If you’ve ripped your pants in public, you know what it’s like to feel exposed and vulnerable. Perhaps your business isn’t handing out ripped pants to your clients, but your lack of secure document storage could cause those same dreadful feelings.

Regardless of how small you think your business is, you have documents that contain critical information that need to be kept secure. Avoid causing your clients stress and your company going bankrupt by following the proper processes for securing documentation.

Let’s Talk Document Storage

You may be using digital document storage but, is it up to par? Yes, ditching the filing cabinets was a great start. We’re proud of you. Fire, theft, misfiling, flooding, or any number of other incidents could’ve rendered those documents irreparable.

But, going digital puts those files at even greater risk. Can you say cybercrime?!

This is why it’s so important to find a document storage option that works for your business. Based on your industry, there may be different regulations in place to keep your clients’ information secure. If you’re working in the healthcare field within the U.S., that looks like HIPAA.

For those running schools, it comes in the form of FERPA. Meanwhile, in Canada, PIPEDA applies to all private-sector organizations and regulates how data is collected, used and shared in for-profit or commercial activities. A well-meaning staff member could accidentally land you a violation, costing your business up to $5,000.

There are more than 600 laws in place throughout the states protecting the right to privacy, so while continuing to brush up on both federal and state laws is in your business’s best interest, it might be easier to seek out a document storage system that can alleviate that extra pressure.

The right document storage will provide privacy for patients and peace of mind for you. That looks like:
  • A secure platform that meets cloud software security standards as well as privacy act requirements to safeguard your data
  • Certified trained specialists who follow privacy standards when providing support
  • Protected back-end processes and vendors
  • The ability to request and share documents to avoid lost files
  • Document tracking to ensure the most recent version is available
  • Privacy marking and document restrictions to control who can see which files

You Can’t Afford to Cut Corners

You love your customers, and wouldn’t knowingly give away their sensitive information, but you’re human. Every time you decide to skimp on security measures, you are one step closer to putting your customers at risk. To avoid leaking your clients’ information here are a few safety measures to take.

Automate Data Collection

By offering your clients the ability to import their own information, you’re reducing the number of staff members who view the information compared to an in-person paper or Q&A collection. This method also reduces the risk of potential errors.

Limit Shared Information

There’s no reason everyone on your staff should have access to your clients’ data. The more people with access, the higher the risk of an internal breach. Implement a document storage system that uses roles and permissions to restrict viewing.

Make sure any shared documents are sent on secure platforms only — that means no email. Your document storage platform should offer cloud storage for easy and safe sharing.

Strengthen Your Passwords

Creating complex passwords means having to seriously work your memory muscles, but it also means that you’re making it exponentially harder for cybercriminals to crack the code. Try using a phrase and getting funky with numbers and symbols.

For example, TheR0s3Th4tGr3wFr0mC0ncr3te. Looks crazy but after a few days, your muscle memory will kick in. In addition to strong passwords, use a multifactor authentication system for an added layer of security.

Organizations with fewer than 500 employees spend an average of nearly $3 million per data breach. 

Think Like a Cybercriminal

2020 saw the shift to a more digital route of running businesses — from social commerce to working from home. Because of that, cybercrime also saw an increase. You wouldn’t willingly give information about your company, but the frightening truth is 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses.

Even worse, only 14% of those businesses are prepared to defend themselves.

Related Reading: Protect Your Customers and Business from Cybercrime When Moving Online

Educating and reminding your staff of protocol yearly is a great way to keep everyone aligned on organization, ethics and security practices. Drive home that successful processes are what will help keep the business out of the danger zone.

As a business owner, always be on the lookout for more ways to revamp your security defenses to continually protect your clients’ information.