Your Guide to Document Security

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By Adam Walters | 02/07/2024 | 4 min read

Your clients trust you with their financial and personal information and expect you to keep it safe and secure. In the wrong hands, that information could destroy your clients' credit, wipe away their savings, and steal their identity.

Here are four steps you can take today to improve your document security and better protect your clients' information.

1.  Create a Standard Organization for Files and Documents

A standardized naming and organization template helps you better track the status of your security.

Think of digital storage as your home. If your home is constantly messy, with people dropping their shoes, bags, or garbage wherever they want, it’s hard to find what you need. Imagine trying to find an umbrella in a messy, sloppy, unkempt home. Do you know if you have an umbrella? Can you easily find it? Things are very different in a well-organized home. Rather than having to guess which room or which pile of bags an umbrella might be under, you know exactly where to look to find it.

A well-organized document management system gives everything a place and helps you know if anything has been moved, modified, or stolen. In a messy home, a thief could steal armfuls of your possessions, and you might not realize what is missing. However, in an organized home, you can tell at a glance if anything is wrong. The same thing is true for your documents.

When your documents follow a standardized organization process, monitoring and protecting them is easier.

2.  Protect Information on the Cloud

When you manage information on your own databases and servers, it might not be as secure as you think. It’s a better bet to move your information to a trusted and secure cloud provider.

Cloud storage services leverage more man-hours, more technology, and more resources to protect information, because that is their only focus. Their entire company is based around ensuring your data is secure and protected against hackers, which allows them to use resources and tools that most firms don’t have the budget or manpower to invest in.

3.  Keep Updated

System updates rarely happen at a convenient time, and nothing can be as frustrating as working on a project only to have the software, or even your entire system, do a “quick” update. However, the worst thing you can do for your firm is to ignore, skip, or postpone those updates.

There is a digital arms race happening, with hackers and data security specialists constantly coming up with new ways to attack and defend against each other. Hackers are constantly trying to find new weak points or ways to break into protected systems, and security specialists are simultaneously trying to find ways to fortify and protect against those attacks. Those new protections and fortifications against attacks can only be shared through system updates.

You're putting your data at risk when you choose to avoid, snooze, or skip a system update. The longer you avoid spending a few minutes to update your system and software, the longer you leave yourself at risk for an attack that could have been prevented.

4.  Require Password Changes Frequently

The average person is responsible for 100 passwords, and most of us get lazy with passwords. To help keep your data secure, require frequent password updates and educate your team about the best practices of password management.

We all know that passwords can be easily guessed, and we’re told to avoid passwords like “123456” or “Password123”, but another danger is often overlooked. When you create a firm requirement for frequent password updates, it often starts with a strong password like “jMc27&#kmr” but with each update, the password only gets slightly modified. With the first required update, your strong password becomes  “jMc27&#kmr1” and then “jMc27&#kmr2”. After a year and twelve required updates, you’re up to “jMc27&#kmr12”.

This pattern is dangerous for your data because it creates a predictable pattern that puts your system at risk. If a hacker can find even one of your outdated passwords, they can start to calculate how often passwords are updated and determine a current viable password in the system. For example, if it has been ten months since you first created your password, the right password must be jMc27&#kmr10.

Use a Partner You Can Trust

With over 40 years of experience in the market, IRIS provides you with the professional tools you need to succeed. Our document management solutions help keep your data secure from unwanted attacks, while making access easier for your team.

Our cloud-based solution automatically labels, organizes, and manages any new document in your system, making sure that your data is handled correctly each and every time.

See the difference IRIS document management solutions can make to your firm today.

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