The term “cybersecurity” is on everyone’s lips nowadays. But confusion abounds. Many organizations fail to recognize the importance of ensuring strong data security. Understanding is also often lacking. As a result, they fail to implement appropriate measures and safeguards.
Yet, with the increasing number of cyber-attacks, modern companies simply can’t afford not to protect their data.
In this post, you’ll learn why document security is essential for businesses and how to ensure that both yours and your clients’ data is protected. We’ll also cover common terms (HIPAA, GDPR, FERPA, eIDAS, etc.) and explain how leading file sharing solution PandaDoc implements industry-leading cybersecurity practices.
Why Is Document and File-Sharing Security Important?
Why is document security (and cybersecurity more generally) so important for businesses?
File-sharing represents a particularly vulnerable part of an organization’s technological infrastructure. However, the most effective way of safeguarding this particular risk point is to adopt comprehensive security measures that protect all aspects of a company’s activities.
A large business might share hundreds, if not thousands, of files daily. Building a secure infrastructure provides the following concrete benefits:
- Legal compliance: As governments have become more aware of the risks associated with data breaches and poor security practices, various regulatory and legal frameworks have arisen. HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) are two well-known examples.
- Loss of client details: Loss of client details can incur hefty fines and damage relationships significantly. Implementing appropriate file-sharing encryption, access, and storage controls mitigates this possibility.
- Damage to your brand and reputation: You’ll be familiar with front-page stories of large organizations that have suffered from large-scale data breaches. The damage to the brands of these companies has often been costly and irreparable.
- Reduces costs over the long-term: The costs associated with paying fines and remedying fallout from data breaches are far larger than those of implementing effective, long-term cybersecurity infrastructure, particularly when it comes to file-sharing.
PandaDoc Security Features: A Straightforward Overview
PandaDoc is a modern software-as-a-service application that has industry-leading security practices. It provides an excellent example of how companies can create cutting-edge, comprehensive cybersecurity infrastructure.
PandaDoc is compliant with all of the following standards:
- HIPAA Compliant: HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The Act comprises a set of regulatory principles covering how health-related data can be used. Most countries have equivalent legislation.
- SOC 2 Type II Certified: SOC stands for “Service Organization Control.” A SOC 2 Type II report is a widely recognized audit of how an organization handles sensitive data. Certification indicates that a company is operating to a high standard.
- GDPR Compliant: GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) legislation applies to businesses in the European Union and governs the way that data can be used, and dictates how organizations must protect customer privacy.
- eIDAS Compliant: eIDAS ((electronic IDentification, Authentication and trust Services) is another piece of EU legislation that relates to electronic forms of identification, including e-signatures.
- FERPA Compliant: FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a piece of US legislation that protects the privacy of students and their educational records. PandaDoc’s suite of cybersecurity features, which includes file encryption, audit trails, and continuous security reviews and updates, means that educational organizations can use PandaDoc with full confidence.
- AWS Secure Data Centers: PandaDoc uses AWS (Amazon Web Services) data centers to manage a large portion of its storage needs. Amazon has many years of experience in maintaining high levels of both digital and physical security.
In addition to compliance with major frameworks and laws in the US, Europe, and elsewhere, PandaDoc also undertakes the following measures:
- Encryption of files during transit: PandaDoc applies various levels of encryption to documents (both at rest and in transit) and uses complex encryption keys.
- Full evaluation of third-party providers: All third-party providers and integrations are evaluated before they are offered as part of the PandaDoc toolkit.
- Regular software updates and vulnerability testing: PandaDoc regularly conducts software updates and vulnerability tests to ensure the ongoing integrity of its systems, including file transfer protocols.
- Multi-location server storage: PandaDoc servers are dispersed geographically to add an additional layer of document security.
- Coding assurance practices: PandaDoc uses advanced programming techniques and quality assurance checks when creating and updating applications to ensure a high level of security.
- Controlled employee access: PandaDoc tightly controls the permissions of its employees to safeguard against unauthorized access to client information.
- Third-party handling of employee financial data: PandaDoc uses third-party providers to process and store financial data.
Finally, the following client-facing features make it possible for PandaDoc users to add another tier of security to their day-to-day document workflow:
- Recipient verification: PandaDoc makes it possible to add recipient verification to documents. Users can also password-protect documents (or require an SMS code) if necessary.
- User permissions: PandaDoc administrative users can control the level of access that employees have when navigating the platform. This makes it easy to protect client data.
- Electronic signature certificates: When a recipient signs a document, an electronic signature will auto-generate and be stored securely. This is useful for auditing and if any legal issues arise later.
- Centralized cloud storage: PandaDoc users can take advantage of secure cloud storage where they can quickly access documents.
- Audit log: The PandaDoc audit log tracks all user activity, allowing admins to see when documents were accessed and edited.
- Monitoring alerts: PandaDoc systems are monitored 24 hours a day. Critical alerts are responded to immediately.
You are responsible for ensuring the safety of your clients’ data. And file transfers represent a particularly risky link in the document management chain.
By opting for a platform like PandaDoc that guarantees a high level of security, you are much more likely to avoid a data breach, and all the financial and reputational damage involved.
Over time, it is far more cost-effective to invest in strong cybersecurity than run the risk of being hacked or unintentionally compromised.