All too often, there is a leak of sensitive information (either about individuals or companies) that finds its way onto the web. As a result, sites like WikiLeaks can destabilize and collapse governments and organizations. When information about organizations is leaked, some people have a lot more to lose if they collapse. If you are such an individual, you might want to do everything possible to prevent that from happening. And, improving your document security should be at the top of your priorities list. Therefore, you should ensure you do these five things.
1. Train Your Employees on Document Security Best Practices
Employees are often organizations’ biggest document security threats. In their ignorance, they could end up sending a sensitive file in its unencrypted form to third parties. Whether you authorized the documents to be shared or not, email is still a pretty risky platform and one where unprotected documents can be intercepted.
Also, the same employees may upload files onto public computers, servers, and drives where just about anybody can access them. Of course, most employees will feign ignorance when such a mistake ends up costing the entire company. However, if you train them, they will have no such excuse to fall back on and will thus be more careful when handling your documents.
2. Prevent Haphazard Document Printing
Another security loophole that might sometimes be an area of exploitation is the printing of files. Typical scenarios involve employees and other parties being at liberty to print documents however and whenever they want. Even when measures, such as encryption, are incorporated, the organization can do little to curb the use of printed documents by unauthorized parties.
So, it makes sense to prevent or control document printing. Where printing is entirely disabled, your organization only has to worry about users being able to view electronic documents. Alternatively, where printing is enabled, some people might take advantage to print to file which is another way of creating a separate electronic document – where controls that had been imposed on the original electronic copy, the same restrictions will be eliminated in the second electronic version of the file.
As a result, it becomes necessary to either fully restrict or control the number of prints that any authorized party can make and to what types of the printer (physical or a file printer such as PDF). There are very few solutions that can help you do this but a document DRM system is one of them.
3. Prevent Screen Grabbing
Smart devices, such as tablets, PCs, and phones, all capable of recording information on their screens. And, since these devices are at the core of processing various documents, it becomes easier to make uncontrolled document copies, even if the owner of the document had imposed several restrictions on the original document.
Your organization must be able to stop these screen grabbers; otherwise, they will put your most sensitive information in jeopardy of being leaked. This means that you should ensure that any apps and keyboard shortcuts that can help users take screenshots are rendered useless, while the device is processing valuable (i.e. sensitive or confidential) documents.
4. Add Watermarks
Another way of ensuring that your documents remain safe is to encourage accountability. Where costly mistakes are made, the people involved in the mistake need to take responsibility for their actions. This is difficult to do as it becomes near impossible to identify sources of leaks in organizations.
Luckily, if watermarks (especially dynamic ones) are used, it becomes harder to hide behind the rest of the workforce. This is because dynamic watermarks show visible user details when documents are processed and displayed on a screen or printed on paper. Such visible information could serve as a deterrent to unauthorized document distribution.
Even if it is not a big enough deterrent, the people stealing the documents and sharing them with the world would be easy to reach with the long arm of the law.
5. Retain Document Control Long After Sharing Documents
A significant problem with document security is a lack of control once a document has been distributed to others. Once you share documents with your employees or with a necessary third party, you give them full control over the files. They can then copy and paste, share, print, sell, or do pretty much whatever they want with the document.
This does not need to be the case. There are document DRM systems that will help you retain control to the point where you can revoke access to a document at a moment’s notice. These are the same document DRM systems that can help you regulate print copies and how long each user has access to specific files. If you incorporate such a system into your organization, you can take back full control over your documents instead of allowing other people to control what they can do with your files.
So keeping your documents secure requires many measures, all of which can be found in a good document DRM system.