Digitizing records and documents to connect online and generate paperless documents has a ton of benefits for many industries.
But when generating paperless documents, data security is an essential part of the operation.
A paperless company needs to prioritize data and customer information security in its workplace in all parts of its operations. From document creation to legally compliant document archival or destruction.
And below, we’ll cover some of the best data security standards and practices to keep in mind when generating paperless documents.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What Is Data Security And Why Is It Important?
- Security Measures To Safely Generate Paperless Documents
- 7 Best Data Security Standards And Practices To Keep In Mind When Generating Documents
What Is Data Security And Why Is It Important?
First things first, what IS data security, exactly?
Data security is the practice of preventing unauthorized access, corruption, or theft of digital information throughout its entire lifecycle.
Typically, the 6 crucial phases of a successful document management lifecycle include:
- Document creation.
- Editing or indexing for search.
- Sharing or delivering the document to the right user.
- Active use of the document.
- Legally compliant deletion or archival of the document.
Through each step, the chances of sensitive customer information being leaked get higher with each step.
It’s essential you’re following best security practices and data standards to protect your company.
Why are data security standards important for a paperless office?
When properly implemented, robust data security strategies protect an organization's information assets from insider threats and human error.
Since those 2 factors continue to be among the leading causes of data breaches today, it’s important your security standards are top of the notch.
Data security entails deploying tools and technologies that improve an organization's visibility into where its critical data is stored and how it is used. Ideally, these tools should be able to apply safeguards such as encryption, data masking, sensitive file redaction and more.
In addition to security standards and safety, the right document management software should also help you streamline business operations.
Types of data security and protection
Before we discuss security standards, it’s worth going over general security and data protection types. Which are as follows.
Encryption keys scramble data by using an algorithm to convert normal text characters into an unreadable format that only authorized users can read.
File and database encryption solutions protect sensitive volumes by obscuring their contents through encryption or tokenization. The majority of solutions also include security key management features.
Data erasure, which is more secure than standard data wiping, employs software to completely overwrite data on any storage device.
It confirms that the data cannot be recovered.
Organizations can allow teams to develop applications or train people using real data by masking data.
It masks personally identifiable information (PII) where necessary so that development can take place in compliant environments.
The ability of an organization to withstand or recover from any type of failure.
From hardware issues to power outages and other events that affect data availability.
The rate of recovery is critical for minimizing the impact.
Document audit log and trails
A digital audit trail is a chronological record or set of records that provide sequences of business transactions and times.
This also acts as proof of all essential business and documentation activities. Such as, who created the document, who opened or edited it last, and more.
To take this a step further, you can also set up user roles and permission settings. This way, only specific people will be able to access, view, or edit certain documents and files.
If you’re handling a lot of sensitive customer information, this is essential to prevent it from being leaked.
Security Measures To Safely Generate Paperless Documents
Paperless documents are far more convenient and easier to organize than paper documents. Improved access to your documentation is a major motivator for implementing a paperless management system.
It’s much cheaper as well, when it comes to document management.
According to Gartner Research, on average, it costs around $120 to find a misfiled paper document. If the document was not found, however, it costs around $220 to reproduce it from scratch.
HTML to PDF rendering is the foundation of many core processes in many industries.
This is based on the fact that most customer information and data initially come in HTML format. Then, with the right software, you’ll be automatically converting them into PDF documents.
So, for example, when a customer fills out an online form on your website, you get all of their information in HTML text. Such as their name, company, address, and other sensitive information.
Then, you can create a templatized document proposal based on that information.
This works for business proposals, contracts, confirmation letters, request forms, and other common document templates.
Here’s a sales proposal document template example from HubSpot.
To safely generate documents, you should follow below best security measures such as:
- Password protection.
- Digital watermarking.
- Document expiry, self-destruct, and restriction of access.
- Digital rights management: Restricting copy, print, or forwarding.
- Document tracking of who viewed, edited, or shared a file last.
- And more.
Now, let’s take a look at some other security standards and measures you should be following when creating paperless documents.
7 Best Data Security Standards And Practices To Keep In Mind When Generating Documents
Before diving into the data security best practices, let us understand what are security standards.
Security standards can be defined as a set of rules for products or processes that provide consistency, accountability, and efficiency.
These standards are designed to provide a repeatable way of doing things.
The use of written standards can be based on compliance and best practices. This enables organizations to make objective decisions concerning the implementation of security devices.
The principal objective of security standards is to reduce the risks, including preventing or mitigating cyber-attacks.
Here are some of the best data security standards you should be following when generating documents.