The Link Between Document Control and Data Security

The Link Between Document Control and Data Security
May 14, 2013 seouser

You may think that document control is more of a handy tool than an essential security measure, but with the continued risks of data in cyberspace, it may be wise to take a closer look at just how secure your documents really are right now. For companies who do not have a formal procedure that relates to the management of documents, this process is often handled in a more casual way. Many store documents on a shared server or network, while others prefer external drives as a ‘safe’ option. Cloud based backup systems are also becoming quite popular too, and while these are marginally safer than the manual backup route, they still leave a lot to be desired features-wise. So, with that in mind, how does document control software fit into all of this?

Is Your Data at Risk Without Document Control Software?

These days, data is even more vulnerable than it ever was in its hardcopy paper form. Even though a filing cabinet of documents could be destroyed by a flood, fire or sabotage (or someone accidentally pouring coffee all over a loose document), there were no cyber threats to contend with at least. Today though, we have to worry about hackers, and viruses, and mistakes… we even need to worry about angry former employees who perhaps should not have had access to that aforementioned external drive. Still not seeing how document control is coming into to save the day yet? Let’s have a look at some of the biggest data security risks, and perhaps it will start to be a bit clearer…

1. Inside Breaches

Statistics relating to the prevalence of inside attacks are rather alarming. Verizon has given some reports over their investigation of 500 data breaches over the course of four years – 18% of these were found to be an inside job. Worse still, about half of that 18% came from the IT department. There are many reasons that such breaches occur – not all of them entirely vengeful. Without a proper document control system in place, it is a lot harder to ensure that only authorised staff are allowed access to certain documents. There are also very little security steps in place, such as encryption, passwords and access rights for viewing, editing and deleting documents.

2. Minimal Contingency

Another threat lies in lack of standardisation, processes and planning for potential emergencies. All it takes is one data breach, and chaos breaks out. With contingency comes planning on a broader level too – policies, procedures and backup systems that help to prevent disaster from taking down everything in its path when and if it does occur. A document process on the other hand, allows you to plan ahead while also maintaining best practices – something that will go a long way in helping to prevent further risks.

3. Mobile Data

If you are keeping your documents on an external drive, you will also have to think about the risks that data on the go brings. USB drives can easily be lost, forgotten on a bus (or even at a client’s office), or damaged too. Then there are the smartphones and tablets that store documents too. Each employee might be carrying around any number of virtual docs at any given time. Mobile data is another risk, and for good reason. Ultimately though, it comes down to the same issue of storing data on a single computer – it is much harder to secure. A remote system on the other hand, such as document control software, can still integrate with current applications and devices – while being far more secure. Your documentation is precious. Just like you wouldn’t put other precious things at risk, you should not put data at risk by discounting the important of a proper document control plan.