Are workers actually aware of what ‘confidential’ really means in a business setting? A document that has been stamped confidential by an organization can mean different things to different recipients. In this scenario, how does one gauge the kind of direction to handle such potentially sensitive classified data that they are given each day? There is a thin line between success and failure for any organization; one that can go either way, depending on the kind of strategies used in safeguarding important data within the organization.
Importance of Document Security in a Business Environment
Today, it is easier than ever to create a document, an activity sheet, video, presentation etc. and make it available to all, without so much as realizing the consequences of what could happen with the data in the document, before it is too late. Which is why, it is more crucial than ever that workers are provided with clear and precise guidance on how to secure documents with the right kind of classification labeling and access control.
Every business must have proper systems in place in order to secure classified data that can be shared between companies, workers, clients, shareholders and partners. Every organization’s objectives should be to secure themselves across varied channels and at all levels, from losses in revenues, sabotaged brands, consumer attrition, threatened product expansion, litigation, penalties, damages and other repercussions that can develop from data unintentionally or perniciously falling into the wrong hands.
When a security incident demands the active involvement of legal prosecution, establishments must have had their information appropriately marked and secured, or they will have to cope with immense complications in presenting their case and accomplishing the desired outcome.
Threats to document security can arise from any angle within the ecosystem of an organization’s internal or external contacts. While cyber-terrorists come under exhaustive scrutiny, a large number of security violations begin from within the organization that is usually unintentional or sometimes malicious in nature. More often than not, it’s not just a worker, with an aversion towards the company or a lucrative job opportunity from a rival. Even well-intentioned workers and shareholders can and do neglect to secure classified information accurately. They may publish data in various places, such as social media posts, blog articles, external online applications that may sometimes be secured, but in most cases are not. These employees may also transmit content to another section of the organization, oblivious to regulations on cross border or cross-section information circulations. They may also distribute data, unwittingly, with vendors and middlemen, unaware of when to restrain themselves from sharing data that should have stayed within the organization and which should not have been disseminated under nondisclosure.
Simultaneously, workers and IT management are unable to accommodate or systematically comply with the occasionally inconsistent demands of information owners, users of the information, varied applications, arrangements and differing regulatory structures. Hence, it is more important than ever to institute proactive controls and procedures to ensure document security, while, at the same time, instructing and apprising employees across an organization becomes extremely vital.
Concurrently, it has been seen that IT security groups belatedly try to contain the damage after the breach has taken place because of the chaos that ensues and mostly because data escalates so rapidly that they are unable to get the better of it. Merely trying to seek and restrain critical information often proves ineffective.
Document security begins off at a handicap; in many cases or instances, the IT security department tries to control what they do not own. In a typical business scenario, the organization owns the information, not IT security. It is the organization that is aware of what data should be considered classified and what should not be, which is why it is important for the organization and IT security group to work as one. In some cases, some of the critical data that IT is given the task of securing, does not even belong to the company; it comes from an external source, such as a business partner with its own discretion specifications.
Ownership of data can be a highly irksome issue. During the process of tying business partnerships, a lot of time is spent by legal departments on both sides in drafting out confidentiality agreements for the type and kind of data that should be passed between the various parties involved in the partnership. In a multinational business scenario, disseminating data between countries and regions can be a huge, overwhelming roadblock. Some business entities even consider waiving off information in the country of origin to avoid restrictive legal consequences or come up with ways of anonymizing the information in such a manner so as to transmit the data to another area where senior management have the permission to receive it.
Document Security Solutions
Securing classified data is critical to any organization and is turning out to be a growing worry for organizations where confidential documents are created. Document security solutions can protect sensitive data to guarantee it does not accidentally land in the wrong hands or is deliberately obtained.
Document security solutions can help businesses in controlling who views what kind of information in their files. From restricting access to specific users and groups, and determining whether they are able to examine, modify, erase and index in accordance with their privileges; these can be set and controlled by the document owner.In addition, data encryption solutions can also help in mitigating the risk of information vulnerability by making documents inaccessible to those that are impeding the flow of information. Data encryption as a document security solution is another crucial element in securing information as employees have now becoming increasingly mobile. Successful document security can be effectively entrenched and maintained only when various workers, procedures and technologies work together seamlessly in tandem.
Although document security is markedly significant to specific industries such as financial institutions, commerce, government organizations, including academies and educational establishments, it should be on the pulse of any corporation that has developed commercially classified data. Picture how catastrophic it could be if your classified information and sensitive documents fell into the wrong hands?