The digital world can seem like a scary place. Stories about data breaches, information sprawl and lost records abound. However, a recent GCN report explained that many of the security challenges that come with digital document management stem from poor internal policies and procedures.

In a nutshell, the technology around digital document management is often up to the security task, but people can be a weak point. Leading document management solutions offer options to overcome this challenge through strategic authorization functions, the ability to build regulatory compliance into data management processes and similar functions.

Modern digital document management solutions make going paperless simple and secure, something that is a stark contrast to managing paperless records. You may hear sensationalized data breach reports as companies go digital, but consider these three security challenges that come with paper records, and going paperless may not seem so frightening:

Going digital can simplify many document security processes.

1. Access control

User authentication is a real challenge for digital workflows, but technologies are emerging to simplify and resolve those issues. Conversely, managing access control to physical paper records requires specialized security knowledge. A physical access control system may require such tools as:

  • Programmable locks that control who can access different rooms at different times.
  • Multiple layers of locks between rooms, file cabinets, individual drawers and even specific folders .
  • Cameras and/or security personnel to monitor access points and document that best practices are being followed.

When organizations depend on paper, they need to establish strict, complex access control measures. Similar user authentication methods are necessary when companies go paperless, but the functionality is pre-built into software to keep the process simple.

2. Environmental control

Safeguarding data and documents isn’t just about preventing theft. Avoiding data loss is just as vital. Paper presents a major problem here. Acidic materials within paper cause it to break down easily over time, particularly when exposed to any sort of temperature or environmental extremes. If a cabinet shelf gets lots of direct sunlight in the summer, ink on paper can fade over time, for example.

Throw in flooding, mold, mildew, fire – not to mention the need to suppress flames without damaging documents – and organizations are left needing specialized environmental controls if they want to maintain paper records. Furthermore, paper gets heavy and, over time, can actually put a strain on buildings trying to support the weight of decades worth of documents.

Going digital eliminates the physical barriers that you have to worry about. Documents and other data are hosted in the cloud, where service providers are managing infrastructure environments and handling data resiliency for you.

3. Workflow management

Can you track down who has viewed a file and when they viewed it? Do you have records pertaining to who is authorized to interact with different document types and personnel managing those files? How are you tracking user completion and submission of forms and similar documents?

These paper-based processes can become incredibly time-consuming on their own, and they introduce many points of failure where documentation can slip up and give attackers an opportunity to slip away with key files without notice because of a small clerical error.

A paperless strategy allows software to monitor how documents are changed and accessed over time. Effectively, the workflows that come with creating a paper trail are automated electronically to add a key layer of security and regulatory visibility.

“Paper may be familiar for many businesses, but that doesn’t make it easy.”

Simplifying security and keeping data safe

Operations executive Rich Daly, writing in Forbes, argued that getting people to move away from paper depends on making the electronic documents easier to work with than paper alternatives.

Security is one key example of how digital can be simpler for your business. Organizations can establish internal and external rules for how users access data within a document management platform. This can include creating access regulations, user activity tracking and similar functions that give businesses a greater degree of control over their data environments while also keeping the end-user experience as simple as possible.

Paper may be familiar for many businesses, but that doesn’t make it easy. Digital document management, on the other hand, creates opportunities to reduce complexity within data security workflows and help businesses keep information safe.

To learn how PaperSave can help your business capture, integrate and automate your business processes, feel free to watch our personalized demonstration or visit our case studies page to read about our clients’ success stories.