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The 4 Key Elements of Secure Document Archiving

What do Canva and Capital One have in common (besides being hugely successful businesses)? They both fell prey to hackers, which led to customer information being compromised.

iStock-1219629042These two companies are certainly not alone, with countless others suffering a similar fate. A fate that could've probably been avoided with better security measures.

Secure document archiving is one such security measure.

It protects documents and data while helping you become a paperless office, organize and store documents, meet specific compliance standards, and maintain business continuity through active backups.

4 pillars of secure document archiving

Here are four key elements of secure document archiving: 

iStock-1047349788 (1)1. Encryption and access rights
The first key element of secure document archiving consists of:
  • Authentication: All employees should be able to access their documents with a unique username and password.
  • Data traffic: The more secure HTTPS protocol should be used when transferring data and not HTTP.
  • Access control: Multiple levels of access should be possible based on job roles, specific groups, and departments.
  • Encryption: All data needs to be secured according to one of the most secure data encryption methods used by the U.S. government to protect confidential information: (AES) 256-bit encryption.
2. Redundancy and virus protection

Redundancy and virus protection safeguard data and ensure business continuity.

  • Data redundancy: Multiple instances of data redundancy ensure data can be restored even if the active system becomes unavailable. At the very least, your data must be stored with backups in two different regions for geo-redundancy.
  • Malware protection: Secure document archiving requires built-in features to protect your data and documents from malware.

3. Data sovereignty and separation
Data sovereignty may seem like a choice, but it's also a necessity, and data separation ensures customer data always remains private.

  • Data sovereignty:  Keeping data within the borders of where a business operates is crucial for many organizations. And cloud providers, in turn, need to make sure data and backups remain in those borders that typically protect customer information.
  • Data Separation: Customer data and documents should be fully separated from the document archiving software’s system data.
4. Integrity and auditing
iStock-1053838500 (1)Document integrity simply means a document remains unimpaired. The following is crucial in proving a document's integrity:

  • Change logging: A secure document archiving solution needs to record every document access and change to create a complete document history for audit preparation.
  • Version Management: Proper version management ensures that you can easily access document changes and that you're only ever editing the most current document version. Plus, you can always access the original, integer document for auditing purposes.
  • Electronic Signatures: The archiving solution should be able to electronically sign your documents in a secure way, e.g. by adding a digital certificate.

The bottom line

Secure document archiving may offer many benefits, but it needs to meet particular safety and security standards for it to be effective. As you saw, these include everything from proper encryption and data redundancy to data separation and document integrity.

DocuWare is a recognized and popular solution for secure document archiving that meets the standards necessary for organizations to access and store their business-critical information with the highest confidence.

Main image: by Nana Smirnova on Unsplash

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