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As businesses look towards what their long-term future will look like post-pandemic, it’s vital to explore every way possible to add flexibility to how they operate. This applies to how people work, where they work and when they work, and increasingly, it’s employees that are calling the shots in how these new working models are developing.
Companies that still hold their workforce to more regimented working hours and locations will quickly find themselves at a disadvantage in the job market. But, at the same time, there’s a balancing act to be struck between giving employees freedom and ensuring that sensitive information is handled properly and is kept safe.
In this blog, we’ll explore four important strategies for ensuring document management remains secure and compliant, in a world where hybrid working is becoming the norm.
1. Safety first
Every good business has a framework in place that ensures that customer data, or information that is commercially sensitive, never falls into the wrong hands. This could be through measures such as access control, technology like firewalls and anti-virus software, and more human approaches such as security training and awareness.
The problem, however, is that businesses that look after their own data security find themselves in a constant arms race against cyber-criminals. No longer are hackers operating on their own from their bedrooms: cyber-criminal operations are now highly sophisticated, extremely well-resourced, and becoming more and more powerful every day.
Unless a business has very deep pockets to fund their own in-house protection, they will likely be fighting a losing battle on this front. That’s why partnering with an expert provider with more tools and expertise at their disposal is so important.
2. Securing printed documents
Keeping digital information secure is hard enough, but when employees are distributed across a huge number of locations due to remote working, doing so for printed documents can be even tougher.
Many industries still require large-scale use of printed, physical documents (for example the legal sector, banking, and telecommunications to name but a few). When staff work from an office and those documents can be kept within that environment, it’s much easier to keep the data within those documents safe. But when they need to use those documents from home, a whole new level of risk is posed: documents could be left by employees on the train, stolen if they’re mugged for their laptop bag, thrown out with their domestic rubbish, and taken by an identity thief – the list is practically endless.
The solution to this is to digitise physical documents wherever possible. This could be through the use of Managed Print Services, where printing, copying, and scanning are handled by a third party to ensure security throughout. Digital and hybrid mail services also help in this area, where physical mail received is scanned and sent to the employee digitally, and employees can also write their own digital letters that can then be printed as a hard copy and sent out by post.
3. On-premise compliance
At the same time as keeping data access and management both practical and secure, it’s never been more important to ensure that it’s compliant with all relevant regulations, too. In the era of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the penalties for companies found to be non-compliant – or worse, suffer a data breach – are particularly severe.
However, compliance can be a minefield for companies to navigate in-house. What’s more, the ever-increasing amount of data that businesses possess, and the ever-widening range of applications and people who require access to that data, are making it more and more difficult all the time. But as difficult as it may be, compliance is not an area where any business can leave any stones unturned.
A good technology partner will be able to offer services and expertise that helps maintain data compliance, including through the applications that employees will access remotely. They’ll have the technology that can not only maintain compliance but prove it through reporting, expertise that can cover off any issues and risks, and should do so through staff fully trained and vetted to deal with the data and challenges at hand.
4. Using technology
As well as the mail digitisation services mentioned earlier, there are many more innovations that can ensure safe, compliant use of documents, wherever employees are using them and whatever format they are in. These include:
- Content services management: a single cloud-based platform (such as SCC’s UVu), can be used to bring information management and compliance assurance into a single, consolidated view. This platform encompasses content, documents, data, and back-office processes, so that a business always knows who is doing what with which documents
- Managed print rooms: by outsourcing print room operations to an expert provider, whether located on-premise, near-site, or through a combination of the two, it’s easier to make process changes and deliver improvements in a compliant, cost-effective way
- Scanning and archiving: through a diligent archiving service either on- or off-site, all of the documents within a business can be safely digitised for better access by remote workers while cutting out the costs of large-scale physical document storage.
Businesses just like yours are already using SCC’s technology and expertise to make their document accessibility and security fit for post-pandemic business. Take a closer look at how they’re applying our solutions to great effect here.