It’s officially October, which means that cybersecurity awareness month is underway.
This annual initiative, spearheaded by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), prompts businesses to evaluate their current defense measures and identify areas for improvement.
This year, our team wants to encourage companies to take stock in their cybersecurity efforts by conducting a risk assessment: a process that can help businesses identify the vulnerabilities of their current digital practices.
An important aspect of this process is examining your business' current method of document storage. This tends to be one of the biggest concerns in any organization, as sensitive data is not only particularly susceptible to attack, but also exceptionally detrimental if lost or damaged.
If you haven’t updated your record-keeping practices in a while, researching a software solution that offers a more proactive defense of your critical documents and enhanced response measures in disaster situations is a great place to start.
In this blog, we will explore:
- The dangers of not updating your cybersecurity measures
- The definition of a risk assessment
- A few tips on conducting a cybersecurity risk assessment
- How DocuPhase solutions can keep your business safe from cyber attacks
The Dangers of Not Updating Your Cybersecurity Measures
With each passing year, the prevalence of cybercrime continues to rise.
According to KnowBe4, phishing attacks alone have quadrupled since 2020. Another recent Hiscox cyber-readiness survey found that almost half of businesses polled had encountered a cyberattack within the past year.
These statistics reinforce the importance of cybersecurity awareness month and the urgency for businesses to assess their existing digital risk management and prevention efforts.
The sensitive documents stored by your business are particularly vulnerable. Failure to keep up with best practices regarding document storage can put confidential information at risk, ultimately jeopardizing the safety of your entire organization.
For example, employees who store sensitive documents on their hard drives make you an easy target for malware or ransomware scams. These types of attacks can grant hackers access to an employee’s hard drive, allowing them to freeze or steal assets from your company.
Increasingly common and sophisticated attacks from scammers are just the beginning of a list of reasons why it’s critical to identify risks and improve your existing data protection efforts.
What is a Risk Assessment?
A risk assessment is an evaluation designed to identify areas of weaknesses that could threaten an organization’s security, safety, or welfare.
Businesses can apply this concept in many areas, including their cybersecurity defenses.
A cybersecurity risk analysis examines existing security measures and identifies areas for improvement. The goal is to help businesses proactively safeguard their digital assets by identifying the most probable areas for security breaches.
Tips on Conducting a Cybersecurity Risk Assessment
A first step in strengthening your business' risk management strategy is a cybersecurity risk assessment, which can help you determine where to focus your improvement efforts. Here are four things we suggest you identify when conducting a risk assessment in your organization.
1. Identify and Prioritize Assets
Not all data housed in a business is equally susceptible to attack. Begin by analyzing which of your company’s digital assets are the highest interest to hackers or greatest liability to your business if stolen or exposed.
2. Identify Threats
Digital data can be compromised in many ways.
While malicious attacks might come to mind first, unintentional threats exist as well.Things like human error (such as accidental file deletion) or natural disaster (like a flood or hurricane) can also endanger your digital assets.
3. Identify Vulnerabilities
Consider the types of threats your business could possibly face, and then identify where you are lacking sufficient protection.
For example, is your data being backed up on a remote server in the event of a natural disaster? Are you able to manage the permissions of your employees to ensure unauthorized parties cannot access, change, or delete your data? These and other considerations will help you identify areas where your business is falling short in terms of asset security.
4. Identify Solutions
After identifying your most valuable assets, considering the potential threats, & determining your organization’s security gaps, it’s time to research a solution. Look for a system that will help you fill in these shortcomings and strengthen your existing security control measures.
For your records and data, a document management solution like DocuPhase is a great control measure that alleviates many potential risks.
Let's take a look at how DocuPhase can help you secure your info.
How DocuPhase Solutions Secure Your Data
In traditional record keeping systems, papers are stored in filing cabinets. This makes them easily accessible to outsiders or unauthorized employees: all they have to do is find the key or break into the cabinet.
With a solution like DocuPhase, however, this is much more difficult. Not only is your system password protected, but role-based permissions also allow you to manage and assign access to your forms and records on an account-specific basis.
All edits are tracked in DocuPhase’s document storage and sharing solutions, allowing businesses to monitor changes and easily identify instances of suspicious activity.
