Product Guides

Maintaining Data Security with Document Management Roles & Permissions

August 2, 2022
Inkit Team

According to CNET, 2021 saw the highest number of recorded data breaches.

There were 1,862 data breaches in 2021, surpassing both 2020s' total of 1,108 and the previous record of 1,506 in 2017.

So, it’s safe to say that data and customer information leaks are getting more and more common.

And in a world of information, data management is important more than ever for any business.

While there are many different ways you can approach data security, one way to prevent leaks is through user roles and permission settings. Essentially, this is a way to make it so that only certain people can access certain documents.

Below, we’ll cover everything about maintaining data security, how to use role management access, and making sure your sensitive documents don’t get leaked.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Types Of Data Security And How To Maintain Each
  • Utilizing Roles And Permissions In Document Generation For Best Data Security Practices
  • Why You Need To Set Up Roles And Permissions Settings In HTML To PDF Rendering And Document Generation Software
  • How Inkit Render HTML To PDF API Enables You To Select Roles When Maintaining Data Security

Types Of Data Security And How To Maintain Each

First, we’ll cover general security concepts you’ll want to keep in mind, before talking about document management roles and permissions.

Data security, just like it reads, simply refers to how you go about protecting personal or corporate data and preventing data breaches via unauthorized access. 

Some of the leading causes of customer data and customer info leaks include:

  • Misconfigured software settings.
  • Recycled passwords.
  • Social engineering.
  • Physical theft of hardware devices.
  • Software vulnerabilities.

When managing different sensitive documents and data, the first thing you’ll need to do is consider the steps your documents go through. From document generation to storage and destruction, you have to understand your organization's document management lifecycle system and incorporate appropriate security measures for every step in the cycle.

While this might vary depending on your business and operations, the main steps documents go through include:

  • Document generation
  • Document storage
  • Document management
  • Document preservation
  • Document delivery.  
  • Legally compliant document deletion or destruction.
phases of the document management lifecycle on a graphic

Types of data security and protection standards

Now, depending on your document lifecycle and operations, here are some data security standards you can use to minimize the risk of data loss and ensure comprehensive data integrity.

Data encryption

Right at the instant of document generation, all your company data and sensitive files should be encrypted. 

The encryption should last through all the stages of the document cycle, as long as there is data in the network, it should be encrypted.

Data encryption isn't to be underestimated. In the event of a security breach or data loss, this is the only barrier standing between your data and cyber criminals or bad actors.

If however your data aren't encrypted, it leaves them vulnerable to theft, corruption, and possibly legal liabilities.

percentages of how customers feel about your business after a data breach

Source: Centrify

You should also encrypt your sensitive documents and files within your company communications. For example, see:

Cloud backup

Backing up your company data to the cloud is arguably the best way to protect yourself in the event of data loss. 

You should enforce regular cloud data upload, more so for mission-critical data whose loss could potentially cripple your company's normal operations.

Password security

Password protection is the vanguard of any data defense mechanism. Sensitive and non-general information must be password protected so that only authorized users that have security passwords can have access.

Security passwords should be strong. A combination of letters, numbers and special characters comes highly recommended as it makes password guessing difficult. 

For some quick guides on this, see here:

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Access and identity management (AIM)

AIM refers to the regulation of users that can access certain data points in your company network. 

It works best when combined with password protection. When you regulate user access, by proxy you are in control of how your data is used.

To ensure optimal efficiency of AIM:

  • Cut down the use of shared accounts to the barest minimum.
  • Grant user access on a need-to-use basis.
  • Terminate user access on job completion.
  • Implement the principle of least privilege.

Be sure to also see our guide on using DRM protection for your PDFs.

pre-designed image about Digital Rights Management protection

Utilizing Roles And Permissions In Document Generation For Best Data Security Practices

If you’re managing a lot of sensitive PDF documents and information, you should consider using user roles and permission settings as part of your best data security practices.

In other words, if you’re the owner, you can configure who creates the API keys, can delete shared folders, what are their permissions, and more.

Let’s take a look at how this works more specifically.

What are user roles in software security management?

A user role is a type of access permission that specifies what a particular user is permitted to do

Depending on the user role, what they can and can't do within the network will differ.

