How to Prevent Your Own Papergate Scandal

Wadih Pazos September 18, 2014

How to Prevent Your Own Papergate Scandal
Document Management
Blog
Security is always a major concern for any business, whatever its size. With so many competitors in various markets, any setback could be devastating for organizations. Not only could sensitive information be lost or stolen, but a business’s reputation might be damaged. Some companies realize the risks associated with physical documents floating around the office and being brought out into the world by employees in the field.

However, technology has provided organizations with a solution that helps eliminate some of the dangers of keeping tangible documents around the office. Just because papers are locked up in a filing cabinet doesn’t necessarily mean they’re secure. A host of internal and external threats could result in a company’s very own Watergate scandal if they’re not careful.

The potential dangers of paper

When businesses use paper-based communications and records, they put themselves at risk of sustaining multiple problems. According to The Small Business Playbook, it’s easy for delicate papers to get damaged or go missing. In public places, employees may lose track of vital documents, making their companies vulnerable to anyone who finds or reads them.

In an office burglary, the security of essential materials depends on where they’re located in the facility. Locks can be picked and safes can be stolen, but with document management software, organizations can add multiple layers of security to preserve the content’s integrity.

It’s impossible to tell how many people have looked at a physical document containing sensitive data. Corporate spies can easily take a few pictures of classified records while sifting through them in a filing cabinet and put them back with no one even noticing.

Paper also doesn’t fare well when facing natural disasters either. In a powerful storm or flood, valuable information could easily be lost if the office building is directly affected. These types of incidents could set back a business for years if the only copies of some information are lost forever.

The benefits of going digital

When organizations make the transition to electronic workflow, they gain the ability to add several safeguards to their documents that may ultimately save them immeasurable amounts of resources and time. If digital documents are lost or stolen, many different roadblocks can be put into place to prevent unauthorized users from accessing them. Organizations get to choose the amount of security they want, making the sophistication parallel the type of material contained within it.

One defensive measure businesses can leverage to protect their digital documents is password protection, which enables administrators to control who can view, edit and copy files, asserted Dominion Systems. Company leaders don’t have to worry about who may be sneaking a peek at delicate content when they know precisely who is capable of obtaining it.

Organizations that wish to take security even further can add a layer of encryption to documents, preventing unapproved users from reading them, even if someone manages to steal the files digitally.

To avoid losing any important data, whether caused by a natural disaster, theft, or misplacement, document imaging can offer an accurate backup that companies can always fall back on to ensure they don’t lose progress on current projects or information cannot easily be attained again.

Digital files can be accessed in the field by employees via mobile devices, subverting the need to carry valuable materials out in public. This allows workers to operate normally and removes another worry from their minds so they can focus on more pressing responsibilities without forgetting a briefcase or having a file slip away when they’re not looking.

Wadih Pazos

Wadih founded PairSoft and PaperSave, and he currently advises non-profits on business process improvement and technology.

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