Document Scanning and Security – What You Need to Know

Many businesses seek document scanning services to improve the overall security of their information. Wouldn’t it be easier and safer if you only had to manage a few discs instead of dozens of filing cabinets and hundreds of physical documents?

One questions many people have about this transition is whether or not it’s safe. So, is there a security risk when moving and storing documents to digital storage? When the right measures are taken and you work with experienced professionals to move everything over, your document security increases exponentially. Here are some ways to ensure your documents stay safe:

First, Some Security Benefits

Before we look at the security issues you’ll face, let’s first take a closer look at the benefits you get from storing documents digitally. These are powerful reasons to convert paper, microfiche, or microfilm documents into digital format.

  • Space considerations: The larger your business, the more documents you’ll be handling, and the more space you’ll need to store them. All that filing space will need to be secured, meaning extra locks for filing cabinets or entire rooms, security cameras, alarms, and so forth. Digital formatting uses much less space, and it may eliminate physical storage needs entirely.

  • Time of exposure: With paper documents, people trying to access specific information tend to spend more time searching for it than actually reading it. This often means valuable documents are open to the air where anyone passing by might glance at them—or make off with them entirely. In addition, any document not in storage (i.e. when it’s currently being used) can potentially be viewed by anyone nearby. Digital data, when indexed and organized well, can be quickly searched and accessed, then put away immediately after use.

  • Tracking access: When using paper or other formats, it’s difficult to track each document’s movements when it’s in use. An employee may take a highly sensitive form directly back to his or her cubicle or the document might find its way elsewhere en route. Unless you have a full array of security cameras examining every angle of every room and corridor in the office, data can be easily lost or compromised. Digital documents, on the other hand, are much easier to track since each instance of access can be monitored and recorded.

Document scanning changes the playing field when it comes to document security. Instead of dealing with steel cabinets and alarms, you take the fight to a digital arena where there is no longer such a strong need for heavy-duty hardware. It ultimately takes less time, money, and space to keep everything safe.

Document Scanning Security Measures

While keeping digitized documents secure may be less expensive for your company to handle, the process of converting them from their original format to digital needs to be handled in a way that doesn’t expose sensitive data. Sound document scanning procedures minimize security threats while maintaining speed and efficiency. Some of these procedures might include:

  • Encryption: When scanned documents are sorted and sent over networks, they need to be encrypted to limit access. Strong encryption coupled with solid passwords will prevent data from being compromised during the scanning and storage process.

  • Redaction: Redaction removes certain lines of information from a document, making it impossible to access by those who don’t have permission. This is useful during indexing as well as when limiting access afterward.

  • Remote key entry: Once your documents have been scanned, they need to be organized. However, the indexing process can expose them to human eyes. One way of dealing with this is through a remote key entry method in which operators see only individual lines of data rather than entire documents.

  • Limited designations: A computer or scanner can be programmed to only scan to specific places, which can help prevent theft of information by MFP or PC operators. In addition, these devices can be programmed to delete data once it has been sent off to its next destination.

  • OCR: Optical character recognition is a process by which a computer can recognize writing on a page. OCR can limit the exposure your information has to human eyes, making the scanning and indexing process that much more secure.

When choosing a document scanning service, you need to be certain the company you choose will handle your information with the utmost care. A reliable company will strive to comply with industry security measures when handling your data, treating it as if it were their own.

Keeping Digital Data Secure

Once everything is scanned, indexed, and filed away, you need to keep that data safe from hackers, viruses, and other network and internet threats. Employing the following safety measures will keep your documents secure:

  • Passwords and encryption

  • Access control

  • Backup and disaster recovery

  • Redaction

  • Auditing

  • Automated records disposition

Digital security has to be thorough to be truly effective, but it’s actually much more feasible to maintain complete security with digitized documents than with hard copies. When you’re getting your secure digital database up and running, ILM can help by providing fast, secure, and reliable document scanning services. To learn more, call us today.

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