Business Security – Protecting Vital Internal Documents

December 18, 2013 Updated: April 24, 2016

Businesses will always have documents that are deemed internal. These documents may contain anything from projected quarterly profits to schematics for a new product. Documents that contain confidential information poses a threat to a business’ security. A business that is not proactive and does not take the steps to ensure that their documents are kept safe will find that their business is wide open to theft.

One disgruntled employee or garbage collector can cause damage to a company’s profits or brand name in an instant. When the proper security measures are put into place, a business can lessen the chances of a security breach occurring.


Physical Document Destruction

Physical documents have not gone away during this digital age. While the digital world is causing a shift in the usage of these documents, it does not mean that they are not vitally important. These documents could include tax information, profit forecasts, personal employee details and virtually anything else a business puts on file. Even when discarded, these documents can land in the hands of a competitor and cause irreparable damage to a company or individual.

Through the use of document destruction (ie: Shred-it), it is possible to successfully safeguard these documents from prying eyes, once they are no longer needed. Ideally, a business should implement a shred-all policy wherein they destroy any documents that they are no longer using.  This removes the need for employees to have to decide whether or not material is considered confidential and ensures that everything is shredded and protected. Employees should be trained on document shredding protocols and provided on-going support and reminders to ensure the protocols are being followed.


Electronic Document Protection

Electronic documents are seeing more use than ever before. With internal e-mails and networks, it is far too easy for employees to copy important documents to flash drives. Instead, there must be security measures in place that lockdown a system so that documents can only be viewed by employees that have been granted access to them. Furthermore, the following should be put into place:

  • Encryption: Every document should be automatically encrypted. This will cause any documents that are stolen to be unreadable by the person. With encryption, documents will only be able to be read when the proper security key is presented. This is a practice that should be implemented on an entire network to ensure that all information is protected.
  • User Access Settings: Business networks can easily have user access settings set for documents and folders. Keeping internal documents central to only specific users or groups of individuals can help maintain the security of the information.

Those that are extra cautious will want to use a program that overwrites storage blocks several times after the deletion of a file. This is done to ensure that the complete destruction of a document has taken place and retrieval methods will be near impossible. This is often done before disposing of any old hard drives that may have been utilized.

In the business world, an office can never be too safe. There are simply too many risks associated with lax security measures. Instead, implementing proper document security protocols on both a physical and electronic level will be of the utmost importance.