Four best practices for improving security

What can companies do to limit the risk of a data breach? This article includes four recommendations for ways companies can improve overall security.
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It’s sad but true: Data breaches have become a way of life, but unless you’ve experienced one, it’s difficult to realize just how painful they can be. Yet with research from the Ponemon Institute that shows that the average cost of each stolen record can be as much as $200 – and can forever tarnish a company’s reputation – it’s clear that organizations of all sizes need to do all they can to protect their data.

To that end, companies are looking for consistent and effective ways to safeguard client or proprietary data. Implementing traditional security tools and attempting to anticipate hacking problems can dramatically reduce vulnerabilities. A recent article from Workflow highlights four additional steps your organization can take to improve security efforts even more.

1. Focus on what you should keep. One essential way to lower your overall risk is to create clear policies about what types of documents or records you keep in the first place. Not every record needs to be kept, and when you think about it, not every part of a record needs to be kept either.

Adopting a partial document archiving strategy can keep more sensitive data – such as social security numbers or credit card information – out of internal systems when documents are stored. This step can successfully limit what hackers can get their hands on if they’re able to access your network.

2. Take advantage of redaction. One of the hot trends in document archiving today is the storage of captured documents, scanned documents or other documents that are stored as images. These digital images have a wealth of information in them, but the risk is that hackers can get all of this information if they get their hands on these records.

One effective solution is redaction. Automatic redaction features can help users block access to their most sensitive information. For example, specific identifiers like social security numbers may have little or no business value inside a document management or archival system – and may present added risk. If users can use PDF solutions to automatically redact this information, hackers can’t access this data. Business-class PDF solutions enable users to search for words or phrases or even patterns as the basis for redaction – critical steps in saving time and improving security.

3. Protect endpoints, including multifunction printers (MFPs). We’ve written previous articles on the security risk MFPs pose, and unfortunately, the risk still exists. You also need to guard system endpoints. Look at USB ports and other access ports, and monitor them better to prevent certain kinds of insider threats and data loss. Network management systems also help. By keeping an eye on the system, and tracking sensitive data as it goes through the system, businesses can decrease the chances of being involved in an embarrassing and costly data breach.

4. Keep up on security best practices. Having an ear to the ground also helps when trying to safeguard business systems. Keeping up with items like the SANS 20, a list of recommended security controls, or news from places like Kaspersky Lab, can help business leaders to circle the wagons in an age of prevalent cybercrime.

 

Admittedly, it’s challenging to stay ahead of hackers, but following these best practices will help level the playing field and help you improve your overall security.

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Jeff Segarra

About Jeff Segarra

Jeff Segarra is the Senior Director of Product Marketing for the Nuance Document Imaging Division. He is responsible for the global team that delivers industry product positioning, messaging and content to help our customers around the world identify how Nuance solutions can meet their needs. He enjoys speaking and writing about business process improvement, The Internet of Things, document security, document conversion technologies and personal productivity. He has an MBA from Iona College, Hagan School of Business and has been working with software technology for 20 years. Jeff is an original New Yorker and, therefore, a staunch Yankees fan – in the heart of Red Sox nation.