A lot of people believe document security is only for documents that are highly sensitive and qualify as classified information. However, it is crucial not to take document security lightly. After all, documents are the basis of every action a business makes. It is necessary to regard them as the most significant feature behind the working of any business because they ensure communication does not break down, efficiency is maintained, and costs do not increase.
- Operational Risk: This type of risk involves the misplacement or loss of a record or document that can impact the office’s operational dynamics. This affects the workplace’s efficiency directly, which can impact other areas of the business too.
- Financial Risk: Most of the documents a business generally deals with are related to finance. Bookkeeping, Invoices, bills, purchase orders, and other similar documents are essential for a business, irrespective of whether it sells products or provides services. Financial risk involves the misplacement or loss of records/documents that can result in a financial loss to the business. For example, if an organization misplaces its bills, then those payments may get missed out, and the business will be required to make penalty payments later. Likewise, if it’s a supplier business and they forget to provide invoices to their client, they may face difficulties in collecting those payments later on. There are numerous situations like these where misplacing certain documents can lead to financial losses.
- Reputational Risk: Reputation is essential for an organization. Businesses thrive on a good reputation, no matter whether they deal with other businesses or work with end consumers. The status of a company determines its ultimate success. Furthermore, it can take time and effort to develop and maintain a reputation. Not a lot of businesses would be able to maintain status if they lack organizing skills. Losing important documents can impact reputation too. For instance, if a company has a meeting with a huge client. They are supposed to suggest a new long-term solution, losing presentational material that you worked on for a long time, means you will have to go to the proposal meeting without anything or have to request a delay. This can directly lead to a loss of reputation.
- Security Risk: This does not apply to all businesses. A lot of companies don’t operate in sectors, industries, or levels where document security is a concern. To put it simply, the majority of businesses do not have any sensitive information. While it is important to all companies to keep personal data of both employees and customers safe to prevent identity theft, but that generally does not require a lot of effort.
Businesses should evaluate their circumstances and identify the relevant risks to develop a good plan for document security. Generally, a comprehensive plan involves two elements: physical security and digital security.
Physical Document Security
- Install locks in all storage cabinets and rooms of the premises.
- Place disaster prevention equipment like fire alarms and fire extinguishers in central locations of the workplace.
- Documents and files should be tagged and labeled to prevent them from getting mixed up.
- A few selected individuals should have access to storerooms and storage cabinets on the premises.
- Supervise any outsiders to make sure they don’t breach document security measures either deliberately or mistakenly
- Archived documents that are not needed anymore should be destroyed regularly in a suitable way.
Digital Document Security
- Documents that will be needed for a long time should be stored either in a cloud platform or specialized backups.
- Get regular maintenance done on the computer terminals to avoid a breakdown, which poses a significant threat to the security of documents.
- Understand that digitally deleting the files does not mean the document has been destroyed. They might still be stored on the hard drive, so it is crucial to deal with it exclusively before disposing
- Install proper access management systems and firewalls on the network to reduce the risk of unauthorized intrusions.
- It is essential to control and monitor any external storage devices within the office.