How to manage your documentation most securely in this digital era? There is no need to explain why the documentation your company creates, no matter whether for itself or for customers, should be well protected. A good documentation tool must provide more than just easy workflow and editing: it should also grant security in all aspects. This is how it’s done, and this is what to require from a platform you choose for creating your docs. Let’s explore how to manage your documentation most securely.
Secure Data Storage
First of all, you need to choose a platform that provides secure storage. This means high uptime (if not 100%, then at least 99.99%), high access, and all the things required from a data center. It’s not your problem, in general, how they maintain their high uptime: just make sure they do.
As for data encryption, it’s the primary measure that seems necessary now that even popular messengers have, so enterprise projects should too. Not only should the data be encrypted on the servers, but also in transmission. That’s why it should be transmitted using SSL encryption, with all the certificates valid on both sides.
Access Management and Permissions
One of the most unpleasant situations with documentation is leaking. It’s especially sensible when your restricted documentation leaks out. But neither is it good with drafts of your public documentation: it can expose the way you think and adjust your vision, which can be used by your rivals. The greatest risk, still, is a diversion when someone edits your public documentation, defaces your web pages, and brings mess into your work process. That’s why online documentation platforms protect their clouds or cooperate with well-known cloud storage services that offer already protected data centers.
It does not mean you can relax after finding the right service. There are some measures you can take on your part. Here are the most basic rules:
· Get your employees to learn the basics of info security.
· If your contractors need access to your documents, define their responsibility for any leaks or third-party accessing your data beforehand. Provide them with basic security instructions even if they say they are aware of it.
· Install antivirus and anti-phishing software on all your computers. If some of your employees work remotely, require the same from them.
· Never use simple passwords vulnerable to brute force attacks or social hacking.
· Never settle with the minimum requirements to your passwords defined by the platform. Generate more sophisticated passwords.
· Use two-step authentication whenever possible.
There are platforms that offer simpler solutions for logging in faster. Make sure these solutions are secure and don’t leave any way for an unauthorized person to log in. It doesn’t mean you should distrust all of them: there are ways to ease authentication with biometrical or other reliable credentials.
It’s not what you usually mention when you talk about security. But it’s a great way to forever destroy a document if someone just edits and saves it, erasing the previous version. Regardless of what data made it so precious, you don’t want it gone.
So, when choosing your online documentation platform, make sure it saves version history for your docs. With this function on, you can return to any previous version of any document that’s been created within the system. Alas, it doesn’t work ad infinitum with documents imported from external sources. So, if you plan to migrate to a new platform, you better save all the old versions you think you may ever need as new documents.
One of the risks that surround online documentation (especially internal one) is that some of your employees can give it away. It can be quite an honest move if an employee suddenly gets a piece of information not meant for them and, misinterpreting it as evidence of a universal conspiracy, starts to panic. To avoid that, you can do the following:
· Manage permissions so that documents can only be accessed by those authorized to see them.
· Avoid unclear language for the documents to be understood right.
· Make sure all your employees are fully instructed about what the documents are about and what they relate to.
· Keep all your staff aware of their responsibility for privacy violations.
Backup and Export
There is also a risk of losing all your documents because of an accident. It can happen at your data center or at your office, or at the center of your storage provider. No matter what: you need to back it up as reliably as possible. There are some rules that you should follow:
· Make backups regularly (once a week or even once a day, depending on how many days of work you are ready to lose if it happens). The backup files should be archived and protected with a password. If your platform supports version history, there is no need to save the entire body of your backups: several last ones (plus an extra copy of them) will do.
· Great if your platform creates backup automatically. If not (or if some extremely important changes were made in the afternoon or right after the scheduled backup), do it manually.
· Download the backup files as soon as they are formed and store them on a physical carrier that’s not connected to the Internet. It can be an HDD, an SSD, and (if the size allows for that) even a USB flash drive. If your intranet is hacked too, these files will be protected by their physical unavailability. You better have one more to store it physically away from your office (in case of fire, deluge, explosion, or any physical damage to it).
· If your platform allows for automatic backup in a readable format, don’t neglect it. This will enable you to work with your documentation even in case of trouble.
These are not all the measures you can take to keep your documentation secure, though these are the basics. And I am sure, now you know the basics of how to manage your documentation most securely. Make sure your admin does not talk in his/her sleep. And burn this after reading (if you didn’t do it before). Good luck and stay safe!