5 Best Practices For Securing Paper & Electronic Documents

Whether for protecting mission-critical and sensitive information or regulatory compliance, holistic document security is an absolute necessity for any organization.

When critiqued from the aspect of document lifecycle – from generation to destruction, a good document security practice essentially protects your organizational setup from vulnerabilities.

The protection is guaranteed during the document journey from generation to destruction. 

With vulnerabilities arising from data breaches, unstructured data, unsecured files, human failure, and unauthorized access to storage essentially snuffed at its root.

Document Security In Document Life Cycle

  1. Document generation

This is the starting point of a document’s life cycle. It refers to the generation of documents from relevant sources. The source could be hard-copy documents, mail, or even downloaded info from external applications.

Document generation is mainly done through scanning, where hard copy content is converted to electronic format. 

However, the convenience of this mechanism doesn’t guarantee information security. Routing your documents will enable you to monitor and trace your documents. 

You will comprehensively eliminate the vulnerabilities of scanning when you couple routing with it.

  1. Document storage

Whether you store your official documents electronically or via paper-based filing, you must secure them appropriately. 

It is easy to overlook the importance of a secured storage setup for documents. Despite the commonness of paper-based storage systems, it often lacks relevant security controls, and it might be difficult to audit information stored on paper.

Electronic documents storage on the other hand, is a significantly better alternative. While this is true, you can only explore the potential of these systems when you ensure that there are enough checks in place.

Access rights, usage restrictions, encryption grade password protection are checks that you should add to your electronic storage framework.

  1. Document management

Document management essentially refers to permissions and audit controls put in place to manage employees’ and users’ access to documents in the workplace.

To effectively incorporate permissions, you must possess enough understanding of how specific information needs to be utilized by employees and users and leverage this understanding to enforce relevant permissions. 

  1. Document preservation

This refers to the retention, storage, and destruction of official documents. According to certain legislations, it is mandatory to preserve some documents for a particular period.

This means that you have to keep these documents securely for the stipulated periods. As an extension of these requirements, we will recommend proper destruction and disposal of expired or useless.

You should utilize electronic paper shredders for secure disposal and destruction.

  1. Document Delivery

This stage refers to how you share your electronic documents with employees or other business partners.

Document sharing is typically done using appropriate tools like shared folders and drives. However, a lazy management approach could allow bad actors and unauthorized users to find and access your private info.

Ensure that you leverage available checks in place for control, management and security of your shareable documents.