documents for search, scan checks, recognise and archive business cards, and convert image files into editable formats. Other features include the ability to prioritise, classify and sort documents using bar codes, patch codes, bank pages and page number. Additionally, it can create PDF files. You can opt for a Desktop stand alone version or multi-user version.
- DEVONthink Pro Office – This is the paperless solution for Mac users, but sharing data to PC users is also allowed. Once you’ve scanned a document or added a file, you can apply metadata and tags to it for faster search and retrieval. The software automatically files new documents for you based on how you filed similar documents. Unfortunately, DEVONthink Pro Office does not give you workflow controls or audit information. Instead, it integrates with outside programs like Microsoft Office and OpenOffice which means you’ll have to transfer a file from DEVONthink to Word, make your edits and the transfer it back to DEVONthink.
- Paperless – Convert your paper files to digital documents and organise/sort files into categories and subcategories. Once you’ve scanned and imported your documents and files, Paperless allows you to input metadata to help you search for your files later. You can add as many tags as you need to each file. You can also integrate your email program and send documents to employees and clients directly. Available for both Windows and Mac operating systems.
- Content Central – This is a Web-based document management software solution that can capture documents and content from hundreds of sources, including desktop scanners, multifunction copiers, fax devices, email accounts and network folders. It routes all of these information to a centralised, secured and organised file storage area. You’re also offered a complete log of document access and document changes.
Having a document management system in place gives you peace of mind because it provides a far stronger control over document security and access. However, keep in mind that implementing it consistently will be the key to its success.