Controlling How Documents Are Used Internally

Controlling DocumentsEvery organization has to take precautions to ensure that they protect sensitive (including personal) data from prying eyes both inside and outside its boundaries, by building a robust IT system that resists various external threats: virus attacks; hacking or phishing occurrences; copying and theft. Although doing so obviously helps secure the organization from being threatened from outside, it does not guarantee that document security is ensured internally against breaches or compromises that take place inside. Most security compromises of ‘classified data’ inside an organization happen because there is a lack of awareness about the need for specific electronic document security at both board and senior management levels. Snowden showed that you can compromise millions of documents at the drop of a flash drive.

Well-intentioned employees usually lack either solutions or technical and managerial guidance about protecting high-risk information. Imagine what could happen if an employee unintentionally transfers an unencrypted file containing critical information about a deal, or sends secret data to the wrong recipient, misplaces a drive holding ‘classified data’, or loses a crucial laptop in a public location. These are only disasters when enterprises lack the technological products, standards and methodologies that identify, catalogue and control high-risk information throughout the company.

In spite of growing risks, organizations tend to hesitate in taking the first move to implement even simple document retention and destruction policies or PDF security strategies that control how documents are viewed and distributed, because they are doubtful of the costs involved and how it might fit into the entire scheme of things within the organization. “It can’t happen here,” and, “You can always lose a document on the train/plane,” or, “We don’t have anything of value,” are often cop-outs for not doing anything until it is too late.

Some may not want to look into technological solutions because they do not understand the need to review such concerns, or do not see any need to address it because there has been no problem in the recent past (the insurance industry works on claims history rather than threats, although with hurricanes and floods that may be changing). Sadly some appear clueless about their organization’s exposure to information loss and as a result cannot express their requirements or see how to go about communicating their challenges.

Internal information is one thing. But there is also sensitive inbound information, such as internal research, trade secrets, merger and acquisition deals, strategic plans, overall budgets, employee salaries, legal and financial data, etc. to deal with. It needs to be securely stored and protected from unauthorized employees within the organization (quite often including the IT department!). Some organizations seek to justify doing nothing because they say they do not possess the critical capabilities of protecting and storing internal data because their IT operations had expanded hugely after accommodating various business demands, and as a result, existing IT administrators were unaware of the management issues concerning document risk as well as leading practices involved in gathering and retaining sensitive data.

Organizations have been known to state that high-risk information becomes cumbersome to manage because internal units within the organization created separate databases to gather and retain such information resulting in restricted connectivity between IT systems, and that slowed down the adoption of overall standards and governance across the organization.
It is important to note that document security initiatives can play a huge role in an enterprise’s developing from being a mere asset guardian to becoming a decisive business facilitator. Although implementing document retention and destruction policies or PDF document security solutions is often seen as a one-time drill for the enterprise, it has to become part of a well-planned, comprehensive security procedure aligned to your organizational goals.

Your organization might be under stress having to find, distinguish, and categorize high-risk information in order to adhere to industry norms. Or it may become extremely critical to implement a document security solution as a reaction to a current security violation. Or the organization may have decided to pursue document control and retention policies in order to gain an overall picture of its internal risks, weaknesses and exposures.

Irrespective of which elements cause you to examine adopting data security solutions, safeguarding the organization’s data is unquestionably a strategic business responsibility, and that is loud and clear. A document retention policy can become part of a wider scheme to defend the dissemination, privacy, integrity, and availability of sensitive data within the organization. Look for a data security strategy that is realistic and competent, while providing a functional and invaluable outcome.


Safeguard Enterprise PDF DRM Document Security

LockLizard can assist your organization implement a sensitive data security solution that meets your organization’s needs and goals. Using its PDF DRM Document Security solution you can implement comprehensive document usage control which is effective both inside and outside of your operational boundaries. LockLizard Document PDF DRM products empower you to execute document retention and destruction policies for all your PDF documents, within and also outside the organization, ensuring the safety of your classified data at all times.