Confidential data is not to be shared lightly
Why is it not recommended to share confidential information via e-mail or free data exchange web services? Simply because there is a much better solution.
In the digital world, an organization must ensure sufficient level of information security in order to foster trust. It is interesting how tend to forget that in our daily tasks such as sharing documents with clients, business partners and colleagues. We often use the most convenient, but also quite risky, mode of communicating confidential information – electronic mail.
The most convenient but not the safest
By default, electronic mail is sent unencrypted. Our messages might be intercepted or read by others without our knowledge. We also have problems when we want to send a file that is either too large or in a format recognized by e-mail servers as potentially harmful. Some of these limitations can be overcome by compressing documents into an archive (zip) file and protecting them with passwords, but this clearly affects the usability of electronic mail.
Exercise caution when sharing personal data
What alternatives exist in the world of e-commerce? Documents and other files can be exchanged through dedicated, often free, web services for file or content sharing. Although in this case the actual file size is normally not relevant and the services are user-friendly, we will be exposed to new, unknown risks.
We never ask ourselves how long the provider will retain our information, where and how the information will be stored, or will it be accessible to unauthorized persons? Use of web services becomes even riskier if our documents contain personal data (which is included in all business processes and the documents created during their execution), and might negatively impact our compliance.
Exchanging documents can be secure, efficient and useful
A better way to address these challenges is by sharing the documents directly from the document management system (DMS). At Mikrocop, we enable customers to securely share their documents with recipients inside and outside their organization via the InDoc EDGE data management platform. Select (or download) the document you wish to share, enter the recipient’s e-mail address, the purpose of sharing, password and viewing expiry date. Every recipient will receive a custom link to the document and password via two separate channels, and the document will only be available within the specified time period. Recipient access is controlled and captured in the audit trail along with the purpose of viewing. This means that you know, at all times, who shared the document with whom, when and for what purpose.
By sharing documents through the DMS we:
- raise the level of information security,
- maintain regulatory compliance,
- effectively overcome the limitations of other modes of content sharing.
However, the new communication channels are not entirely devoid of risk. For example, there is the threat of a phishing attack. But as we are already coping with such threats today, we believe that the benefits of secure and practical data exchange outweigh the risks, especially if we also consider the potential of bilateral exchange and the capability to co-create content with customers, partners and colleagues in a trusted environment.
Want to know more? Contact us!