With version control, you know exactly what changes were made to a document, by whom, and at what time: This differs from paper-based systems where people can access, fill in, or change info by hand.
The result of revision control through a document management solution is confidence that your data is always accurate, reliable, and up to date.
Configurable Retention Periods
While your method of keeping electronic documents is important, it’s equally important to have a secure means of deleting them.
The more sensitive information your business stores, the higher the odds of that data being compromised: That’s why it’s best practice to eliminate unnecessary documents once they are no longer needed.
DocuPhase offers configurable document retention periods, allowing you to preprogram your deletions and restrict document storage to the timeframe required for legal compliance.
In HR, for example, you can schedule I-9 employment authorization forms to be held for the required period of three years after an employee’s date of hire. Once the three-year mark has passed, they will be securely and automatically disposed of.
By contrast, when departments are heavily paper-based, HR professionals must physically find and shred every single form when it has expired. Utilizing automated deletions in your digital document management system is an easy way to both amplify your business’ security solutions and eliminate unnecessary processes for your teams.
Option for Managed Cloud-Based Hosting
With an electronic data storage solution, you may also be given the option to store your records on the cloud.
At DocuPhase, we offer a managed hosting service to facilitate the hosting and maintenance of your data on a secure, private server.
While some may wonder if online document storage is safe, it is much safer to store data in the cloud versus on a local device.
Data that is hosted using a cloud service is encrypted, meaning it is undecipherable to unauthorized parties who try to access it.
It's also very hard for these servers–or the information housed within–to be physically accessed or altered. Cloud servers are stored in remote warehouses where access is extremely restricted, keeping them safe from unwarranted access.
Protection from Physical Damage
Managed hosting services also protect your data from physical destruction.
When documents are stored on your business’ premises (whether in a filing cabinet or on an on-site server), they are vulnerable to physical destruction at the hands of natural disasters like fires and floods.
Being headquartered in Clearwater, Florida has given DocuPhase firsthand experience with these hazards.
With the annual threat of hurricanes and potential office floods, many local businesses must worry about keeping their on-site records safe; however, DocuPhase’s managed hosting services eliminate this fear for customers with remote storage on cloud servers.
“It’s good to know we have DocuPhase as part of our daily business solution as well as our disaster solution for working from home or remotely.”
- Guy Helwege, Johns Eastern
Some businesses who have made the transition to paperless processes house their documents on a server that sits in a closet or other room within the office itself. Not only does this practice incur large expenses–including hardware, licensing, and maintenance fees–but it also lacks support in the event of a server failure.
With a managed hosting solution, on the other hand, your data is frequently backed up on another server, minimizing data loss and downtime for your business if an individual server were to fail.
DocuPhase’s managed hosting services offer clients a one-hour recovery point objective (RPO) meaning that data loss due to an outage or error should never exceed one hour’s worth of work. This key feature of managed hosting optimizes not only the security of your data but also the efficiency of your business, even in the event of an outage.
DocuPhase partners with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for their industry-leading cloud hosting services.
Through our partnership, we provide DocuPhase managed hosting customers many security benefits including regular server updates & third-party testing to improve defense measures. We also hold extensive compliance certifications, including SOC1, SOC 2, SOX, HIPAA, FIPS 140-20, PCI, CJIS, ITAR, and Safe Harbor.
DocuPhase managed hosting also meets FINRA compliance, an added security regulation surrounding the storage and management of financial records.
FINRA standards stipulate that financial documents cannot be altered once they have been uploaded to a system: The original must be preserved and retained in its unaltered state for a set period to be considered compliant.
Adherence to these standards is dependent on the document storage platform, so it is not achievable in storage systems that rely on a local drive.
This added security compliance measure is another differentiator for DocuPhase managed hosting services. Our top-of-the-line defense measures offer fully compliant sensitive document storage for virtually any industry.
If your business isn’t digitally managing its documents yet, cybersecurity awareness month is a great time to consider implementing a document management and automation solution like DocuPhase.
Contact us today to learn how DocuPhase can strengthen the security of your workplace while saving you time by improving your business process efficiency.