By Jesse Wood
In the modern corporate world, knowing what the best enterprise technology is only becomes helpful once employees adopt and understand how to use it. However, for small- to mid-sized businesses (SMBs), the most fundamentally important understanding of enterprise technology stems from understanding why organizations should use it. The answer to this question being security.
With Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Compliance, Governance, and Oversight Council (CGOC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) cracking down on the operational processes of SMBs and small healthcare practices more than ever before, document management software (DMS) delivers security reassurances to small businesses in the accounting, finance, insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing industries by way of the following benefits including labor optimization, best security practices, exchange of information, data redundancy and backup, and guest auditor access.
Human error has become an immense hazard in handling corporate information. Given that over 80 percent of the world’s data was created within the last five years—and mainly by corporations, this data becomes horrifically easy to misplace, mismanage, and lose, oftentimes leading to the opportunity costs of re-creating lost or misplaced information. Thankfully, employees’ behavior within the corporate world can be optimized and streamlined through effective training and implementation of document management software use.
Although there are many behavioral keys to generating ROI on document management software, these steps are made easy by the intuitiveness of most DMS interfaces.
Breadth of Network Devices with Best Security Practices
Security bandwidth is perhaps the biggest differentiator between consumer-grade technology and enterprise-grade technology, the latter having more of it, and for good reason: As more employees in an increasingly diverse set of departments prefer to work on their personal mobile phones and computers—this phenomenon leaves information sensitive, exposed, and unsecure. However, with Mac laptop and mobile iOS compatibility, document management software brings the multi-tiered security standards of bank grade encryption, role-based user permissions, and data redundant storage to consumers’ devices—enabling the mobility and information accessibility workers desire without compromising the security of their organization’s information.
Also referred to as the “consumerization of information technology” and the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon, this employee standard needn’t cause headaches for IT professionals in the corporate world.
Secure the Exchange of Information
Remember when email was considered an amazing innovation, and a much-needed departure from snail mail and traditional correspondence? Well, email is the new snail mail, and client sharing portals are the new email, albeit for different reasons: email trumped snail mail for the purposes of efficiency, but now client sharing portals trump email for purposes of security. Although email seems instantaneous, the information contained within email servers, no matter how sensitive or classified, has multiple “stopping points” in the information interchange process. These stopping points are breach-able points of presence, meaning hackers can intercept the messages at these locations.
DMS client sharing and web portals are standard features of the best DMS vendors’ offerings, and will meet the compliance requirements of HIPAA, the SEC, and other governing bodies. With bank-grade 256-bit AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) security features, as administered by the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) these portals prevent the data breaches which have come second only to Donald Trump in the 2016 newspaper headlines—breaches that have cost insurance, healthcare, and financial services organizations millions of dollars in lawsuits, lost customers, and compromised public image.
Data Redundancy and Backup
DMS solutions differ not just in terms of where information security is stored, but also how easily its recovery is enabled in the event of data loss. What’s more, the number of physical and artificial locations in which the data is backed up (three or four being optimal) are crucial details of data redundancy. Multiple points of presence (MPoPs) ensure that, in the event of a natural disaster (flood, hurricane, tornado, earthquake) or an office-break in, the integrity of the data is retained and replicated to restore organizations’ functions where needed—keeping the business up-and-running.
Data redundancy and backup is important independent of how the data is stored and used. For instance, although data in transit (such as email) is the most at-risk data, the majority of data breaches are derived from information at rest, and the result of either internal workers’ mistakes or deliberate malicious intentions—which DMS prevents with role-based user permissions. As a general security standard, information should be stored in data centers or transmitted through DMS that have achieved one of the following standards or attestations to receive the maximum security benefits of DMS:
SSAE 16 is a more complete and dependable group of information security standards than what its security benchmark predecessor(s), SAS 70, offer(s). The best DMS solutions will have Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16 audit approval for data redundancy and backup, a standard for data control centers devised by the The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Despite the accounting-specifics of this certification, it is of benefit for organizations in the manufacturing, financial services, insurance, and healthcare industries, too.
Guest Auditor Access
A technological staple of compliance-centric industries, guest auditor access permits DMS admins (as they differ from mere DMS users) to grant access to auditors in order to conduct compliance checks and survey information. Not only does guest auditor access make auditing easier and more secure for the auditors, it makes it easier and more secure for the auditees.
Role-based user permissions separate DMS users based on their authority to view certain information within an organization, which is of great importance depending on the compliance standards of your industry. Through this feature, DMS admins can also call support teams to assign auditor licenses to external auditors, which differ in the user licenses of DMS and other Software as a Service products. Role-based user permissions also ensure that file retention schedules and employees’ project workflow is kept synchronized and, therefore, secure.
With several regulatory agencies sights set on cracking down on the operational processes of SMBs and, document management software delivers peace of mind.
Jesse Wood is the CEO of Lehi, Utah based eFileCabinet, Inc. Founded in 2001, eFileCabinet, Inc. began as a cutting-edge tool to digitally store records in accounting firms. As it grew in popularity, eFileCabinet developed into a full-fledged electronic document management solution designed to help organizations capture, manage and protect their data. efilecabinet.com
Aug2016, Software Magazine