It’s no surprise that in today’s digital landscape that document security continues to be a never-ending challenge and thus a top priority for the print and mail industry. From financial statements to healthcare documents and everything in between, print files containing thousands of documents with confidential PHI/PII data are a target-rich environment. They are a data breach in the making and safeguarding this data has become more complex than ever. Document security typically conjures up thoughts of shadowy hackers attempting to breach our digital fortresses. While the image of shadowy external hackers often dominate discussion on document security, there’s another, more elusive adversary that often flies under the radar—the insider threat.
The Silent Menace Within
The insider threat, concealed within your organization’s ranks as employees, contractors, or business associates, can take two distinct forms:
- Negligent Insiders: These individuals may not have malicious intent, but their inadvertent actions or lack of awareness can trigger security breaches. This could involve employees inadvertently emailing a confidential document to the wrong recipients or leaving sensitive information exposed on a printer. Though their motives are innocent, the consequences can be severe.
- Malicious Insiders: On the darker side of the spectrum, there are those within your organization who intentionally undermine document security. Whether driven by personal gain or a grudge against the company, these malicious insiders may leak sensitive data, steal confidential documents, or engage in fraudulent activities.
Negligent insiders, in particular, are a significant yet often underestimated threat. Their capacity for unintentional errors, potential for data leakage, insufficient password management practices, and the inadvertent exposure of confidential information through misconfigured digital settings collectively amplify an organization’s vulnerability to data breaches, compliance violations and reputational damage.
In a recent “2022 Cost of Insider Threats Global Report” by the Ponemon Institute (sponsored by ObserveIT), negligent insiders accounted for a staggering 62% of insider-related incidents, with malicious insiders responsible for the remaining 38%. What’s even more alarming is the financial toll these threats can exact. In 2023, the average cost of a data breach caused by an insider reached $4.9 million, surpassing the global average data breach cost of $4.45 million. These statistics underscore the hidden danger posed by insider threats—a danger that cannot be underestimated or ignored.
Key Recommendations to Shield Your Organization Against Insider Threats
To mitigate the risks associated with insider threats and ensure regulatory compliance, robust document security measures are imperative. Here are key recommendations to shield your organization against these internal menaces:
- Encryption: Implement robust encryption for documents containing sensitive information, both in transit and at rest. PRO Lockdown from Crawford Technologies provides document and page level encryption, ensuring the data remains protected even as documents are processed and archived. No matter how your organization splits or separates records, the encryption stays in place.
- Clear Security Policies: Establish clear document security policies and procedures outlining protocols for handling sensitive data. Ensure that all employees are well-informed about and adhere to these policies.
- Employee Education: Train your staff regularly to recognize potential threats, including phishing attempts, and educate them on best practices for document security.
- Access Controls: Implement stringent access controls that restrict document access to authorized personnel only. Regularly review and update these controls to adapt to changing circumstances.
- Regular Auditing: Conduct regular security audits and assessments to identify vulnerabilities and take proactive measures to address them.
- Incident Response Plan: Develop a comprehensive incident response plan detailing the steps to be taken in the event of a security breach.
- Stay Informed: Keep abreast of emerging threats and document security trends to continually adapt your security measures.
Secure Your Organization Against Insider Threats Today
Document security is a paramount concern for professionals in the print and mail industry. Insider threats, whether negligent or malicious, pose significant risks that must be addressed. The financial costs of data breaches, along with the damage to your organization’s reputation, can be devastating.
Crawford Technologies’ PRO Lockdown solution offers robust defense against insider threats, providing protection at every stage of the document lifecycle. By integrating PRO Lockdown into your workflows and adopting key security recommendations, you can fortify your document security fortress and protect your organization’s most valuable asset: data.
Embark on the path to safeguarding your data by joining our upcoming webinar – ‘Document Security: Lockdown the Gaps in Your Production Workflow’ – where we delve deeper into the powerful capabilities of PRO Lockdown.