How secure is your data?

February 14, 2018
by Lawrie Breen

How we manage, secure and store our data has been front and centre of discussions in recent weeks. Many businesses know that it can be a challenge and it’s not surprising that, with so much business information bouncing around, there are going to be occasions when people get it wrong.

It’s hard to imagine someone getting it as spectacularly wrong as the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet did recently, selling a filing cabinet to a Canberra second hand shop, only to find that the cabinet was still full of top-secret government files. While it may seem like an act of complete idiocy by the Department involved, what this situation shows is that data security should be top of mind for us all.

Legislation changes are coming

Which brings me to an interesting piece of news that hasn’t captured a great deal of attention in the mainstream business press: On February 22nd this year, new legislation on data breach comes into effect. You can read the finer details here.

Essentially, it makes businesses liable to report any specific data breach where sensitive information, like customer files, has been exposed. It also sets out provisions and responsibilities for organisations in their duty to protect customer data.

This has far reaching ramifications for business. While initially only affecting businesses with more than $3 million in turnover, chances are this is the start of the government strengthening data protection laws as we move further into the Digital Era.

What it means to me is that we all need to think clearly about how we’re going to manage data and information around our businesses. It covers everything: From paper filing cabinets like our friends in Canberra, to digital customer information that we store on servers both onsite and in the cloud.

The case for strong document management

From a technology perspective, maintaining a secure document management system that becomes the key repository for all your business information is one key way of solving this puzzle.

Document management brings so much to your business in terms of security and flexibility when it comes to your business information. Centralised storage, whether it’s in the cloud or on premise, is also much more cost effective than it has ever been.

From a security perspective, the ability to run audit trails right from the time a document is stored is a huge benefit. You can set controls on who can access documents, ensuring that only the right people can access specific information.

The added flexibility comes in how you access your information. Being centrally stored means your staff aren’t chasing paper documents around, trying to find information when they need it, for example, when a customer requests it. It dramatically improves the customer experience. The added workflow benefits also dramatically improve the way you share information across your business, increasing and enabling better document access when you need it.

Think about security

The key take out, for me, is regardless of whether you go down the document management route or not, thinking about how you secure your business information is vital. Cyber security and threat of data being hacked is something that’s becoming more and more commonplace. As governments legislate it more and more, the impact on your business and brand could go well beyond just reputational damage.

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