A good disaster preparedness and recovery plan includes considerations from an organization’s security program. A security program is what keeps a company at desired security levels by assessing risks and hazards, and implementing ways to reduce or eliminate those risks. This program should include ways to protect physical documents before a disaster, as well as secure document restoration steps to implement after a disaster.
Document Security Concerns
Document security is about maintaining trust with internal and external stakeholders. A company’s reputation is one of its most important assets. While an organization might have a good relationship with stakeholders, a physical or electronic information breach may cause a loss of trust and long-term damage to a brand.
One of the biggest mistakes that companies make in regards to physical and digital documents is failing to understand where to find these items because they weren’t categorized. In such an instance, an organization lacks controls to ensure all data categories receive the appropriate handling. By understanding the types of documents a company handles, management can establish security controls to ensure that employees handle information properly.
Common document and data classifications include:
- Restricted: The most sensitive data; losses would cause the greatest risk to an organization; access is on a need-to-know basis
- Confidential: Moderately sensitive data that would still put a company at risk of losses if compromised
- Public: Non-sensitive data that poses little to no risk to a company if compromised
Protecting documents and data from internal threats is another often-overlooked security concern. When employees have inappropriate access to sensitive information, it puts a company and its stakeholders at risk. Employees may leak information for their own gain, access sensitive customer information, or accidentally lose, or delete, files. Mitigating these risks include establishing password protocols, identity verification, adding layers of security to data in a virtual cloud or a physical storage room, and securing electronic devices that leave a building. Monitoring and auditing what employees print, as well as protecting a company’s paper trail, helps an organization decrease its risk of a data breach.
Secure Document Restoration
While it’s important to secure documents against immediate and potential threats, document and data security protocols should also include a plan for secure document restoration in the event of a disaster. One of the mistakes that companies make in regards to document security and restoration is choosing the wrong vendor.
A reputable restoration specialist, like Polygon, works with a client in advance to prepare a document recovery plan. The specialist regularly performs background checks on new and existing employees to ensure they are qualified to handle sensitive data, per local, state and federal laws. The restoration specialist also takes the time to learn about the client’s document security program and asks questions, such as:
- What document protection protocols are in place?
- Do you want us to work on-site or at our secure facility when restoring documents?
- Who has access to the different document categories during the restoration procedures?
When an organization works with a secure document restoration company, it will review the client’s security program to learn details, including:
- Designated security officer
- Risk assessment analysis
- Policies and procedures regarding data and document use and access
- Organizational security awareness
- Regulatory standards compliance
- Audit compliance plan to review and improve the security program
By understanding exactly what it must protect, creating a strategy to protect each data and document category, and planning to recover after a disaster, a company will take strides to protect its sensitive information against security threats. Contact Polygon to get your company on the right track to securing its vital documents as part of a comprehensive disaster preparedness strategy.
[Photo from Casey Marhsall via CC License 2.0]