How software for document management helps keep your organisation across sensitive information.
Now more than ever, we’re living in the information era.
But if that’s the case…why are so many organisations struggling to make informed decisions?
The truth is, good governance doesn’t hinge on the quantity of information, but rather its quality.
There’s more of it these days, sure. A wealth of it, in fact. Sales figures. Reports. Meeting minutes, memos, and agendas. But the lack of a clear way to parse this information is affecting organisations and their ability to make informed, accurate, productive decisions.
It’s a problem which, like that pile of information, is only getting bigger.
The information issue
Big Data promised a future where organisations, enterprises, and small to medium businesses alike could finally harness the power held within the information at their fingertips, and use it to forge a path towards increased growth on the back of newly informed decision-making.
In reality, things are a little different. Information is difficult to parse without the right tools, so things are being missed. Vital information is slipping through the cracks. There is no automatic search functionality when you’re dealing with a stack of printed paperwork.
As for the humble post-it note? Well, there’s only so much it can do to ease the task of annotation.
Did you know?
M-Files’ 2019 Global Intelligent Information Management Benchmark Report found that the productivity of 82% of respondents was affected by trying to find the correct version of a file (Source).
A further 91% of those surveyed said that their job would be easier if they could quickly and easily access the most current version of a document.
A staggering 83% of workers admit to having to recreate a document which already existed because they were unable to find out where it had been left, stored, or placed.
The lack of an effective method for managing this information is affecting organisations and their ability to forecast, analyse, and act. It’s a worry. Especially when you consider high reporting and disclosure standards are essential for proper accountability between an entity and its investors / shareholders.
Board members are typically very busy people. Too much information can chew up their time, and diffuse the board’s focus when it comes to making a decision. It has to be kept in mind that directors have a statutory obligation to be properly informed in their decision making, so care has to be taken to make sure all the relevant information needed to make decisions is provided for meetings.
These tasks are made tougher in countries like New Zealand, where continuous disclosure regimes have been introduced to improve the standards of disclosure in the listed issuer sector.
This lack of clarity and control can prove costly.
A lack of clarity costs more than just productivity
Dramatic headlines about board members being sued by shareholders tell only part of the story of the challenges facing organisations as they struggle to make informed decisions that affect the wealth of shareholders – and in many cases their own wealth – as well as the welfare of other company stakeholders.
How can you expect to lead without a clear idea of what’s come before, or a view of what lies ahead?
Take sales and marketing, for example. It’s impossible to make informed decisions without a clear idea of the latest sales figures. Board meetings? They’re an absolute mess if everyone is on a different page, let alone reading from entirely different – or outdated – documents.
Operating blind is a fast track to losing the confidence of staff, shareholders, and clients.
There needs to be a better way.
Cloudy with a chance of better information management
With all of these issues, is it any wonder organisations are turning to document management software?
A move towards digital solutions has been on the cards for a while now, ever since laptops became more portable and tablets arrived on the scene making it that much easier for organisations to distribute, manage, and access information on the fly.
Combine this new technology with the power of the Cloud, and organisations everywhere now have the solution they’ve long needed to make sense of the influx of data, documents, and information that they deal with on a daily basis.
With the right solution, organisations can now boost productivity, manage and track communications, collaborate on documents, train staff, and connect with stakeholders all within the one piece of software.
When it comes to finding the most relevant information, keep these tips in mind:
1. Stick to matters of substance
Whether it’s board papers or sales figures, you should prioritise the issue at hand and focus on key matters of substance. It’s important to manage the number of documents in circulation to ease the burden and make information easier to manage.
If you’re working with lengthy documents, aim to include an executive summary, as well as a table of contents, and section / page numbering where possible for easy reference. Key points, recommendations, and options should also be highlighted which, with the right system, is as easy as a few clicks.
2. Keep on top of the basics
With so much information now at your fingertips, it’s easy to get carried away. Before you branch out, make sure you have the basics covered. If you’re preparing for a board meeting, for example, ensure you include an agenda, minutes of previous meetings, as well as supporting documents for the topics being covered.
