6 security aspects important for a DMS
Your Document Management System is the repository of the documents that are important for your organisation. You should be aware of the security aspects that you should consider while choosing the DMS for your organisation. Security is one of the most important if not the most important thing to consider while choosing a DMS.
Your digital assets are very crucial for running your business and if they fall in the wrong hands or if all or parts of the digital assets get wiped out, it could spell disaster for your business. You should give special attention to the security aspects of your DMS.
Let us look at the various security features that should be available in any good DMS.
- Access Control
DMS should have an access control module that should allow you to do the following:
- Create user roles: User Roles are profiles of users that you can create in the DMS. An user role defines the various features that are available to the user.
- Create users: Authorized users should be able to create other users.
- Assign user roles to users
- Document Access
Authorized users should be able to control the documents that are available to other users. The DMS should provide various options based on which document access can be controlled. Some of the ways on which document access can be controlled are as follows:
- Folder access: The DMS should be able to control the folders that are accessible to the users.
- Document classification: The DMS should have the ability to define the confidentiality class of the documents. Users should be assigned a confidentiality class. Users should not be able to access documents having classification level higher than that assigned to them.
- Control what the user can do with the document. The DMS should have the ability to control whether the user can view, add/edit information, download, print, check-in/check-out and share the document.
- Time controlled access: The DMS should have the ability to give time controlled access to the users. Users should not be able to access the documents outside the period defined.
Some DMS’ store the documents in the database and others store the documents in a file system (on the server disk or on a storage device).
If the documents are stored in a database then the files are secure; as no one can directly access the document files. If the DMS stores the documents in a file system then the documents should be stored in an encrypted format. The documents can then be accessed only through the DMS application.
For situations which require that the files have to be decrypted and accessed outside the DMS, the vendor should also provide a tool for decryption, which should be available only to authorized users.
- IP White-listing
The DMS should allow you to define the IPs for which access is allowed, this list of IPs is called as the IP white-list. Connections should be denied for requests coming from IPs not included in the IP white-list. This will restrict the access to your important documents to users from only authorized environments in your network.
- Activity Logs
The DMS should maintain detailed logs of all activities done on the application. Logs help in tracking any untoward incident so that corrective action can be taken to prevent such incidents from happening in the future. Periodic review of the logs should be undertaken by the authorized users to identify any incidents.
The DMS should allow administrators to take backups of the data and the documents. In case the documents are stored in the database, database backups will take care of the data as well as the documents. In case the documents are stored in the file system, then the documents should be backed up from the file system and the database backup will take care of the data.
Apart from above the DMS should also have other security features like password expiry, authorized sharing of documents within and outside of the DMS, sharing of documents for a specific period, alerts and notifications etc.
The DMS solution should have all the above security features to keep your digital assets safe and protected. Security features are important for protecting the assets from falling in wrong hands and avoiding unauthorized changes and/or destruction of your digital assets.