Matt Tarpey
Matt Tarpey

4 Ways Digitising Improves Document Security

Don’t file your papers; digitise them

Document management is essential to any business. It’s a critical part of protecting intellectual property, personal information, and even unfinished or inaccurate drafts. Every part of your business uses documents, and your organisation’s overall security is only as strong as the weakest link.

That link could be made of dead trees. Paper documents can get lost, misfiled, stolen, damaged, or destroyed without a trace. It’s a security threat waiting to happen.

But if you transform paper documents into fully digital assets – not just simple image scans – you can:

  • Enforce proper security protocols and practices throughout your organization

  • Ensure compliance 

  • Reduce business risk 

  • Enable safe collaboration among your staff

  • Allow for easier (but controlled) access to critical information

  • Make documents more secure and trackable

Here are four ways that digitising documents can upgrade your data security.

1. Digital redaction

With digital document-management tools, you can quickly and efficiently redact sensitive information from important documents. This can be particularly useful for law firms. Some advanced AI tools, including Exela’s JET Engine, use optical character recognition (OCR) technology to identify sensitive information and automatically redact it, saving valuable time and dramatically improving efficiency. Automated redaction commands, such as batch redaction, simply aren’t possible with paper documents.

2. Permissions structures

Once you digitise documents, you have control over who has access to them and how employees and stakeholders can interact with them. You can do it by creating tiered roles or groups within the document management system, granting each group different levels of access to confidential or protected documents.

This set up lets you control:

  • Who can make changes to a document

  • Who can view but not edit the document

  • Who can’t even open the document at all

Good luck doing that with paper!

3. Digital revision and signature tools

Most documents go through at least a few rounds of revisions. Depending on the nature of the document and the size of the company, anywhere from five to a hundred versions of a document exist in some form or another. If these versions are on paper, the review and approval processes can threaten document security. The more drafts of a document are printed, the more opportunities for a draft to miss the shredder or fall into the wrong hands, exposing restricted information. A centralised digital document management system not only keeps documents secure, it also ensures that employees are using the most correct, up-to-date version of each document, preventing the spread of inaccurate or misleading information.

4. Secure backups

Digital documents are much easier to back up and protect than paper documents. You can put digital files in secure cloud storage. You can also have backed-up files grouped in a logical file structure based on access privileges, and have them encrypted for extra security. Many document management tools can integrate seamlessly with secure backups, ensuring better business continuity while preserving critical permissions and security settings.

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Digitising documents is not just a good way to protect information. It’s also an excellent starting point for any company that wants to take advantage of downstream automation, apply added security measures throughout the business, and enable other digitisation initiatives.

One of the best places to begin is with your incoming mail – a flood of paper that needs quick digitising. To learn more, take a look at Exela’s Digital Mailroom.

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