What is Electronic Document Security?
With the amount of documents that we create, share, and store every day, it is not uncommon for people to leave document organization and maintenance on the back burner. If you have many other security protections in place, you may feel like your documents are sufficiently secure without you taking any extra steps. Unfortunately, any number of events can happen that disrupt your security protocol, and having strong electronic document security practices in place may make all the difference in protecting your sensitive information from being compromised or destroyed. The following are recommended electronic document security practices:
Access controls. A zero-trust model will include safeguards such as multi-factor authentication and encrypted communications. People, devices, and networks are all treated as inherently untrustworthy, ensuring that sensitive data is only accessed by identities with proven trustworthiness, and only when necessary.
Create plans for digitization. Plan how paper documents will be stored and organized before, during, and after digitization, to avoid inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information. Documents should be organized, categorized, and stored according to their level of sensitivity and corresponding security requirements.
Keep data orderly. Properly chart filing structures, use permission tagging, do not retain more data that needed for operations, maintain records of revisions, and create policies and plans for disposing of sensitive files once they are no longer needed.
Data integration. Using multiple technology systems can create opportunities for data to be mishandled and for security gaps to emerge. Sync files with integration to protect data integrity and security.
SSL protocols. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is a digital authentication that confirms server identity and enables an encrypted connection. This will prohibit information between the source and the suer from being read or modified as a file is being access, modified, or uploaded.
Backup documents. Backing up the data is the most basic and standard practice in electronic document security. Consider offsite backups to protect your documents in the event of a disaster.
Invest in IT. There are a wide variety of cybersecurity solutions that can help to protect the integrity and security of electronic documents, and investing in these solutions now can prevent major problems later.
Integrate document redactions. Edit documents to protect corporate and individual interests, retroactively.
Metadata management. Metadata is the information that is hidden within a file, and it can become accidentally accessible when a file is converted improperly or when a file becomes corrupted. Be sure to eliminate metadata from documents before storing them electronically, to avoid these risks.
Scrub hard drives. Be sure that there is no trace of data on hard drives before disposing of them.
Training. Ensure that staff are trained on cybersecurity threats, cyber hygiene, and electronic document management procedures.