According to a recent IT research study in 2012, 90% of U.S. organizations experienced leakage or loss of sensitive or confidential documents. In addition, information security breaches continue to rise according to this report by PWC. The costs of such breaches can be financially devastating for firms of any size.
Ensuring you have a strong document security plan and process in place is critical for the safety of your organization. In the article below we outline in detail our top 5 ways to improve document security, which are to assemble a security team, implement a document security policy, implement an office document shredding service, train employees on the document security policy and procedures and sure secure document output. Continue reading below to learn more or click here to find out what Blue Pencil can do for you.
1. Assemble A Security Awareness Team
The first step to improving document security is to assemble a team of people within your organization to champion your information security awareness. The team’s job will be to create the information security policies and procedures, as well as put plans in place to raise awareness about information security within your organization. A great resource to reference when putting together your team can be found here. In addition if you would like assistance creating your policies and procedures, Blue Pencil can assist as we have a number of templates available and we have assisted numerous companies with creating and implementing such policies. If you would like our assistance at just contact us.
2. Implement A Document Security Policy
Once you have the team assembled, another critical step is to create a document security policy. This policy should cover definitions and instructions for each of the following categories: confidential vs non-confidential documents, storing of documents (digital and hard copy), printing of documents, scanning of documents, emailing of documents, destruction of documents, levels of security, who has authorization for what documents and transportation of documents to different physical locations.
An easy way to reduce the risk of a confidential information leak is to destroy any confidential documents that are no longer needed. Surprisingly, our experience is that 9 out of 10 companies don’t dispose of confidential material regularly. Not shredding your confidential documents is a corporate security breach waiting to happen as a result of a physical act such as dumpster diving.
To learn more about the costs and dangerous of not using such a service click here.
4. Train Employees On The Document Security Policy
Once you have the policies, procedures, services and tools in place it is important that a strong training program is implemented and maintained. This is one area that we have consistently seen lacking within organizations that even have some of the other components in place. Your results will only be as good as your training and awareness programs. If you an excellent policy, procedures and tools in place but no one knows about them you are not going to see minimal to no changes within your organization.
5. Use Secure Document Output
All too often, documents with confidential, personal, or proprietary information are left on printers, allowing any passerby to see or even take. A great tip to increase the information security of your organization is to implement secure document printing. How this works is that with the assistance of software, you can prevent exposure of company and customer information by holding print jobs in secure print queues and not outputting documents until an employee signs in at the printer and selects the specific documents to print. In addition, these types of systems can provide an audit to review and track all printer activity. This same software will also often redirect print jobs to the most cost-efficient printer, and the option to allocate costs to particular departments or offices. Almost all major printing equipment suppliers offer these solutions. If you don’t have this set up currently in your office we would recommend that you simply ask your office printer equipment supplier about what solutions they can provide. You may even already have the functionality and are just not using it.