3. Stay focused on individual needs
Beyond that, each organisation will have a specific focus on individual aspects. An important part of document management software in this case is that it allows papers to be cross-referenced and individual items readily identified.
A simple solution for the information era
The information era may be a difficult one to manage, but we still believe that there’s power in knowledge. You just need to know how to get the most out of it! That’s why Stellar has always been a major proponent of document management systems and their place as a modern solution for organisations that have struggled to keep up with an influx of information.
As we’ve covered in the past, making the transition to a digital environment is now easier than it’s ever been, and the benefits more than repay the time and investment involved in making the switch. It’s the simplest, most effective way to cut costs, boost productivity, and ensure accountability, compliance, and protection for relevant stakeholders and authorised parties.
How moving away from an analog approach is easier than it looks.
In workplaces around the world, the digital revolution is well underway.
In most workplaces, that is – as we explored in an earlier post, many organisations are still hesitant to embrace change. Instead, they’re opting to hold onto hard copies, jot down notes, and share information ‘the good old-fashioned way’ rather than work with digital files or foreign concepts like the Cloud.
Given it’s easier than ever to go digital, what’s stopping so many from making the switch?
Outdated systems are struggling
Digital is increasingly seen as the smarter choice: the cost, efficiency, and productivity benefits can be astronomical. Yet even with the evidence mounting, it’s still difficult to convince some organisations to make the change.
Why? It’s complex. Some are stuck in their ways, while others have been left largely misinformed. If you’ve kept up with the headlines in recent years, it’s easy to see why. News of data breaches, cyber security risks, and costly technology is enough to keep anyone clinging to the familiar.
Modern organisations need to be agile, but analog is anything but.
These decades old processes are starting to buckle under the pressure, in the same way desks creak under the weight of all of those documents. Whether you’re an accounting firm sending sensitive information, an enterprise trying to manage its board meetings, or a small business trying to get up-to-date marketing material to your sales team, familiarity comes at a cost.
Inaction can prove costly
Many organisations these days find themselves stuck in limbo.
On the one hand, it’s clear that the costs associated with analog are simply unsustainable. On the other? Digital solutions have historically proven difficult to implement, hard to use, and costly to maintain.
So organisations are stuck, at times even confused. Change is difficult. Ted Schadler, VP at Forrester said as much just last year when the team surveyed businesses and IT decision-makers across Europe and North America:
“That it’s taking so long is just an indication of just how hard it is for companies to change how they operate. But hard <> impossible, and we think companies could exert a little more willpower using technology to do a better job for customers.”
Walking this fine line can prove tricky, as half-measures often put businesses, organisations, and enterprises at greater risk. The spot where old meets new – where outdated processes are met with ineffective, stop-gap digital solutions – is often costly, and non-secure.
Thankfully, alleviating these issues is simple if you know how.
These 6 tips make it easy to transform the way you deal with documents, digitally
Transitioning away from a reliance on analog processes and shaky digital solutions can be a boon for business. It’s also never been easier! With the right solution, you can seamlessly transition to a system that allows you to embrace the security, productivity, and workflow of a cloud-based environment.
1. Audit processes, data, and documents
How are documents currently shared, stored, or kept secure within your organisation?
…or not, as the case may be?
Assessing internal policies and procedures around the creation, storage, and sharing of documents is a critical first step in determining both the size and scale of the task at hand, as well as how best to kick-start the transition to a wholly digital working environment.
2. Bring employees up to speed
Analog processes become well-entrenched over time, so you’ll need to account for lead time for training and bringing employees up to speed, as well as equipping them with compliant laptops, phones, and tablets.
With the right solution, the process can be completed with minimal training or downtime.
3. Get clients on-board
Depending on the sector, clients may or may not be hesitant to transition to a digital environment.
Clients within the legal or financial sector, for example, may hold reservations around compliance and security issues. Set out to highlight that going digital actually alleviates these issues, providing much greater control, visibility, and security.
4. Start digitally signing documents
Fewer people carry a pen these days, yet many businesses still require physical signatures for the likes of NDAs. While it may be a small step, cutting out the need to send, print, scan, and then return signed documents as part of a paper-driven process can save a lot of time.
