Whether digital or physical, documents pose one of the greatest risks to companies with lax security practices. Even top-security agencies like U.S. Homeland Security aren’t immune to document leaks, with a massive data breach in 2014 creating pandemonium on a national scale.
Just as it is crucial that organizations protect against internal breaches by securing their networks and educating their people, so too must they monitor their valuable documents.
While your company may not have the weight of a nation on its shoulders, it’s still crucial that you protect its assets against security breaches, whether accidental leaks from employees or deliberate attacks by hackers.
This is particularly true as the technology landscape evolves. A growing number of organizations are integrating cloud storage solutions and electronic document management systems into their day-to-day business operations. While a step in the right direction for version control, streamlined tasks and staff productivity, these systems open up new avenues of attack from malicious parties.
The digital age means more and more businesses are going paperless. While that’s great for closing the most common risks associated with documents – that is, losing physical files – it means there are now new threats from online means, and many employees aren’t equipped with the appropriate training to mitigate those risks.
In terms of risks with physical documents, it could be something as simple as there being no policy surrounding document management in the workplace. So if staff are allowed to take confidential files outside the office, there is the risk of losing them during a commute or even sharing them with third parties who may have malicious intent.
But it’s digital threats that organizations need to be most vigilant against. Phishing, poor password management, and dubious accounts are top of the list. Hackers and other devious parties use deceptive methods – usually through email and mobile phones – to lure an employee into sharing their login credentials. Once given, the hacker has full access to sensitive company information, including confidential documents.
There’s also the real risk of insider misuse. While in most cases they are not carried out with the malicious intent, it’s internal threats that are the main cause of data breaches in the workplace. Some employees may be completely oblivious to the security risks they pose when sharing information with third parties, yet the outcome (risk to sensitive company information) remains the same.
So how do you manage the causes of data breaches, especially when you need to protect against threats to both physical and digital documents?