Document Security: Protecting the Document Life-Cycle

Business mans hands around a floating holographic document

Just like living things, documents have a life-cycle--and they need to be protected every step of the way. Here are a few document security tips that will help keep your files safe as they grow up and go out into the world!

The Biology of a Document

It's odd to think of documents as living things, but they do mirror organic life in some important ways. For example, they grow and change--and as they are becoming their best selves, they tend to be vulnerable. That's why document security is a critical consideration at every stage of the document life-cycle--not just at the beginning or the end.

Let's take a closer look at this "life-cycle" and how you can protect your files along the way!

Creation

When documents are "born," they are particularly vulnerable. That's because the software, applications, or tools used in their creation aren't always reliable.

Document security tip: Make sure documents are created using safe, legitimate software (and hardware) only.

Communication

Once a document is created, its next job is to go out into the world and help your teams finish tasks, communicate information, work on projects, or serve customers. Documents can go through many changes and end up in all kinds of hands during this phase of the life-cycle, which means they are exposed to plenty of threats.

Document security tip: Encryption can help keep files safe while they're being transferred from one person to the next. Still, the most important approach is to train employees on responsible document habits--for example, never leaving a copy on the printer tray.

Management

After a document has been sent to all the right places, it will be updated, saved, shared, and edited. This is good news for your business, but it can be bad news for document security since all of these changes lead to different types of risks.

Document security tip: Use tools like version control to keep track of files and protect up-to-date information.

Storage

This is the end of a document's life-cycle, but not of its efficiency. Stored documents can be useful for future projects, audits, data analysis, and more. However, without proper protection, stored files can be a huge risk for overall security.

Document security tip: Don't neglect stored files just because they aren't actively used. Instead, rely on user authentication, access control, and other tools to protect inactive files from falling into the wrong hands.

Looking for more document security tips? Contact us today for help protecting your files at every stage of the life-cycle!