5. Maximise the use of templates
Transitioning to a digital environment can take time, but the ability to create, edit, and re-use digital templates that can then be shared and customised on the fly saves time and countless photocopies.
6. Reduce the reliance on paper
Old habits die hard, so removing the ability to fall back on familiar habits by limiting the access to analog-based processes is an easy way to encourage the use of digital documents, instead.
With a cloud-based solution, the transition is seamless
Software has become a mainstay in the business world. Mobile Apps are used for stock-take in stores, for example, while accountants rely on the likes of Xero and other software in order to make their lives easier. So…why not documents, too?
Lengthy set-up processes, costly pricing structures, and the need for a million and one different software packages for each individual task has, up until recently, made the switch an arduous process.
There’s no need for a range of standalone software packages, each with their own quirks and training requirements. Instead, you can rely on just the one, simple solution that’s accessible anywhere, any time, on any device.
Whether you need to deliver sensitive data to sales people out on the road, share and set the agenda for a board meeting, or collaborate with other staff, a cloud-based solution cuts the costs – and the downtime – of dealing with analog processes while making it easy to create, store, and share, securely!
Why distributing documents via the Cloud is a boon for your business.
When it comes to modern technology, many organisations have their heads stuck in the sand.
Especially when it comes to things like the Cloud.
According to Small Business Trends, 84% of businesses still rely on manual, paper-based, and outdated digital processes. For some? It’s because keeping pace can be difficult. Advances in software, hardware, and mobile devices come and go daily. For others? It seems they’ve checked out of the race entirely.
The stats make it clear that many organisations are yet to embrace the benefits of newer technology. It’s easy to ignore the advances beyond your four walls – or above the roof, so to speak – but if you want to maximise productivity, it’s time to revisit the Cloud.
What is the Cloud?
Broadly speaking, the Cloud is a term that covers anything that is not local computing.
At its heart, it simply means storing and accessing data via the internet.
Software as a Service
SaaS is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted. This gives you access to software that is always up-to-date and doesn’t need to be continuously upgraded or swapped out for ‘the next big thing’.
Platform as a Service
PaaS provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure themselves.
Infrastructure as a Service
IaaS is internet-based computing that provides shared processing resources and data to computers and other devices on demand.
Ignorance is bliss costly
Cloud-based tools are nothing new. They’ve been taken for granted by businesses and individual users alike in recent years as they’ve become more ubiquitous in the boardroom, workplace, or on the salesroom floor.
Up until recently, countries like New Zealand have seen substantial cost blowouts in the public and private sector in implementing new computer systems. So it’s only natural that questions would arise around the expected return on investments in Cloud computing.
The problem is, many of the questions being asked today are outdated, especially in this modern, connected era. Integrated, Cloud-based solutions have come a long way in recent years, but the assumptions about their benefits are still based on an old way of thinking.
Business as usual is bad business
Up until recently, many studies suggested that an increase in IT spending didn’t necessarily increase organisational productivity or workflow. These observations are deeply flawed, in that they are often couched in terms such as Return on Investment or Total Cost of Ownership.
To operate without the Cloud is to pass up huge time and operational savings.
The cost of not? It’s staggering:
Did you know?
McKinsey & Company found that employees spend an average of 9.3 hours per week searching for – and gathering – information (Source).
CIO discovered that an average of $14,000 worth of productivity is lost per year, per worker due to their inability to find the proper data they require for the job at hand (Source).
A report from the American Council for Technology (ACT) and Industry Advisory Council (IAC) found that outdated, legacy systems across federal agencies ate up around 75% of operations and maintenance funding (Source).
The Cloud has been around long enough now that it’s time to step back and evaluate its benefits.
What you find might well surprise you.
The competitive advantages will have you floating on Cloud nine
Today’s numbers show that the Cloud is increasingly associated with boosts in productivity.
The reason? It’s simple. Cloud computing is different from the costly IT systems and resulting support infrastructure of the past because it is the ultimate shared resource. With a comprehensive platform at your fingertips, it’s easy to manage and securely distribute data. Plus, the reliability of a transparent licensing model makes it that much more straightforward to control costs.
