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11 December 2018

Are your business documents protected against breaches?



You may have heard about the data breaches hitting big enterprises, but small and medium sized businesses are at risk too.

SMEs are dealing with:

●     Increased hacks; hackers see SMEs with little security as easy targets,

●     Poor data security is a business risk: hacked SMEs soon go out of business.

Document security doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.

In this post we will discuss three ways you can start securing your business documents today.


1.  Have a document management plan

Seventeen percent of businesses admit to storing paperwork in a shed; a further 16% keep business documents in a garage.

These were some of the most shocking findings from a Cleardata study.

Most of the businesses surveyed kept documents in costly filing cabinets, drawers and cupboards.

While these are better choices than a shed, they’re still expensive and inefficient options.

A good document management system would include the following:

●     Destroying dated client documents,

●     Ensuring you have easy access to documents,

●     Indexing and labelling documents.

An easy way to get the job done is to digitize your document storage.
There’re a few reasons this might be the better option in the long-term:

●     In the U.S, 98% of data breaches in one government division involved paper records, majority of document security breaches come with paper,

●     Over 60% of business who suffer a breach will go out of business within six months,

●     Managing paper documents cost U.S. businesses $8bn annually. 

Going digital means less storage costs, improved security and increased productivity as staff spend less time searching and refiling documents through filing cabinets.


2.  Use Digital Signatures

On top of making it easier and safer to store your digital documents, a digital signing platform makes it easier to do business and protects your firm against fraud.

A  couple, from Canada, leased a BMW but then stopped making payments. The BMW dealership seized the vehicle and ended up selling it at a loss on the open market. The car dealership opened up a case to reclaim their losses from the couple. The couple then alleged BMW had forged their signatures onto the lease applications.  Eventually BMW won, but only after a court battle that tested the evidence.

Let’s consider how digital signatures – which come with an audit trail – might reduce your vulnerability to potential fraud.

While electronic signatures come with its own risks, and can be easily falsified, digital signatures offer unique protection.

When you use a digital signature tool, a Certificate Authority binds your identity to a PKI-based Digital Certificate. Users end up with a unique digital fingerprint.
PKI technology is the only technology in the world that makes it impossible to forge signatures.

Using a tool like Secured Signing also lets everyone who has signed the document know when any changes have been made. All documents come with a complete digital trail.

3.  Password-Protect Your Files

Password protecting your client data is a simple way to start securing your documents today.

This is one of the practical tips from the Federal Trade Commission in the United States of America.

To mark National Cyber Security Awareness Month, the FTC launched a new resource to help 32 million businesses across the US protect themselves against hacks.

It doesn’t have to be hard.

In Microsoft Word and Excel, click:

  1. File
  2. Info
  3. Protect document
  4. Encrypt with password

Add an additional form of security by introducing different access levels for staff. It may not be necessary for all employees to have access to client’s personal information.


Conclusion

Securing your business data – and private customer information - has never been more important. The digital age has given rise to affordable technologies to keeping your business documents safe.

By protecting your customers’ data, you’re investing in protecting the future of your company.


Till next time,
John Webster


General

13 March 2014

In the global IT world, the 1980s is known for the emergence of the international network we know today as the Internet. While more than three decades have passed, the influence of technology hasn’t been equally experienced by all industries.

Let’s look at Cloud Computing as an example. Despite being described by TJ McCue as a tornado rather than the slow-moving, fluffy white, cloud image so many of us hold, the technology hasn’t been  quickly adopted by what could be considered to be the more conservative organisations. 

A recent piece in Forbes (23 Feb 2014) by Joe McKendrick related to Government utilisation of cloud computing. McKendrick interviewed Dr. Rick Holgate, president of the American Council for Technology (ACT), who sees the cloud as one of three powers of innovation that is sweeping US government agencies: “Cloud computing is more than just the latest in a series of attempts to pare down government spending - it’s a getaway to unprecedented innovation in a sector known more for bureaucratic inertia.”

Secured Signing, the Australasian trusted digital signatures cloud solution, is part of this significant shift with its offer to fill-in and eSign electronic documents. The online signing and use of advanced electronic signatures by government agencies eliminates the paper trail, improves efficiency, shortens approval times, and as mentioned by Dr. Holgate above, cuts unnecessary costs.

The efficiency gains and document security benefits of electronically signed documents is immense. Secured Signing has saved Yarra Rangers a lot of administration time and significantly reduced printing consumable envelope and postage costs, and has also allowed us to be a greener organisation by reducing our paper consumption.” Jason Farrugia, Manager Strategic Procurement, Yarra Ranges Shire Council 

For Manningham, the primary driver has been about simplicity and making it quicker and simpler for people to sign, but it is nice to know we are also introducing a clearer audit trail into our signing process with Secured Signing giving us the same security that underpins all online commerce and banking.” Tim Lawson, Manager of Procurement Contracts, Manningham City Council.   

Till next time,

Cheers, John.


General