BUSINESS BYTES

Concerns With Document Security - Is Cloud a Safe Haven?

  • Posted 1 month ago

Document security is both a basic business requirement and an ongoing concern. In fact, it is a pivotal that shapes the way businesses choose and implement technology.

Customer lists, sales strategy reports, revenue reports and many more documents -- if compromised, can lead to a lot of complications.

As modern businesses, process and retain an extraordinary amount of sensitive documents and data, any system that enables the sharing and storing of information must necessarily deliver watertight security.

Businesses need to be confident that their information is safe.

Concerns with Document Security

“Security is a concern. As of now there is no security on the documents that are scanned – it is only the permissions we set on shared folder. So if someone has the right knowledge, he could be able to see these documents very easily, unfortunately.”

- Financial Services, KSA

Decision-makers and end-users have multiple concerns around security in the processing and handling of documents.

Common worries include:

• Losing printed copies of important documents

• Losing devices containing sensitive data

• Ensuring crucial data is kept secure and restricted only to authorized staff

• Protection against viruses and hacking

• How to ensure the cloud is a safe place for storing and sharing documents

“Our purchasing department has some confidential documents and they are required to have private printers. But everyone else is on shared devices. I usually convince the departments to have a shared room with all services and in these we put high-tech solutions. We are short on office space and implementing such an idea is going to be hard, so we’re working around it with new technology.”

- Education, KSA

While these concerns are commonplace across all industry sectors, they are especially prevalent in the creative, warehouse/factory, and public sector spaces.

Here is an infographic depicting how much people agree on worrying about losing sensitive documents that they print.

infographic

Vertical markets where scores are above average (43%)

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Respondents feel that technology is critical to security, with 56% agreeing that it enables them to operate in a more secure workplace.

Companies in the marketing and creative sectors in particular were the most enthusiastic proponents of technology’s role in enterprise security.

Public-sector organizations and charities viewed technology as less important to overall business security.

The cloud has become a commonly accepted solution for the safe storage of documents, but at the same time, remains an area of concern for enterprise security.

Cloud: A Permanent Solution?

Digital documents stored in the cloud, with the requisite protection systems, enjoy greater protection and resilience than a filing cabinet for physical documents.

Organisations and sectors that are unburdened by the legacy of older systems in their IT infrastructure should be the first to take up cloud-based solutions as they have the potential to be more nimble and dynamic when embracing new technologies.

“Tomorrow, when our students have to print, they can do so from anywhere, and they will know the cost, their print options, dashboard services - all on a cloud-based system that we can monitor and control from the university.”

- Education, UAE

If businesses do leverage these services, it is usually through consumer-grade cloud solutions like those offered by Google, Dropbox, and Microsoft, raising the questions of where the data is stored and which country’s jurisdiction it falls under.

As the global economy becomes increasingly dependent on IT, cloud services have the potential to catalyze greater competition that result in value-added products of much higher quality.

Cloud offers an important mechanism for emerging markets to expand global trade, stimulate job creation, and reduce barriers to new products and business models.

The research shows that most decision - makers are aware of the cloud-based solutions that could support them in managing document workflows, and are clear on their benefits they could bring.

Security Concerns Related to Cloud

Although cost is a significant factor in adopting cloud services, security remains the greater concern.

Fears around losing control over document access and security may have affected the deployment of cloud services for document handling.

While the benefits of processing documents in the cloud are attractive, the importance placed on physical authentication as part of security measures should not be underestimated.

Businesses will need to be fully convinced that the solution is proven and secure, and that document access will be seamless.

For a cloud solution to be viable, the provider needs to demonstrate that data is not being stored elsewhere.

Moreover, they will need to exhibit robust safeguards in place to prevent malicious access or loss.

With the usual challenges posed by running a business, it seems IT decision-makers are not in a rush to migrate document management to the cloud just yet.

As a result, there are fewer companies using the cloud today.

Despite the numerous concerns around cloud and the fact that respondents were sourced from a varied range of business sectors with differing needs, the results showed that there is common ground. Technology was clearly seen as key to the creation, and maintenance of a secure work environment.