The fact that Government is now starting to move data into the Cloud is just another vote of confidence in the benefits on offer. And they’re not the only ones. According to a report by m-hance, the majority of businesses they surveyed “have adopted some form of cloud solution or hosted service in an effort to simplify their daily tasks, lower costs and give employees always-on access to information and applications.”
When you take a look at some of the advantages below, it’s easy to see why:
1. It’s easy to set up, and even easier to manage
Cloud-based services usually require no management personnel, and often run at close to 100 percent up-time. Amazon Web Services (AWS) started in 2002, and since that time AWS and other Cloud providers such as Microsoft and Google have continued to develop their technology to make it more powerful and reliable (high profile outages such as the one that struck Amazon in March 2018 notwithstanding).
So what does this mean for you and your organisation? It means the staffing component of using the Cloud is more like maintaining a phone system than a computer network. It’s usually ‘plug-and-play’, which means staff can spend more time doing what they’re good at and less time maintaining or working with unreliable systems.
m-hance found that 80% of those surveyed said “they’re saving money, seeing more productivity, and better security,” as a result of using a Cloud approach (Source).
2. It’s future-proof, and continuously updated
In addition to this, you receive constant hardware and software upgrades when working with the Cloud. Unlike standard on-site equipment or software packages, you don’t need to purchase new versions every year or commit to yearly upgrades. You can work freely without struggling with old or ageing hardware that makes accessing, editing, or sharing files and information a complicated, time-consuming process.
According to Trackvia, “59% of companies that use the cloud are more likely to see productivity benefits.” (Source).
3. It’s easy to collaborate with access anywhere, anytime, on any device
As organisations continue to decentralise, Cloud-based platforms are redefining the way they operate. The resulting need for a comprehensive tool-set that brings staff, board members, and sales teams together only increases, whether someone is working remotely or while on-the-move.
With the right platform, organisations can now access information anytime, anywhere, on any device, freeing up staff and management alike to work at their best with everything accessible with the touch of a button or tap of a screen.
A Forbes Insight Survey found that “58% of total respondents report that Cloud-based collaboration has the potential to improve business processes”, while 64% said that “Cloud-based collaboration tools help businesses execute faster than would be possible otherwise.” (Source).
It’s time to send your productivity sky-high
Stellar has been a massive proponent of the power of the Cloud since the beginning, which is why it’s exciting to see more organisations embracing the technology.
Achieving these kinds of improvements in productivity and workflow was once a mere dream, but with the power and reliability of today’s Cloud infrastructure, it’s a reality.
How to securely use iOS, Android, and other mobile devices.
The recent uptake of mobile devices extends beyond having something to take with you on the road.
This move away from paper is a further sign of the shift towards digital solutions within the government and corporate sectors. It’s an effective way to keep in touch, access and share information, and boost productivity.
Some of New Zealand’s government departments, for example, are doing away with desktop computers altogether, with all staff “hot-desking” and using powerful tablets from Microsoft, HP, Lenovo, Dell, and others as the basis for workstations.
It’s also presenting new issues, many of them relating to security.
Striking the security vs accessibility sweet spot
Mobile security has become a much more significant challenge in recent years.
The increased adoption of mobile devices, as well as digital, cloud-based solutions, has seen organisations having to devote a more substantial portion of the IT budget towards data mobilisation.
2016’s BYOD & Mobile Security Spotlight Report found that 35% of those surveyed have invested in additional IT resources to manage security incidents (Source).
30% of respondents to that same study said that their budgets for mobile security would increase over the next 12 months.
In the corporate world, high-level network security tools can be used to secure the growing number of mobile access points (many of them potentially unverified and unsecured) that arise when enterprises make volumes of company data accessible via the cloud.
However striking a balance between access and security remains a struggle, especially for many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) attempting to manage this process. For SMEs, there are mobile device management tools available, but for a lot of New Zealand organisations, these can be overkill.
Missing the mark puts your information at risk
Finding the right balance is tough.
Too far one way and a lack of robust security measures mean your information is easily accessible by board members, staff, as well as unauthorised third-parties. Too far the other way and the productivity benefits are lost as security protocols slow things down.
