Securing data and documentation from security threats represents a significant requirement for doing business in the 21st century.
Document security has become a catch-all term used to describe every possible step a business can take to properly store, secure, and maintain data.
The term applies to both physical and digital data; sensitive paperwork and documentation require safe storage in a secure building, and digital data requires tools like storage banks and firewalls from online threats.
Document security has to be maintained within the business itself. While it’s important to set up defenses from outside threats, a business also has to practice security basics such as:
• Correctly labeling and storing data, both physically and digitally.
If a business cannot identify the data, the data serves no purpose.
• Limiting in-house access to the data.
All employees don’t necessarily have the same level of security clearance, and some information has to be kept off limits to maintain good basic business security practices.
• Maintaining the data on a regular basis.
Don’t make the mistake of believing all data can be labeled, boxed, and tossed into a storage room or server until further notice. Data security can be like maintaining a house or a garden. Someone has to be keeping an eye on things whenever possible. Routine checks should be done to ensure files have not been tampered with or damaged.
Simply put, a successful business cannot function without document security. Never has, never will.
Think back to how business was conducted before computers. Every business owner needed the same tools:
• An accounts ledger
• Correspondence records, including written discussions with customers and business associates
• Tools of their trade, which could be objects like carpentry tools, farming equipment, or ink and parchment
If the business owner lost any of these tools, they could be inconvenienced or completely ruined, so every single tool required security.
Modern-day business tools include digital data, physical records, or a hybrid of both, and security has to adapt based on a the needs of the business. A business has to safeguard information from competitors, including business strategies and statistics, while also keeping confidential data secure against online hacking attempts, information such as bank account information and personal data like social security numbers.
Left unprotected, this information can result in immense damage to both the business and its customers.
First and foremost, security has to maintain the integrity and protection of data and documents against any threat, both inside and outside the business.
Outside threats tend to be the most obvious challenges and it’s important to take steps to defend your business outside its walls.
That means taking steps like:
• Encrypting digital data and securing physical documents to limit outsider access.
• Monitoring the data and the security protocols on a regular basis to make sure nothing has broken down or been compromised.
• Regularly updating software and equipment to address potential threats as they evolve.
Interior threats, arguably, require more attention because complacency and neglect can also cause damage to your business. Interior document security means:
• Controlling how and when employees can access data.
• Creating clearance levels so certain data sets stay out of reach from employees that don’t require the information to perform their duties.
• Maintaining storage areas, both physical and digital, in secure places with controlled access.
• Training employees to understand and use your document security practices.
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