Companies spend countless hours and resources creating training and certification materials for specific audiences. In addition to all the hard work that goes into preparing these materials, the documents are typically of a private or sensitive nature and should not go beyond the list of authorized recipients.
Often, such recipients must purchase or become paying members in order to obtain access to these materials. But if the documents end up in the wrong hands, content exclusiveness is jeopardized, and the company risks losing not only revenue, but also its competitiveness and market position.
It’s important to keep documents safe at all times: at rest – when they are saved on the PC – and in transit – when they are shared with others. It’s just as important to maintain full control over these documents after they are sent, and to be able to easily update, revoke and track their usage. To facilitate this, companies should follow a number of security measures, including:
- Installing anti-virus and firewall programs: An anti-virus and firewall application is the recommended baseline. Many times, these two features are bundled with anti-spyware and other tools as part of a security suite. Make sure the software is current, though, or it might not protect against the latest threats. Currently, there are a number of free solutions available in the marketplace.
- Backing up data: Companies aren’t sufficiently aware of the importance of backing up data — and, unfortunately, this awareness often comes when it’s too late. These days, IT professionals don’t need to endure painstaking manual chores such as burning CDs or tapes. Online backup is widely available, automatic and relatively cheap. It’s also increasingly offered with firewall and anti-virus security suites. Be sure to explore online backup options to guarantee the most valuable documents are stored in multiple locations.
- Maintaining control over documents: Finally, it’s important to maintain control over important or sensitive materials at all times and ensure they don’t end up on unauthorized parties’ PCs. Whether it’s intentional or not, placing confidential documents in the wrong hands can have devastating effects on an individual’s work or on the business as a whole. Today, there are new tools available that restrict the recipients’ ability to view, print, copy or forward documents — even after they are sent. Such tools also allow IT pros to revoke permissions to a document, put watermarks on it and track who views it. The tracking capabilities allow one to see not only who received and viewed materials, but also when and where.
It’s highly recommended that organizations have the full arsenal of security applications. Not only will it make teams more productive, since there is less down time caused by security breaches and data loss, it also will enable organizations to easily and securely share materials across the company. Obtaining this level of security assurance for the most critical certification and learning documents is priceless.
Adi Ruppin is vice president of marketing at Confidela, a software company that offers a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that enables the confidential sharing of important or sensitive documents. He can be reached at editor (at) certmag (dot) com.