Document security 101: essential tips for your business

6 ways of boosting your document security

With the digitalization of today’s businesses, the methods of communication and sharing information have changed rapidly and we find ourselves with many digital options, which has made our life easier in many ways.

But it has also made us vulnerable to threats and data breaches and for organizations it has become vital to know and follow the best practices when it comes to document and data security.

 

We are therefore sharing our 6 tips on how to increase your document security within your office: 

1. Keep your documents digital

This might be obvious but having your documents digital brings you a considerable number of security benefits. You can, for example, set passwords and permissions so only the right authorized person can access the documents.

Digital documents can also easily be tracked as they keep detailed logs of who has accessed them and when, which can be useful for compliance and auditing purposes.

2. Keep safe backups

Keeping safe backups of your documents can protect against data loss due to hardware and software crashes, but also, in case of disaster recovery such as a fire or other types of unexpected events. This can help ensure that you do not lose valuable information or files but also help you restore your data quickly and minimize downtime.

Some industries even have regulations that require businesses to keep backups of certain data. So is you are functioning within one of these industries, keeping backups of your documents can also ensure that you follow these regulations.

2. Keep the storage local

Since the introduction of the GDPR, it has become important to know where your data is stored as there are regional differences in government laws and data protection laws.

By storing your data within the European Union, you can ensure that it is subject to the laws and regulations of your jurisdiction. This can provide added security and protection against data breaches or unauthorized access.

3. Train your employees

Many security incidents are caused by human error, such as employees falling for phishing scams, sharing passwords, or inadvertently disclosing sensitive information. This means that your employees are the first line of defense when it comes to protecting your organization’s data.

By training your employees on how to recognize threats and avoiding making these types of mistakes, you can help reduce the risk of a security breach.

4. Keep inventory of your devices

Keeping an inventory of your devices is a critical step in maintaining the security of your data and protecting your organization’s assets. It allows you to track and manage your organization’s devices, including the location, condition, and software versions of each device. This allows you to recognize and assess risks, but also to take proactive action to minimize them.
Like within breach, you can quickly identify which devices may have been affected and take appropriate action.

It is also useful for compliance reasons, as it allows you to keep track of who has access to the device and the possibility of providing a record of access for auditing purposes.

5. Protect against document tampering by using electronic signatures

Using an e-signature to sign your documents will lower the risk of document tampering as it uses cryptographic certificates that shows if the document is in its original state or not.

When using an e-signature solution, you ensure that the document that was sent for signing is the one that was actually signed, and no changes were made to it. This could easily be done when sending a regular digital document for manual signing.

 

What is an electronic signature? 

An e-signature is a digital version of a traditional signature that is used to sign digital documents. It is a way of verifying that the person signing the document is who they say they are and that the document has not been tampered with.

There are three different types of e-signatures: the Simple Signature, the Advanced and the Qualified. E-signature solutions like ValidSign are using the two later ones, as they provide higher levels of security.

The Advanced Signatures are like handwritten signatures, unique to each signer. An e-signature provider then follows a specific protocol called PKI, and this protocol requires the provider to use a mathematical algorithm to generate two series of numbers, called keys.

When a person signs a document with this technology, the signature is created using the signers key, which is being kept securely by the signer in the system. The mathematical algorithm acts like a cipher, creating data matching the signed document, called a hash and then encrypting that data. If any changes are made to the document, the hash will change, alerting you to the fact that the document has been altered with.

The resulting encrypted data is the digital signature.

 

What makes the document legally binding?

Whether a signature is made on paper or digitally, there are three key requirements that the signature needs to comply with: intent, identity, and integrity.

Intent

This is the most fundamental aspect of the signing. The signer must intend to sign the document, which means they must understand its content and be bound by it. This is demonstrated by the internal audit trials: as the signature process is recorded and saved. This shows the signer’s intent as well as the time and date of the signature.

Identity

The signature set must be by the person that is intended to sign. This can be proven by using the person’s email address, a certificate, SMS, eID or other types of tools to authenticate the signatory’s identity.

Integrity

The signature must be linked to the document in such a way that it cannot be separated from, or tampered with, without it being known. This is achieved using encryptions and hashing, which creates a tamper-evident seal on the document.

 

Secure your documents with ValidSign’s e-signing solution

Through our standard integrations, the e-sigining solution can be easily integrated with your current business systems. With the mobile app, you can control the process and sign from anywhere and at any time!

It’s a fully cloud-based solution with a user-friendly interface, where you can profit from features like flexible workflows, audit trails, branded templates, and server possibilities.

Security is our highest priority, and by using the Netherlands most trusted data center, KPN hosting, we can ensure our clients that ValidSign complies with all current and new European data protection regulations through strict security and procedures.

Want to know more about how ValidSign’s e-signing solution can be implemented in your organization’s workflow?

Fill in the form below or contact our sales department on: sales@validsign.eu or +31(0)85303 3676 for a free demo and introduction meeting!