Are you doing your utmost to keep your company’s private data safe and secure? The modern workplace handles an extraordinary amount of sensitive information. From personnel records to customer information and even trade secrets, there is a considerable volume of data to protect. In our web-connected world, security must mean more than locking the doors at the end of the day. Your business must know how to safeguard these critical assets adequately. The best solutions involve both changes in daily behaviors and the adoption of better software tools, including PDF editors.
Let's take a look at five changes any business can make right away to improve their security posture.
1. Teach Best Practices
The human element in office security is unpredictable, and the first place you should focus your efforts for improvement. According to data compiled by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 80% of surveyed businesses said that their biggest security risks come from users. Before you can successfully deploy any changes, you must train staff to handle sensitive data appropriately.
For example, healthcare organizations face strict requirements under HITECH and HIPAA regulations for the management of records. Take steps to ensure staff are up to speed on the guidelines they must follow. Enforce rules such as strong, unique passwords and rely on technological solutions such as rights management systems to enforce access control. Only once you have a team thinking about privacy and security continually, can you make more fundamental changes.
2. Minimize On-Site Storage of Private Data
Paper records may provide a valuable backup option, but they should not be the backbone of your document management processes. With physical copies, unauthorized access is always a risk, even when kept under lock and key. A dedicated bad actor could break into the building, or an employee might misuse access or mistakenly allow others to view private records. Shifting to a digital environment provides more options.
With a robust PDF editor solution document digitization takes much less time. With built-in capabilities for automatic PDF converter functionality, you can scan documents to a selected folder and immediately convert it to a fully searchable document. With digital copies, you can shift paper records to secure off-site storage or simply destroy them. Retain documents only as long as required.
3. Secure Sensitive Documents
Digitizing documents alone is not enough; what you do after you scan them into your system matters, too. If you don't secure them, any unauthorized employee — or an intruder on your network — could view or even steal the data. No one wants to be the next big data breach story in the news. Alongside fundamental measures such as deploying good network security, you should also secure the documents themselves with password protections.
Just like you'd lock the filing cabinet in the storeroom, you must require a key to get into the most sensitive documents your business owns. Password protecting a PDF takes only a few quick steps and ensures that prying eyes can't view its contents, even if the data leaves your control.
4. Restrict Access with Easy-to-Use Software
Locking down documents with passwords is a useful step, but it can also prove inefficient in workplaces that thrive on collaboration. In work situations where many hands touch private records, a better access control system is necessary to guarantee the sanctity of the information. Think of it this way: some businesses require a "sign in, sign out" policy for personnel accessing sensitive areas of materials. You can do the same with your documents.
Many document editors and tools offer built-in support for public-key cryptography, a highly secure way of sharing encrypted information. Within the software, users can encrypt the PDF and specify whose certificates may act as the key to unlock the document. Further controls are possible, including restrictions on editing, so those who only need to view a document cannot change information. When you guarantee that only the right eyes see certain information, keeping it secret and safe is simple.
5. Be Proactive, Not Reactive, About Security
The best security practices are not a "set it and forget it" proposition. They require additional work on your part. Adopting software that is easy to use and requires less training to enforce better security is only one part of what you must do. Always be on the lookout for signs of trouble and follow up on potential breaches or any mishandling of private information by employees. Aim to stop problems before they start rather than finding a solution after the fact.
Safeguarding Private Data in the Modern Workplace
By safeguarding the human element and empowering your staff with the right tools to protect privacy, building a more secure workplace is easy. With the right software tools at your disposal, with an easy-to-learn interface and rapid rollout across your business, deploying new protocols can happen quickly.