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By Chester Avey
Sat | Feb 1, 2020 | 8:15 AM PST

Given the value of data and information, the onus has never been stronger for businesses to put proper protection measures in place for the documents they hold. Traditionally, organizations have used a mix of hardcopy paper documents and digital files, but it can actually be hugely beneficial to have a system that is entirely digitized.

Digital documentation not only makes sense from a cost and efficiency perspective, but it can also help to keep key data and personal information far more secure. Here we take a look at six of the key security advantages of digitizing your business documentation.

1. Keeping better control of your data

One of the issues with keeping a mixture of paper and digital documents is that it can become complicated attempting to manage them. Good document management is key to security—how can you protect data if you are not sure how many copies of it exist or where those copies currently are? Thankfully, digitizing is the solution.

When your business eliminates paper documents and hardcopies, it is much easier to understand where the document is. And it means that there is only one version of the document that you need to protect. You can then put various cybersecurity measures in place to keep it as secure as possible.

2. Data can be encrypted

If a criminal is able to gain access to a physical document, then they will have full access to the information contained in it. This means that there is nothing you can do to fully protect paper documents in the event that you suffer a breach, or documents are misplaced or lost.

With digital documentation, it is not the same. When criminals attempt to intercept your data or gain access to it illegally, the data can be encrypted. This makes it impossible to read without the encryption cipher. This can be an extremely powerful way to protect documents where you need to keep the data completely secure from those outside your business.

3. Maintaining privacy compliance

One of the most important benefits of digitizing your documentation is that it can help you maintain your data privacy compliance, such as GDPR and CCPA. According to digital documentation specialists Images-On-Line, secure digital documents "can help you meet your GDPR obligations" by keeping the personal information of clients, staff, and suppliers secure.

Falling foul of the GDPR's requirement can land your business a serious fine, so this can be a very important step to take.

4. Restrict and manage access to crucial information

Paper documents can be accessed by anyone, so if you suffer a breach at your premises someone can get hold of our documentation and then the data is lost. Some businesses worry that this is the same scenario with digital documentation—if a hacker is able to illegally gain access to your system, they will then have complete access to the data.

However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Every user on your system can have their data access permissions managed. Functionally, this means that staff will only have access to the data that they need to do their job. If you then suffer a cyber breach, the hackers are highly restricted in the information they have access to.

5. Minimize the risk of physical breaches

It is never a good idea to keep a large number of physical documents, as this can make the job of criminals much easier. If all it takes to gain access to your information is a physical breach of your premises, then they will look for ways this is possible. Modern cybercriminals understand the value of sensitive data, and if they can find an easy way to access it, they will.

6. You can choose your provider

Finally, it is worth noting here that when you digitize your documents, you will have a full range of providers available who can manage this for you. This means that you can have complete control over who is providing the cloud storage space for your documents. For complete peace of mind, you could have your own on-premise servers.

This option is expensive and resource-heavy, but it can be ideal if you are looking for the most secure option. However, this assumes that you have the technical resources and staff to be able to maintain your servers in-house.