The user role feature in security management software is underlined by a system of hierarchy arranged in order of authority. 

user management on a security software

System main roles typically include:

  • Primary owner - This role has the highest level of authority. Users can create roles, close, and transfer account ownership among many other actions. 
  • Admin - Admin users can do everything a primary owner can except account closure, transfer of account ownership, and role creation for other users.
  • Editor - Editors mainly deal with file actions. They can rename, upload, delete, move or copy files in the system. They can't see deleted files permanently.
  • Contributor - Users contribute content. They can create, update and modify contributed content. They don't have permission to delete or rename anything in the system.
  • Viewer - This role has the lowest authority. The user can only view files or download them in applicable cases.

Though, management roles are not strictly constrained to these actions. 

So, depending on the actual functionality of your management tool, actions can vary as it is possible to customize access permissions.

User roles and permissions overview

When using document management systems like Inkit Render, you can securely set up user roles and permissions depending on your specific permissions and actions

render's user roles and permissions

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Folder permissions

  • Folder - create - users can create folders
  • Folders - update - users can update information on a specific folder
  • Folders - delete - users can delete folders and their contents (*this permission shouldn't be given unless necessary)

Roles permissions

  • Roles - create - users can create new roles
  • Roles - retrieve - users can view roles
  • Roles - update - users can update roles
  • Roles - delete - users can delete roles

Service-accounts permissions

  • Service-accounts - create - users can create API keys
  • Service-accounts - retrieve - users can view information about API keys in the system
  • Service-accounts - update - users can update information about the API keys in the system
  • Service-accounts - delete - users can delete API keys (*this permission shouldn't be given unless necessary)

Why You Need To Set Up Roles And Permissions Settings In HTML To PDF Rendering And Document Generation Software

Most major company processes use HTML to PDF rendering for operations automation. However, in order to function safely, HTML to PDF rendering must be securely protected.

To avoid misuse of data and possible liability issues, there's a need to compartmentalize who has access to what and when. Role-based access control enables you to achieve this.

When you set up roles and permissions control for your HTML to PDF rendering tool, you can easily redistribute rendering tasks and regulate their execution. 

In addition, you can create multiple teams for various tasks. Finally, incorporating user roles affords you more operations flexibility in the initial stages of rendering API configuration.

Creating different user categories

You already know how customized roles and permissions management work. With user roles and permissions overview, you can now create different user categories with objective deliverables and goals in sight. 

Using Inkit Render as a reference tool, there are five permission categories for customization, namely:

  • Folder management.
  • Role management.
  • API-keys management.
  • User management.
  • Webhook management.

What you want to do now is streamline your thinking process in terms of these categories.

Once you've acclimatized yourself with this thought process, you can now compartmentalize your network by creating authority levels. 

To achieve this, you must first identify the types of users your network will house

You can consider the following questions and use them as a template to guide your permission creation process.

  • Who will have access to your Inkit environment? What job titles do they have? Can you group them based on similar titles or functions?
  • Within your organization, will you have people who should only view documents? If so, can you divide these people into regions? What about departments?
  • Will you have administrators? What is the scope of their functions? For example, will they organize and create folders? Or will they also invite other members of your organization?
  • Will you have developers in your organization? Should they have the admin role (access to all permissions), or should you limit their authority?
  • Who should be in charge of managing roles? Should they also be in charge of managing API keys? What about webhooks? See if you can divide roles across the 5 core feature categories.

Now that you have your answer to these questions, creating different user categories should be achievable.

For further simplification, try adding permissions to each user category. To figure out which category you'll assign permission to, see our guide on permissions overview.

How Inkit Render HTML To PDF API Enables You To Select Roles When Maintaining Data Security

Inkit Render is a document generation system with a built-in security platform.

Whether you need to process 10 confidential reports or over 10,000 customer statements, you can automate this with a simple API request.

In addition to user roles and permissions, Render also uses a number of other security protocols and measures, such as:

  • AES 256 End-to-End Encryption.
  • Role-based access controls.
  • Document expiration and self-destruction.
  • 2FA support.
  • Full audit log.
  • Live document alerts.
  • SSO support.
  • One-time document viewing.
  • And more.

Thanks to detailed documentation and advanced customer support, Render is easy to integrate. You can efficiently create roles and assign permissions in your network. It gets better, you can easily integrate Render to your system within 24 hours, skipping the tedious process of developing in-house solutions for access management and document rendering.

Have any questions about Inkit Render or user role management?

Get in touch if you have any questions!

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The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
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