Information security is a growing concern for all organizations that handle sensitive files or confidential data. This is especially true when considering the growing threat of data breaches across the globe and the “average” cost of a company data breach now reaching more than $3.8 million.
Combine all of this with regulatory compliance challenges that many industries face, and it’s easy to see why information security is a larger concern than ever before. If your company is still using “traditional” document management solutions (i.e., file folders and filing cabinets), it’s time to consider a transition to more secure and reliable document management software.
And as you explore your options for document management and business compliance software, there are several specific features you’ll want to look for that can improve overall information security and compliance within your industry.
1. Digital Archiving
Digital archiving makes it possible to store important documents, files, and other data in a digital format to be kept indefinitely or for a specific period of time. When properly archived, this information can create a safeguard of sorts that protects a business from catastrophic data loss and may even help an organization stay in regulatory compliance.
Likewise, effective archiving also makes for easier and quicker retrieval of information when needed — so employees can spend less time searching for files. This is where specific meta tags, keywords, and other metadata while archiving can make all the difference.
A great document management solution will have all the tools to create seamless digital archives that are as secure as they are searchable. Likewise, this software should make it quick and easy for physical copies of files to be scanned and converted into the proper digital format.
2. Automated Backup
When a data breach occurs, having backed-up copies of important files can truly save the day. Take some time to think about what would happen if there was a fire, flood, or another natural disaster at your place of business. If all your important files and data are kept in filing cabinets with no digital backups in place, there’s a good chance that information would be gone for good. Your organization could spend months or even years trying to recover that data and recreate lost documents.
With a cloud-based data backup in place through your document management platform, you can always rest assured that a digital copy of your important files and data will be saved in a secure and remote location. This means that even if you were to lose your data in a natural disaster or data breach, you’d still have access to copies of those files.
Plus, with an automated data backup through your document management software, you won’t even have to remember to back up your files manually; it will be done for you on a fixed schedule of your choosing.
3. User-Based Permissions
Access control is another important feature when it comes to optimizing information security and regulatory compliance. This is especially true in a larger organization with different departments and many sensitive documents making their rounds.
Fortunately, most document management software solutions these days are designed with user-based permissions, which allow you to designate exactly which employees (or groups of employees) have access to specific files. This is an excellent way to restrict access and improve security with just a few clicks.
4. Version Control
Last but not least, don’t overlook version control as a must-have security feature in your new document management platform. Specifically, version control will allow you to save separate copies of a particular document each time it is altered. This way, if an error is made when a document is updated, it’s quick and easy to revert to a previously saved version. Many software platforms now also make it possible to track which user last edited the document for an added security layer.
Version control can save your organization a lot of time that could otherwise be wasted in recreating documents after mistakes are made during editing. And when you consider the value of that time, it’s easy to see why this kind of feature is so important to have.
Choosing A Document Management Software Solution
These are just a few examples of the many features that can help a document management software program improve information security and regulatory compliance within your organization. Whether you’re bound by HIPAA laws, FINRA compliance requirements, or anything in between — these features can protect your organization while saving you time and money.
There is no shortage of document management software on the market, so it will really boil down to knowing your organization’s unique needs and ultimately choosing a solution that best suits those needs and your company’s budget. From there, all that’s left to do is to make your selection and integrate your new document management software into your business. And when you choose a solution that’s intuitive and user-friendly, you shouldn’t need to set aside too much time for training, either.