The Need for a Secure & Reliable Document Management System
One of the most important requirements for regulatory compliance is documentation; In fact, a well-designed system to create, update, access, and modify documents is at the heart of any compliance process. It provides the necessary proof of compliance to regulatory authorities, makes the process of audits and inspections more efficient, and overall makes it easier for quality leaders to have a finger on the pulse of all key compliance issues.
Moreover, documentation is critical for sharing information, knowledge transfer, communication, and collaboration among key stakeholders. Documents can be in many forms including emails, Word documents, PDFs, and images and encompasses personnel information, correspondence, contracts, and even social media archives. Managing all these documents and being able to access them when required can be a very big challenge. Multiple versions may float around, creating confusion – delaying the process of making key decisions on time.
With an electronic approach to document management across the enterprise, you’ll have a central repository to create, modify, review, approve, store, organize, access, and share documents, globally in a controlled manner. Track each document from origin to obsolescence with analytics, graphical dashboards, integrated collaboration, and workflow tools.
It is also important to note that documents can be vulnerable to security breaches, endangering the right to privacy of employees and customers. They can jeopardize the business by providing hackers with unauthorized access to critical documentation. It is, therefore, very important to ensure a secure and reliable Document Management System (DMS) is in place – especially for regulatory compliance and quality assurance.
Why Should Your DMS be Secure and Reliable?
Documents get periodically shared, transferred, reviewed, and modified by different people at different times. This may leave the documents vulnerable to security risks, especially as the employees may not follow some important processes. There can also be external threats, such as hackers identifying and leveraging loopholes in the system, gaining unauthorized access, and causing damage.
While cloud service providers do offer basic security, it is the responsibility of each organization to ensure document security to protect business as well as individual interests. Ensuring data security is a regulatory requirement under General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other country-specific laws. But more importantly, it is also important to protect business interests. A company that cannot keep data protected will be looked down on by customers who prefer taking the business to a competing firm.
Some of the consequences of data loss due to poor security include
- Loss of Revenue: Loss of revenue is a direct result of a data breach due to customers shifting their business to a rival company.
- Impact on Brand Reputation: The brand reputation will suffer and have a long-term impact on the business.
- Loss of Intellectual Property: Documents related to strategies, designs, and blueprints may be targeted, causing businesses to lose their IP, and causing untold damage.
- Indirect Costs: Breach of data privacy can lead to litigation. The company will have to spend time, effort, and money on investigating the causes of the breach, firefighting, and trying to protect its reputation through PR activities. Then there is the hike in the insurance premium due to the breach. The company may also attract regulatory fines, adding to the costs.
Ensuring the Security and Reliability of DMS
Ensuring the security of the document management system is essential to protect the company, its employees, and its customers. Some of the best practices include:
- Monitor Access and Permissions: The documents are used by many during the course of the day. Create and enforce strict policies and procedures to regulate user access to sensitive information, monitor access, and constantly update mechanisms for authenticating individual users.
- Check the Status of Backups and Storage Space: This ensures business continuity in case of any glitches to the system, during natural disasters, or due to data breaches. If your cloud service provider is taking the backups as per your contract, then make sure that it is done. This periodic checking will help identify any limitations to storage space or policy updates in time so that your backups are not compromised.
- Regulate Mobile Access: Today, access from anywhere, any time, has become important. At the same time, it is also important to know the vulnerabilities of mobile networks and place security measures such as authentication, device registration, and data encryption to prevent unauthorized access.
- Encrypt Storage: Encrypting documents will add a layer of protection to your documents. Your cloud provider should offer this as part of the services. In the case of a hybrid system, ensure that the documents stored in your hardware are encrypted.
- Conduct Security Audits Periodically: As technologies keep evolving, so do the threats from hackers. Therefore, auditing the security system, assessing its capability to protect you from the latest malware, and fine-tuning it constantly is essential.
ComplianceQuest for a Secure and Reliable Document Management System
ComplianceQuest’s Document Management System is cloud-based and built on the Salesforce Platform. It draws on the strengths of Salesforce to provide its customers with a secure and reliable document management system. It aligns with standards such as ISO 9001, OSHA, and GxP standards to ensure the automation of the end-to-end document management workflow works seamlessly.
The documents are protected by various security protocols such as multi-password access and digital signature, forced expiration of passwords, account and intruder lockout, and audit trail history/record archiving. A cloud-based document control system ensures that all the facilities always have access to the most recent set of approved procedures. Best practices are easily shared and standardized across the organization and new operations are consistently onboarded.
To know more about how ComplianceQuest’s Document Management System protects your data and information while improving productivity, visit https://www.compliancequest.com/document-management/
You can also watch this demo video to understand more: https://www.compliancequest.com/demo-video/cq-document-management/