How to Ensure Your Business is Sending Documents Securely

Posted at: January 12, 2023

If you frequently send highly sensitive documents to your clients, such as contracts, applications, financial documents, or tax or employment information, you must take the correct measures to keep those documents safe from cyber criminals.

If you're unsure whether the documents you're sharing are secure, chances are they're not. This can put your confidential documents in the wrong hands, jeopardizing your business and your client's data. 

Wondering where to start? These five steps can help. 

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Step #1: Understand the Importance of Secure Document Management

Whether you're a tax office, an accounting firm, or a business looking for a more secure way to manage documents, it's ultimately your responsibility to keep your client's documents safe from online threats such as data breaches. 

 

Data Breaches

IBM's Cost of a Data Breach report for 2022 estimates that the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. is $9.44 million, with email breaches costing $4.89 million alone. Other common causes of data breaches include Phishing, stolen or compromised credentials, cloud misconfiguration, and physical security compromise. 

Sharing documents without the proper protocols in place puts highly sensitive information at risk of being compromised. Whether you're sharing employment information with staff members or are receiving confidential documents from clients, using the proper security measures will keep them safe. 

 

Step #2: Do Your Research

Office management software are not created equal. Do you know what level of security your current office management system offers, or even more important, what level of security your office needs? 

 

What Level of Data Protection Does Your Business Need? 

Is your biggest concern threats from within your office? If so, you'll need to look for an application that offers multi-level system access, which provides role-based access to staff. However, if you share a lot of documents online or via email, you'll need even more protection, such as data encryption and a cloud server that can safely store your data. 

 

Step #3: Find Secure Office Management Software to Meet Your Needs

To find the office management software that's right for your business, you'll need to do some research. A good choice is an all-in-one application that includes document management, a customizable CRM, and secure document sharing. 

 

What if I Already Have Office Management Tools?

You may already have office management tools in place. If so, ensure they include the following features:

  • Data encryption - Data encryption, particularly 256-bit or military-grade encryption, is designed to keep documents safe. 
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)- SSL technology works when your system communicates with another system to keep passwords safe from hackers.
  • Multi-level access - This capability lets you assign system rights based on staff or user roles, keeping confidential documents secure. 
  • Document management capability - A secure document management system should always include two-factor authentication, file version management, tagging, and file access management.

If any of these features are missing from your current office management tools, it may be time for an upgrade. 

 

Step #4: Train Your Team

When you move to a document management system, team members must be thoroughly trained using the proper protocol. Document sharing should only take place through a secure portal or email application. Having top-level security in place is essential, but it is useless if it's not being properly followed. Setting parameters and establishing guidelines can help staff follow guidelines. 

 

Step #5: Always Follow Best Practices for Securely Managing Documents

Abiding by these best practices will keep documents organized and safe from internal and external threats.

  • Establish and monitor document access - ensure you have a document management system in place that allows access permissions and will monitor who accesses any document you have stored.
  • Create a regular backup routine - even with safeguards in place to guard against data breaches, you'll still want to back up your system regularly to keep data protected from things such as system crashes and natural disasters.
  • Use end-to-end encryption - encryption shouldn't only be used when sending files to clients. All stored data should be encrypted as well.
  • Convert to a digital workplace - If you're still using paper documents in parts of your business, you're running the risk of lost or misfiled documents and exposure of sensitive documents to unauthorized staff members.
  • Utilize version control - In some cases, a single version of a file may be sufficient. But suppose multiple employees have access to documents. In that case, you'll want to use version control that allows a new version of an existing document to be created and keeps the original document intact.

 

ProClient: Your Comprehensive CRM for Secure Document Management 

With complete document management capability, including a robust CRM and top-level security features, ProClient’s all-in-one application can get your office organized while keeping your documents secure.  

Visit ProClient's website today to sign up for a free trial and learn how ProClient can help your business succeed.