Document Security: Striking the Sticky Wicket between Privacy and Security

Document Security: Striking the Sticky Wicket between Privacy and Security

Document security: Most of the times, when companies consider threats to their documents and data, they have a tendency of bucketing this issue within the larger pool of IT security. All the required tools and budget as well as the staff to manage data threats come from within the IT security department. This could cause data and document security sometimes to get lost within the larger arc of IT security. While, in the broader perspective of things to consider within an organization, makes sense – that is placing data and document security within the ambit of overall IT security – organizations must understand that data and document security, in today’s environment, must be a priority over others.

Given today’s always-online culture, ensuring that data remains private without being pried into, while at the same time maintaining employee privacy can be tricky to balance in an organization. Companies look forward to continuing a healthy and resilient security attitude throughout their organization and with their affiliates. 

Within the subject of productivity, there is a specific technique known as the concept of batching. This means, for instance, bundling all emails in the morning and tackling them, while saving phone calls for the noon and later. This concept is not always feasible, especially in a high-powered organization where email correspondence and phone calls sometimes go hand-in-hand. In addition, there may be specific tools or action items that must be ticked off immediately, and hence handling security and privacy can be challenging.

So how can individuals and companies balance the delicate line between privacy and security? Here are some tips.

Understanding regulations. If your organization operates in a sector that is highly regulated or is required to meet stringent compliance obligations for any reason, it is crucial that your organization understands and abides by privacy laws. This also includes knowing about the timelines for release and the length of time it takes to become completely compliant.

For instance, when GDPR rules were announced in April 2016, organizations had two years to become totally compliant before the law went into official effect. Nevertheless, a vast number of businesses were unable to meet the deadline, thus leaving them exposed to colossal potential fines. The California Consumer Privacy Act went into effect in March 2020. Yet still, numerous businesses are still trying to understand the Act, and are grappling with its implications or are unsure of the exact measures to take.

It is evident that various privacy regulations that are state-specific and international in nature will arise in the coming years. Hence, organizations must ensure that their compliance and legal departments are updated on these rules and speak with their IT security teams on how to spruce up security compliance within their organizations.

Educating staff about privacy. Just as data and document security is crucial to a reorganization, training and awareness must be as relevant and at the heart of every successful IT security policy in a company. A survey released last year revealed that a number of employees across organizations were privy to confidential documents and sensitive company information on a daily basis. This shows that there are considerable differences in companies in how sensitive data must be handled within their departments and by whom. There is clear evidence that employees need better training, in understanding what documents and PDF files they are supposed to handle and those they are not. Further, there is a need to train employees on ensuring that customer data within the organization is protected in line with various regulations.

Ensuring employees receive their privacy. A good deal of attention is focused on user privacy, each time the topic of data privacy arises. In short, what it means is there is a need to protect the interests of consumer data. But, there is also a need to protect employee privacy. However, some surveys reveal that employee privacy is not widely practised, which can be an area of concern.

How digital rights management can come to the rescue

To ensure employee privacy and, more critically safeguard your documents and data within your organization, it makes sense to employ tools such as digital rights management (DRM).  Document DRM security can prevent unauthorized employees or individuals from accessing confidential and sensitive documents and control what authorized users can do with them – for example whether they can be printed, how long they can be accessed for and from what devices and locations. The goal of DRM is to safeguard critical customer and business information from theft, piracy, accidental disclosure and unauthorized access, while at the same time complying with industry regulations.

Conclusion

With the rise of new privacy regulations and media attention on data security and cybercrime, organizations can proactively prevent document leakage and theft from taking place by controlling who can access and use documents through digital rights management.

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