7 ECM Data Security Best Practices Every Organization Should Follow
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7 ECM Data Security Best Practices Every Organization Should Follow

Is your enterprise content management (ECM) data as safe as it should be?

Data breaches are all too common, affecting organizations across all industries and resulting in a global average loss of $4.45 million per attack. And with data breaches and vulnerabilities on the rise, you’re taking on a major risk if you’re not implementing ECM data security best practices at your organization. 

Here’s what to know about ECM system security, including top tips for how to keep data safe and secure within your ECM platform. 

The basics of ECM data security

An ECM is a fantastic first-line defense against data breaches. From financial reports to vendor contracts, an ECM stores, organizes, and secures your data within a centralized system, protecting against both unauthorized access and unintentional data loss. 

But while an ECM may be the best way to store sensitive data, no system is 100% safe from a breach. 

Some factors that can compromise data security within your records management system include:

  • Outdated legacy systems
  • Insufficient employee training regarding data security best practices
  • Hostile insiders
  • Third-party access, such as through a contractor or partner
  • Lack of compliance with data protection regulations

During an ECM data breach, unauthorized parties gain access to your company’s sensitive data, usually for nefarious reasons. If you’re not prepared, or if you’re not monitoring ECM file access and sharing, you may not notice the breach right away. This can make it difficult to bounce back, though even if you do notice the breach early on, it’s still a bumpy road to resolution. 

There are economic, legal, and reputation-related consequences to an ECM data breach. So when it comes to how to protect sensitive data within the system, it pays to do your due diligence regarding the most effective data security practices. 

How to keep data safe and secure: 7 security measures to protect enterprise content management

Vigorous security practices don’t just safeguard your organization’s data – they also help you maintain compliance, lower the risk of operational disruptions, and strengthen your reputation with customers and business partners. 

Here are seven of our top tips for how to protect sensitive data in your content management system, all of which should become mainstays of your organization’s approach to ECM data security.

1. Secure content with encryption 

Your ECM should have built-in encryption features for scrambling data both in transit and in storage. That way, if someone does access your data with malicious intent, they won’t be able to do anything with what they find. 

2. Maintain strict access permissions

Access permissions let you limit who can view and edit your data by name, role, and/or department. In addition to giving you access control, they also help you easily track access across your enterprise content so you always know what’s been viewed, when, and by whom.

3. Mask sensitive data

Static and dynamic data masking offers a further level of access control by strategically hiding certain sensitive data from view. Mask personal and customer information for different users based on security clearance, and set up automatic whole-screen masking in the event someone leaves their workspace unattended. 

4. Task your ECM with compliance

Staying compliant with data security and retention guidelines is a big job. Fortunately, top-tier ECMs can handle it for you, working within your existing system security to ensure you maintain compliance and continually updating to make the most of all available improvements. If your ECM isn’t doing this, it’s time to find one that does. 

5. Regularly delete data

If data is outdated, unusable, or otherwise no longer necessary, delete it. A well-planned document retention schedule limits the amount of data you have available in the first place and decreases the data security burden on your organization. 

6. Keep it in the cloud

The best way to store sensitive data is in an ECM content cloud. Opting for cloud-based management removes the inherent risks that come with portable devices and external hard drives, and, depending on your ECM cloud provider, comes complete with the encryption and masking tools you need in order to stay secure. 

7. Perform regular audits

The sooner you catch an ECM data breach, the less damage you’ll be facing. Make sure to regularly review content access, search history, and file shares, and stay as vigilant as possible about monitoring the enterprise content in your system. 

Systemware and ECM system security

Don’t become a data breach statistic. Following the best practices above will go a long way toward reducing your risk of an attack or leak, and should be implemented into a company-wide content security policy and dictated to all relevant employees. Training is key, so take the time to get everyone up to speed and don’t let preventable human errors put your sensitive data on the line. Need more support? Learn how Systemware services layer security into your ECM, and call or email for personal guidance.

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