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Checklist: How to evaluate secure digital archiving vendors

Finding the right document management software provider makes all the difference for long-term success in secure archiving of digital business documents.

When searching for document management vendors, make sure you find one that meets the recognized standards for system quality, security, feature completeness, and document handling.

The following provides a safe vendor checklist for you to review when evaluating a vendor.

Quality standards for document management vendors

Here are a few security standards and official regulations to assess the overall quality of the digital archiving software vendor and their ability to properly handle sensitive documents.

  • ISO 9001: A standard that details the requirements for a Quality Management System (QMS). The main requirement is for vendors to implement methods and systems to prevent errors and ensure a flawless QMS. A vendor with this certification has an excellent quality control rating in the production and manufacturing of software.
  • ISO 15489: A software vendor with this certification has proven, reliable and established concepts, principles, and guidelines for business records management.
  • ISO 27001: An information security standard that is the highest requirement for the production, operation, monitoring, maintenance, and improvement of a DMS for information security. Through this standard, all information security is brought under management control.
  • ISO 27017: A security standard for cloud service providers. Systems that meet this standard have maximum data security in the cloud. Only customers can access their data, which is protected from third-party access.
  • Cloud Security Allowance (CSA) and the Cloud Controls Matrix (CMM): The CSA created the CMM, which details a baseline set of security controls to assess any risk associated with a cloud provider. It covers the hosting requirements for security, privacy, compliance, and risk management.

Security standards for financial document management

Here are a few standards for handling documents in Germany, Spain and Switzerland:

  • GoBD (Germany): The principles for securely managing and storing records, books, and documents in digital form, as detailed by the Handelsgesetzbuch (HGB) and Tax Code AO.
  • Agencia Tributaria (Spain): The requirements of the Spanish tax agency for securely storing scanned documents
  • GeBüV/AccO (Switzerland): A Swiss Accounting Records Regulation, which provides a legal framework for how to govern information storage.

Digital archiving vendor checklist

To help you determine which digital archiving vendor best meets security, compliance standards, and safety features, use this vendor checklist.

Does the software …

  • Allow access through a unique username and password?
  • Send data between components using HTTPS instead of HTTP?
  • Allow document access on an individual, group, and job role level?
  • Provide government-level, 256-bit encryption, for all documents?
  • Conduct regular data backups?
  • Archive or store data within the company's sovereign borders?
  • Have at least two layers of data redundancy to allow for business continuity?
  • Offer data separation to keep customer data private?
  • Offer built-in mechanisms to protect data against viruses and malware?
  • Provide certain workflows so you can enforce retention policies?
  • Ensure you meet specific information handling compliance standards such as GDPR and HIPAA?
  • Help you retain document integrity through electronic signatures?
  • Build complete audit histories and trails with the ability to log all changes?
  • Offer version management?
  • Meet certain security standards and regulations, such as ISO 9001?
  • Enable seamless integration with other corporate content management systems?
  • Guarantee non-repudiation?
  • Provide consistently excellent customer support? What measurements are in place to ensure support quality?

This vendor checklist will help you conduct a fair evaluation of different document management solutions that can safely secure your documents — and find one that can deliver the best solution for your archiving needs.

Bonus: critical document management features for secure archiving

Document management software comes with lots of features to support businesses and your teams’ processes, but these are the most important functional capabilities to look for when considering secure digital archiving.

1. Format flexibility for convenience

Store and archive scanned documents, images (JPEG and PNG), PDFs, emails, all Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and much more.

2. Secure encryption for complete protection

Transmit data over the web using HTTPS and encrypts documents with 256-bit encryption. Provide a unique username and password and access on an individual, group, and job-role level to control who sees what data.

3. Multiple backups for business continuity

Use region-specific data centers for triple data monitoring and redundancy to protect information, simplify disaster recovery planning, and ensure business continuity.

4. Document traceability for simplified auditing

Log all document captures, versions, and annotations for comprehensive traceability and record all workflow steps for process transparency.

5. Data control for meeting compliance standards

Provide granular access rights, secure encryption, and comprehensive information organization help your organization meet compliance standards such as GDPR and HIPAA.

6. Thorough indexing for complete and accurate information history

Automate intelligent indexing to ensure all documents are complete, organized, always findable, and actionable in any workflow.

7. Integrations for safe digital archiving and improved workflow

Integrate with Microsoft Outlook to safely archive and organize important emails and connect other applications like your ERP and CRM to access relevant documents and simplify workflows.


Learn more about document management software


Document archiving: security and safety standards 2022

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