Insecure mobile devices are vulnerable to hacks, attacks, or otherwise being compromised by users with malicious intent. This is particularly true of cases where staff bring their own devices into the workplace, even if it’s explicitly forbidden regardless of internal policy.
They are also just as easily lost or misplaced. Imagine the repercussions of leaving a mobile device on the back seat of a taxi, in a cafe, or airport lounge. Either way, you’re putting your information at risk.
Did you know?
72% of respondents to the 2016 BYOD & Mobile Security Spotlight Report cited data leakage and loss as their top security concern (Source).
The same report saw 21% saying that mobile devices had been involved in security breaches in the past, including:
20% Data loss or leakage
17% Unauthorised access to corporate data and systems
14% found that it took them more than a month to recover from a mobile security breach.
Ten steps for keeping mobiles and sensitive information, secure
They have provided some essential suggestions for protecting your mobile and its data:
1. Set up password protection
Password-protect your device – or use another means of authentication – and configure it so that it automatically locks after a set period. All devices should be secured in this manner, even ones at home.
A secure password could buy you time to update account login details in the event your device is lost or stolen. It will also allow you to remotely wipe and revoke access if you use a business platform with these features.
2. Use unique passwords
Use strong, unique passwords and change them regularly.
3. Disable Bluetooth
Turn off Bluetooth when you aren’t using it.
If your device is always Bluetooth-discoverable, you expose yourself to added risk.
4. Use trusted security software
It is a common myth that mobile devices are immune to risk, so only use trusted software.
5. Only download apps you trust
39% of those surveyed said that mobile devices had downloaded malware in the past, so beware of downloading unfamiliar apps that may provide unauthorised third-parties with access to your device. To maximise security, only download applications via trusted sources.
6. Install software updates.
Keep up-to-date and ahead of the latest threats by keeping your device’s operating system – as well as any apps – up-to-date.
7. Don’t blindly click on links
Err on the side of caution when someone messages or emails you a link or attachment. Even if it comes from a trusted source, there is a slight chance their account may have been compromised. If you’re unsure, then ask.
8. Avoid public Wi-Fi networks
While they may be a modern convenience and save on your data plan, you should assume that others can see anything you do on an open network.
Check your device’s privacy and security settings, as well as app permissions. Settings will vary by device and operating system, but keep up to date on security issues related to how your device is configured.
10. Back up important data
The files on your devices are copies of those on your organisation’s central repository, so it’s essential to keep these backed up for easy access should you lose or misplace your device.
Securely using your mobile device doesn’t have to be complicated
Since the outset, Stellar’s focus has been on the security of data in the cloud while it’s being transmitted to or from a given device. This is the point where most information is intercepted and a significant weakness in many of today’s solutions.
To circumvent this threat, the team identified the need for a central business platform that features multi-level security protocols and unique, industry-leading Ghost File software encryption technology.
The ability to ensure files and information is invisible without the platform, almost impossible to hack, and impossible to read provides peace of mind for organisations to operate with confidence.
As for the device itself? The ability to instantly revoke access ensures that while the increased use of mobile devices is inevitable, a breach or loss of information doesn’t have to be.
Why hitting ‘Send’ on that next email isn’t as simple as it seems.
Email has fast become the go-to form of communication in the digital era.
When you consider just how busy, and increasingly disparate boards, trusts and enterprises are these days, it’s easy to see why. In mere seconds, you can draft an email to a member of the board, staff, or clients anywhere, at any time. Simply attach the relevant file, and hit “Send”.
The problem? Emails and attachments sent in confidence might not actually be confidential.
Email – A necessary evil in the early digital era
In our earlier post on the potential causes of a data breach, email topped the list. There’s a good reason for that. The speed at which organisations have had to transition away from aging, analog processes has seen many embrace insecure digital solutions that is leaving their sensitive information vulnerable to an attack.
Avatier reported in 2017 that there were some 6,789 email data breaches globally in the space of just two years. So while it may be easy to use, the simplicity of sending an email belies a communication channel that’s inherently insecure.
1. It’s insecure and easily intercepted
Whether you use private services or public, consumer-grade options like Gmail, emails are vulnerable to a range of attacks that put what should be private conversations at risk of being read by third parties.
