A strong data security strategy is crucial to ensuring that valuable, confidential company information, including contract data, is protected. Plenty of companies implement internal contract security measures, but things like user pins and password protected accounts likely do not go far enough. Given the alarming increase in hacks, even on seemingly secure networks, companies have a duty to ensure that both their data and any client data are adequately safeguarded. Here is why your internal contract security measures probably aren't strong enough:
Lack of Encryption
Using advanced encryption for data stored and shared electronically is imperative to preventing it from unwanted exposure. Even if a hacker manages to enter a system or intercept a transmission, data that is properly encrypted will be illegible. It isn't all that common for companies to invest in networks or systems that automatically include data encryption. However, with cloud-computing and online data storage, it is a fairly standard security feature. Thus, to reduce the risk of a data breach, it would be wise to keep all contracts in a repository that provides advanced encryption for data at rest and in transit.
More than likely, companies require their employees to create usernames and passwords to log onto a company computer and any associated software. Unfortunately, this kind of data protection is pretty rudimentary and far too susceptible to being compromised. For one thing, employees tend to use the same password for multiple accounts, even crossing their personal accounts with their professional ones. In addition, it's pretty normal for employees to share passwords with colleagues, as they often do not view work accounts in the same way they view their personal ones. Ultimately, it would behoove companies to use a system that employs multi-factor authentication. This means that in addition to a username and password, they will have to input a uniquely generated pin or code that is sent for each login attempt, further reducing the likelihood that the wrong person will be able to enter.
For many companies, there are a lot of people involved in a lot of different aspects of its operations, including contract management. As a result, many people will need to be able to access documents at various times. Usually, this simply means logging onto the shared network and opening what is needed. The problem is that this essentially permits anyone within the organization to have unfettered access to company data, which is obviously a foolish mistake. Instead, companies should use a system that allows the primary administrator to control who has access and what precisely they may access. This may sound tedious, but it is actually incredibly easy to do with contract management software that allows for permissions-based roles.
No Dissemination Prevention
One of the other huge issues with allowing people to have easy, uncontrolled access to data is that it usually means they can easily download and disseminate that data. Companies should know by now that writing certain things in emails and attaching documents could result in some embarrassing leakages. For this reason, companies should utilize a system that prevents downloads or sharing unless the appropriate person has authorized this activity. A robust contract management solution will include these sort of features, such as disabled printing and privacy view.