Why document management software can prevent identity theft and data breaches

Data breaches are the final frontier in the game of man vs. machine, and man is taking a serious beating.   

IBM recently reported in the Ponemon Institute’s annual research on data breaches report that in 2017 alone (which we are only halfway through), data breach has already cost American organizations 3.62 million.   

And if it weren’t for such a strong dollar, the figure would be far greater.   

But it wouldn’t take much for businesses to prevent these issues before they occur. Low-cost document management solutions can stave off considerable future damage, and the applicability of these systems to a variety of business contexts is what makes them great catch all solutions in the fight against data breach and identity theft in 2017 and beyond.   

Which Form of Data Breaches Pose the Biggest Threats? 

Internal Data Breach 

Sometimes some companies are so consumed by protecting their data and files from external intruders that they don’t see the breach paths beneath their own noses.   

Nearly half of all data breaches are internal, and occur at the documentation level.   

A document management solution’s role-based security could stave off these internal threats provided all files and appropriate role-based user permissions are administered from the outset of tech adoption, usage, and training of new and existing employees.   

A system administrator of the document management software would merely have to determine which tiers of file accessibility should be applied to employees on an employee-by-employee or group of employee basis.  

This example serves as a microcosm for how document management software could prevent ransomware attacks, too.   

Ransomware   

A global ransomware crisis has plagued 2017, and is only further enabled by security measures taking a back seat to production and profits in most businesses.   

Ransomware is one of the most pervasive and threatening forms of data breach this year, and most businesses remain unaware of how exposed they are to impending attacks.   

When a message pops up on a computer and tells its user his or her files have been locked, and will only be forfeited if a certain amount of money is provided to the attacker, a ransomware attack has occurred.   

What’s more, when attackers take the files, there’s no guarantee they’ll unlock the victim’s files.   

Horrifying Examples of How Ransomware Can Ruin Your Business 

Although all businesses without securely stored data are susceptible to ransomware, the healthcare industry has been hit more intensely by these breaches than any other industry. The greatest risk of ransomware attacks are smaller clinics and independent contractors.   

Ransomware accounted for nearly 75% of healthcare malware attacks in 2016, and the trend is only on the rise in 2017. The following example illustrates how devastating this can be for hospital and healthcare clinics’ reputations, breach fines, and even medical practice licensure.   

The healthcare industry is more susceptible to ransomware attacks than ever, and it’s by far the biggest problem affecting HIPAA compliance and protected health information (PHI). 

How Document Management Software Can Resolve Ransomware Breaches in Healthcare and other Industries 

As a single solution that upholds all physical and technical safeguard HIPAA compliance guidelines, a document management solution ensures simple throughput continuity of records into the solution via Zonal OCR (an automated file routing and classification tool that routes documents once they’re scanned in to the solution), that not only prevents arbitrary file nomenclature, but also makes it easier to apply the system’s security features to all an organization’s documentation.   

Transcending Email-based Data Breach with Document Management Software Web Portals   

Although email has become commonplace at work and seems like it isn’t risky, there are multiple points in email interchange where messages stop, and these points are breach-able.   

The way to overcome this specific downfall of email is to rely on document management software with a web portal that provides users with access to its storage, which accomplishes two important security objectives: 

  1. The portal transcends breach with SSL and Bank-grade encryption  
  2. The files never leave the portal, making them impossible to breach in interchange  

Although emails not containing sensitive data are fine to send on both an internal and external basis, a document with sensitive information that could cause major lawsuits if discovered by an unwelcome party should be sent through one of these web portals.   

These web portals have become especially popular among accountants and financial professionals, as they frequently send sensitive client data back and forth with their clients, and stand the risk of large fines from lawsuits should they fail to secure their clients’ data.   

Relying on a web portal tool has concomitant benefits unrelated to security, too: It provides an organization with an opportunity to brand its security efforts with customization features, and increase its web presence through a custom domain, which strengthens website traffic at a rate consistent with the number of users entering the portal.   

A web portal also provides the company using it with the opportunity to leverage another channel of income: Charging clients a small fee for using the web portal is not yet a standard practice, but there are accountants and financial advisers who regularly do this.   

The earnings from this web portal security feature would also compound as financial advisers and accountants earn more clients with the efficiency document management software provides them.   

Today is so rife with data breach, most clients are happy to pay a small fee to use any security tool with which their accountant or financial adviser provides them. 

DMS Mitigates Disparate Technology Adoption to Scale Back on Identity Theft   

As a single security solution for all documents, DMS can prevent identity theft attacks, too.   

Although document management software is meant for business, its one-person business solutions, which are a great fit for independent contractors, consultants, and freelancers, also double as identity theft protection by providing the accessibility and security that personal files demand in today’s ransomware and data breach-laden environment.   

And when it comes to growing out of legacy systems at the consumer and one-person business level (Windows folder structures or zip drives being the legacy systems), moving to a document management software can subsume the entire document process for any sized business or consumer need, making it a centralized repository of security. This makes it easier to both find, store, and manage sensitive information in a way that safeguards against data breach and identity theft.   

The future of the man vs. machine standoff depends on whether we control our information, or cyber-attacks and data breaches do, and document management software is one simple solution to help humankind regain control of the precious data it’s created.   

Jesse Wood, CEO of document management software vendor, eFileCabinet 

Image Credit: ESB Professional / Shutterstock