Certain viruses, DNS Redirects, and Sniffers are just a few of the present-day threats that can work their way through email servers and to your sensitive information. Often without you even knowing.
2. Encryption isn’t as secure as you might think
Most organisations rely on encryption as a fail-safe, as it’s meant to ensure data is protected by scrambling an email’s contents so that only the recipient – with the requisite authentication – can see, read, and download.
That said, most encryption solutions are far from foolproof. In fact, it’s that false sense of security that can often leave you most vulnerable to attack. If your email services aren’t taking advantage of industry-leading encryption, there’s no guarantee they won’t be cracked.
3. There’s no accounting for human error
When we talk about security, the focus is always squarely on technology.
The fact is, it’s often the mundane issues that prove to be an organisation’s undoing. The strongest security protocols in the world can’t account for user error or typos in the “To:” field, let alone the 69% of employees who willingly bypass security and privacy policies to access work emails on insecure personal devices.
4. Email servers are prone to attack
Emails pass through many hands on their journey from sender to recipient, often seeing them stored in the cloud – or on servers – which themselves are at risk of malicious attacks. In many cases, attackers are able to get in, access this information, and then get out long before anyone is aware of the breach.
5. Files sit on the sender & recipient’s device
Once an email is sent, it’s stored in your Outbox and the recipient’s Inbox. That’s why a laptop, mobile device, or just about any piece of technology left on – and logged in – is an easy ingress point for partners, disgruntled co-workers, or even rogue employees who are looking to access this information.
The security stats? They’re sobering…and so are the costs
If the above examples don’t have you reconsidering composing that next email, then these facts, stats, and figures really should. Email’s convenience comes at a cost. Quite literally:
Did you know?
In 2004, AOL lost upwards of $400,000 following an internal data breach which saw the details of some 92 million AOL accounts sold to spammers by one of the company’s former software engineers (Source).
Yahoo’s $4.8 Billion sale to Verizon almost fell through in 2016, after the company revealed all 3 Billion of its users’ accounts were breached across 2013 and 2014 (Source).
Back in 2017, 2.2 million Wishbone user email addresses were exposed (Source).
In that same year, 36,000 Boeing employees’ email addresses as well as personal information were compromised after a staff member emailed the file to their spouse for help with formatting (Source).
Consider the fallout if the last email you sent containing sensitive information, IP, or important data was accessed by an unauthorised third-party. What would the fallout be? Information could be leaked online, sent to the press, or even held for ransom.
There’s the legal and financial ramifications to consider, too. New and existing legislation such as GDPR is placing increased responsibility on the shoulders of those who deal with sensitive data to keep it safe, with hefty fines already being handed out for “…inadequate technical and organisational measures to ensure the protection of information security.”
It’s time to say ‘sayonara’ to insecure communication channels
The revelation that email isn’t as secure as it seems often leads to one of two outcomes: organisations either shun digital solutions entirely in favour of analog processes from ‘the good old days’, or they shrug their shoulders and continue with business as usual as they lack a more effective solution.
Early on, Stellar identified this need to be able to securely access and distribute sensitive information while circumventing emails entirely. In order to do so requires a comprehensive business platform that doesn’t store files on user devices but, instead, harnesses the power of the cloud to provide anytime, anywhere access on any device.
When coupled with industry-leading encryption, the ability to revoke access on the fly, and ghost file technology that ensures documents are completely invisible without prior authorised access, boards as well as trusts and enterprises are finally able to share without the fear of becoming yet another statistic in a long line of email breaches.
Why your documents are under threat, and what you can do about it.
Not long ago, Credit Card details were the prime target of cyber attacks around the world.
Nowadays? Things are a little different. Data and information including board documents, medical records, and valuable intellectual property are an increasingly sought-after commodity. In this digital era, information is valuable. Very valuable.
If you don’t know why this should scare you, chances are you haven’t been paying attention. Boards, trusts, and enterprises are fast becoming the new hub of sensitive data, insider secrets, as well as confidential information.
Opportunists, insiders, or even state sponsored hackers have a new target in their sights: you.
