Data security has to be one of the most important components of a company’s technology systems. There have been countless data breaches over the last few years, and they will likely only grow in frequency and scope. One of the ways that companies can avoid succumbing to a massive data breach is by investing in purpose-built software solutions that not only meet their business needs but consider the security of the data stored within it a high priority. This is important for any and all types of company data, including the information that is contained within a company’s contracts.
However, the solution selected must do more than simply protect the data that is stored within one of its systems or databases. The best situation is to ensure that the software itself cannot access the data that is saved. This may seem counterintuitive, but storing data and viewing it are very different things. There is generally no reason that a software company providing a service to your business will need to view your data. Here is why it is important to avoid contract management software that is able to access your data:
Perhaps the biggest concern with allowing a software provider to have direct access to your data is the possibility that it will be leaked by accident. This may occur as a result of some larger technological failure or perhaps a more discrete coding issue. It does not matter how or why it happens, the reality is that there should never be the possibility that an accidental leak is the reason for data theft. The best scenario is to utilize contract management software that encrypts all data both at rest and in transit. In addition, it should only be accessible and viewable to those with the correct authentication credentials to enter the database in which it is housed.
Of course, beyond the fact that there may be an accidental disclosure, there is also a very real possibility that data will be misappropriated intentionally. People purposely and inadvertently infiltrate systems all of the time, and if they manage to stumble upon anything of value, there is a good bet that they will try to exploit that for financial gain. Obviously, the likelihood of this happening with sensitive contract data is reduced if the system responsible for storing the data does not have the capacity to read it. The importance of advanced data encryption and stringent authentication procedures cannot be stressed enough.
Competitive Edge Undercut
Depending on the industry in which a company operates, there is likely fierce competition willing to do and pay virtually anything to undercut the success of its competitors. Because of this very real threat to a company’s success and survival, it is imperative to take serious precautions when it comes to saving, sharing, and accessing confidential data. One of the concerns with contracts is that they usually contain important information such as client names, pricing terms, and perhaps even data relating to intellectual property. The misappropriation of any of this contract data may have serious consequences, financially and otherwise. For example, the folks who manage to get their hands on the data may be able to entice clients away or lower their prices to make themselves more competitive.
There is simply no denying that the internet and technology in general have made running a business a whole lot easier and more efficient, but it has simultaneously created a series of unique challenges. Ultimately, companies must invest in the right solutions that prize maximal data security to prevent costly breaches that could have been easily avoided.