Secure Your Documents: The Key to a Great Document Management System

document management system

Your documents are your everything. Contracts, client details, employee details, invoices, minutes of meetings, future plans, company finance information - the list is (potentially) endless. But are your documents secure? True, so I'm guessing you're savvy enough to back up your various files in, well, various places, an external cloud perhaps - but are they actually safe?


It may sound obvious, but if your documents are the core of your business, are they really worth the risk of taking a shortcut?

Without your contracts and plans, design history files, and previous iterations, the safety (and future) of your entire organisation is compromised. This is why a secure Document Management System is so important. Not only will it protect your documents from being visible to anyone who shouldn't be seeing them, but you'll also have peace of mind that your valuable information is secure, leaving you to focus on the most important thing: running your business.

Document security is not a new concern;  with the damage related to cybercrime projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021. And with cyber criminals becoming more sophisticated and more pernicious, you must protect yourself from unwanted individuals infiltrating your systems.

Yes, there is a plethora of Document Management Systems on the market, and depending on your industry, you could be lured into particular kind that can cater for your regulatory requirements. But can you be sure of its security?

There is of course the danger that you could end up working with a system that doesn't have the required flexibility to meet your specific requirements.

A great team

A great Document Management System is run by a team who are continually keeping track of the ever-growing threats, risks and trends, and updating the system accordingly to keep all documents safe.

Cognidox is built so that each system is tailored towards the needs of the company we work with. And our team is on hand to help you fine-tune your security needs.. All files that are uploaded are encrypted with a 2048-bit SSL certificate (this article on the GoDaddy site explains the need for a 2048-bit SSL certificate), user access is authenticated and actions are tracked in a secure audit log. 

It's also important to keep the pressure off your already over-worked IT team. Does your chosen document management system provide ongoing control of the setup, administration and general maintenance of the system, so you can be safe in the knowledge that you'll always be working with the latest version?

User experience

A great system should be easy to use, easy to adopt and become 'the way you do things'. A great document management system will be user-intuitive, and those who have the correct levels of authorization have complete control over their documents. Documents should be hey are clearly visible, so users can move, add drafts, add issues and share with your colleagues, and have the option to publish externally. Everything should be traceable, accountable and easy to monitor.

It's only natural, that you'll potentially have a few teething problems to begin with as you find your way around the tools on offer. Can you be sure your new document management team can be on hand either in person, or virtually to assist? 

Time is money

Time is tight, time is money and sometimes you need answers quickly. We've all been put on hold, having to wait in a queue, frustrated. Whilst we believe our system is easy to navigate, we are always on hand to discuss any queries you may have: questions about the security of our cloud, or just advice on how to run the system as smoothly as possible. 

A good Document Management System can save you time - a lot of time. A great system will save you £500 per employee per month by reducing waste in document management. A bad system, however, can cost you just as much, as well as causing inevitable stress when fixing problems (files missing, visible to a not approved colleague/client or even worse: hacked) and takes the focus away from your day-to-day tasks.

So, what does actually make a great Document Management System?

We've covered a lot of points here, but ultimately the answer is simple: a great Document Management System is a secure Document Management System that, of course, has a positive user experience.

Editor's note: This blog was originally written in August 2017 and has seen been revised for accuracy and relevance.

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Tags: Document Management and Control

Paul Walsh

Written by Paul Walsh

Paul Walsh was one of the founders of Cognidox. After a period as an academic working in user experience (UX) research, Paul started a 25-year career in software development. He's worked for multinational telecom companies (Nortel), two $1B Cambridge companies (Ionica, Virata), and co-founded a couple of startup companies. His experience includes network management software, embedded software on silicon, enterprise software, and cloud computing.

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