Is it secret? Is it safe?
Dive a little deeper, and it’s easy to see why.
With a wealth of valuable information at its fingertips, your organisation, its executives, and even senior staff are now theprime target for a cyber attack. Managing Director of the Information Security Forum – Steve Durbin – talked to CIO’s Bob Violino in 2018 and had this to say on the topic:
“…it is no longer restricted to the boardroom. Personal assistants, systems admin staff, pretty much anyone who has the ability to provide access to the determined cyber criminal on the hunt for valuable information are now in play.”
This access to valuable data has cyber attackers knocking on your door, but it’s your insecure processes that leave it unlocked. How so? Many organisations rely on insecure digital solutions as they transition from a paper based world or, as is the case with many, remain in limbo between digital and analog.
It’s only a matter of time before these stop-gap solutions put your data at risk.
As we’ve discussed in the past, a cyber breach is a matter of “When”, rather than “If”. Could your organisation confidently say at this moment in time that it’s doing everything it reasonably can to protect clients and the data it has access to?
Your information, for sale to the highest bidder
The repercussions of a data breach can be catastrophic.
Recovering from the loss of valuable data as it’s destroyed, stolen, or sold to the highest bidder is difficult enough, let alone the potential financial and legal ramifications if it’s found you neglected your responsibility to keep this data safe. As highlighted below, those costs are only increasing:
Did you know?
In 2018, data breaches cost $654 Billion and exposed over 2.8 billion data records including usernames and passwords, banking information, and personal health info in the US alone (Source).
According to IBM the costs associated with a data breach have risen 12% over the last 5 years, now sitting at an average of $3.92 million (Source).
If you want to make it easy for attackers to access your valuable data, then by all means continue with business as usual. But if you’re serious about keeping data secure, it’s time to consider changing the way you do things.
Three sensible strategies for staying secure
1. Stop sending sensitive information via email
Email is fast, familiar, and convenient. It’s also highly insecure. Despite what you write in the “To:” field, there’s no guarantee that the intended recipient is the only one who’ll be reading the message you send or, more importantly, the files you attach.
Giants of the industry like Yahoo and Gmail have both suffered massive breaches in the past, proving that even the most secure systems can fail. In order to keep data safe, you should switch to a solution that allows you to securely share files without leaving important documents sitting in email inboxes.
2. Use cloud based solutions that prioritise encryption
Not all cloud-based solutions are created equal. Services like DropBox or Google Drive make it easy to collaborate, store, and share files, but if recent security concerns and data breaches are anything to go by, they might not be as secure as you think.
They’re convenient. Sure. But they also provide limited functionality and control. Others? They fall back on weaker security protocols to ensure they’re not ‘getting in the way’ of the end-user. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Relying on these services as your ‘digital’ solution is a case of one step forward, two steps back. Instead? Look for specialised solutions that prioritise multi-level security protocols and AES 256-Bit Encryption, as well as keep files hidden to those without access to the platform.
3. Strictly monitor the use of personal devices
It isn’t uncommon for time-poor staff or board members to take their work home with them. Trouble is, the work and home environment are completely different from a cyber security perspective. One is strictly monitored by your IT staff, while the other uses insecure connections, outdated systems, and is at a greater risk of phishing, malware, or viruses.
If you can’t live without out-of-office access, then you need to switch to a solution that allows users to access and work on documents safe in the knowledge you can instantly revoke access if devices are lost, stolen, or compromised.
The right solution makes keeping documents safe, simple
Over the years, Stellar has found that few business platforms are able to tick all of the boxes, let alone the few we’ve outlined above today. This leaves many organisations having to compromise in order to get their work done.
With the right solution, though? Stellar has seen countless organisations finally able to operate with complete confidence, taking advantage of the anytime, anywhere promise of the cloud while being able to share files away from insecure channels.
It’s the best way to keep data safe from the ever-increasing range of cyber-security threats
Stellar is a secure business platform for mobile devices such as tablets, laptops and smartphones. Our intuitive, cloud-based software gives you complete control and visibility of all the confidential, operational and sensitive data for your organisation and simplifies workflow, irrespective of industry type.