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Document Management: Security Concerns

What Is A Security Threat?
A security threat is the possibility that unauthorized persons could access your documents. Such unauthorized access could be by:
* Business competitors who want to get competitive information about your business
* Disgruntled employees who want to cause some kind of damage to you or your business
* Credit card and bank account thieves who want to steal money from you
* Hackers proud of their ability to crack passwords and other security measures and enter any website they want to
* Different kinds of viruses that are proliferating on the net

Some of these unauthorized intruders want to steal sensitive details such as your planned business tactics or your credit card/bank account numbers. Others seek to destroy the high-value data you have assembled over the years at considerable cost. Either way, you stand to lose a lot of money and/or be burdened with a lot of unproductive work such as recreating lost data.

Naturally, you would want to guard against the different kinds of security threats.
How Data Security Breaches Can Land You in Trouble
Security concerns are important not only for safeguarding your business but also for complying with the law. Privacy regulations make it obligatory that you keep many kinds of information private. For example, you have to make sure that financial and health information about your employees that come into your possession is kept confidential. Any failure could invite legal action.
How Do Unauthorized Persons Access Your Data?
You implement document security management systems to prevent unauthorized access to your data. However, you should first have a general idea of how unauthorized persons manage to access your records. We can provide only a general idea, as newer ways are constantly being developed to gain unauthorized data access.

* Spyware: Spyware is software that resides on your computer and gathers such sensitive data as your web surfing habits, passwords, and credit card and bank account numbers. The spyware then transmits this data to the originators. You protect yourself against these by installing spyware detection and removal programs.
* Hacking: Experts who know how computers and security systems work can access data that resides on remote systems. Once they gain entry, they could steal or damage the data. Hacking is possible even during the transmission of data. You install firewalls and other protective defenses against this kind of unauthorized access.
* Virus Attacks: Viruses are software programs that spread themselves across computers and networks (including the Internet). They gain entry into your system in various ways and then damage your data. Often, the damage involves complete destruction of the data. You are likely to already be aware of virus attacks and anti virus software.

Thus both humans and software programs could access your data in an unauthorized manner.
How Do You Protect the Security of Your Data?
Data security is a complex field that is constantly evolving to meet new kinds of threats. We can only look at this issue in a general way in a small article.

* Organizational Security: You develop organizational policies that clearly lay down who can access what kind of data. Policies must also specify what each person can do with the data. You then implement procedures that require proper authentication before each kind of data is accessed. For example, sensitive data is stored in protected locations to which access is highly restricted. In a computerized system, passwords and firewalls protect access to such data. Tracking procedures keep an account of what each person does with the data.
* Protective Software: Anti virus, anti spyware and firewall programs could make it extremely difficult for the different kinds of intruders to access your data.
* Data Encryption: Where digital data is transmitted over the net, it would be encrypted before sending and decrypted at the receiving end. Only authorized persons possessing encryption keys could then read the transmitted documents.
* Data Backup: Automated or manual procedures for backing up your data must be in place. This would help you rebuild your records if your original data is destroyed.
* Security Reviews: Periodically, you review the results of your security procedures and incidents of security breaches. Based on the findings, you update your safeguards.
* Expert Assistance: In the complex and evolving field of security, your best bet is to acquire the expertise of those who specialize in this field.

Good document management systems incorporate many of these security procedures. Authentication before access, making only essential data available to personnel and other measures minimize the risks of typical security threats.

Document management systems typically allow scanning of paper documents and converting them into an editable format. This in turn, would minimize the need to carry paper documents around, again minimizing risks of loss and unauthorized access.
There are many kinds of data security threats that could cause serious financial loss and other kinds of trouble to you. It is an unavoidable necessity to be aware of this aspect of document management and take preventive measures.

We have looked at security concerns in a general way. The field of data security is a complex field and it is better to attain the expert assistance of specialists for fool proofing your security.

Document management systems address several security concerns. For example, automatic backup, password-protected access, different levels of read/write permissions and tracking of employee actions are standard features of good document management systems.

About the Author: Author About

Dustin Baker of Ademero, Inc. invites you to learn more by visiting his Document Management Software site. Browse the Ademero resource section which includes the largest collection of posts from real users reviewing ALL of the most popular DMS systems available, free and commercial.

Sign up for a live demo of Ademero's Document Management System now!

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