A few decades ago, a document repository was simply a room full of documents. Thanks to technology, we've come a long way.
Physical storage devices, like flash drives, can hold tens of thousands of files. But they make it difficult to organize, categorize, and locate your necessary data. This is why many businesses now rely on a document management system (DMS). A DMS is a collection of features and elements, rather than just one discrete entity or piece of software. When transitioning to a DMS, it's important to consider the safety measures taken by the DMS to protect your files. In general, the term used to denote these measures is "document control system."
Document management vs document control:
The capabilities of document management systems primarily revolve around digitizing, storing, tagging, and organizing files. Ideally, they facilitate team collaboration as well.
Document control, on the other hand, focuses mainly on the security, tracking, and administration of your data.
Why does your business need a document control system?
The priority that comes after the creation of any document is its safety. Even though most document management systems today meet the requirements of storing files, some overlook the role of enhanced security. This is why businesses need a proper document control system to provide both order for file storage and safety for files being stored or shared.
Here are five ways an effective document control system helps businesses maintain file safety:
Regulatory compliance greatly impacts the reputation of a business. Any business can be penalized by the state or federal government for failing to comply with the laws. A few common regional regulations are the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in the US and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU. Using DMS that is compliant with statutes ensures safety measures are being taken when any personal information or health-related information is being stored.
Boost security with access restrictions
This feature helps you define individual roles and the level of access a person holds. Access is usually determined by three broad categories: Viewer, Editor, and Admin. With the development of technology, granular access has also become available.
Access features are so advanced that they can also take into consideration the hours a person works when establishing roles.
Verify activity with versions
A document collaboration system helps multiple users work on the same file simultaneously. When edited, the documents are updated in real time. However, a real-time view is not typically available for changes made by multiple editors at once. The file version history helps you view changes made to the document by multiple editors. Effective file version control paves the way to better team collaboration and enables fact checks if required at any point.
Protect files with passwords and tracking
Whether it's internal or external, file sharing is crucial for businesses of any size. It is important to share files in a secure manner to protect sensitive data. One effective way of sharing files is to have them password protected.
Consider law firms, which often have the need to share files with clients. These files usually contain personal information and need to be protected. When shared as an external link, only the people holding the password to the file can access it.
To enhance protection further, you can implement tracking by mandating user information. This requires the person accessing the file to enter information, such as their name, email address, or mobile number.
Provide high levels of security
One of the most important features of a good document control system is its security system. With the growing number of cyber attacks, a properly designed security system has become essential. Having a good understanding of how security measures impact a DMS will help you implement these measures more effectively.
There are numerous measures to be considered when it comes to security in document management. Some of them are:
Encryption of files both at rest and during transit
Making regular backups
Using multi-factor authentication for login
Security of an organization's documents is of immense importance. To ensure you're working in a secure environment, you must make sure you're using a DMS with enough features for document control.