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Preventing Data Leaks While Co-Authoring A Document

Last week, we talked about the dangers of file sharing. This week, we are going to look at data leaks- and how you can prevent them.

Today’s global collaborative work environments, where dozens of employees and contractors could be working on a single deal or document, are full of potential unseen dangers. Data stored on corporate networks is now more accessible than ever, since employees need to communicate, share and collaborate.

Security Threats Can Come From Anywhere

The truth is no organization is safe. For anyone involved in corporate finance transactions, the sheer volume of information shared, along with the number of people it is shared with, heightens the risk, since the system is accessed by so many people. The same goes for a law firm that may be drawing up a new contract, M&A papers or IP data. Threats can come from:

Individuals, who may be looking to sell sensitive data for a profit;

Employees, who may be careless with the information they have, or worse, looking to sabotage the company;

Competitors, who are looking to gain an advantage or access details about a new deal or product;

Nations, by way of state-sponsored attacks on international transactions. Governments could be looking to protect their interests and that of the interests of local companies and parties. This could be a possibility in deals involving national assets, natural resources or in infrastructure bids

Crime networks, who are looking to make a quick profit via organized cyber crime. They could access sensitive information prior to a transaction to reap gains in the stock market, or they could access client data/accounts/credit card details.

Hacktivists, who may be driven by a moral or political opposition to your deal/transaction.

How You Can Stay Safe

Here are a few ways you can keep your data safe while co-authoring a document.

Create A Network For Communication: First, set up a network for communication. Instead of sending information via email (the dangers of which we discussed in the previous post,) create a separate channel to communicate with the people who are involved in creating the document. You could create a password protected messaging group on your server, or create a separate server account which requires authorization to proceed.

 Standardize Your Workflow: Workflows are essential to document collaboration. Through it, data will not leave your hands without approval, and incorrect data cannot be published. A workflow streamlines the process, by assigning tasks to each team member, sending them reminders and saving changes, comments and edits. Your document cannot be published or sent without going through each process in the workflow.

Maintain Control: Document control is the trickiest part of co-authoring. You need to control several aspects.

  1. How to access the document: Does the project manager have to unlock the document on behalf of the team? Does the team use password encryption? Are OTPs (one-time passwords) generated after an authorization login by a team member?
  2. Who has access to the document: The project manager, senior team members, CEO
  3. Media: How is the document maintained, published and distributed? Is it going to be digital? Cloud-based? Saved onto a disc?

You can try all of the above, or, you can switch to a document collaboration & co-authoring software solution like XaitPorter. XaitPorter is a cloud-based solution that helps your work smarter, safer and more efficiently by removing the obstacles to effective co-authoring.

XaitPorter gives the project manager the power to control who has access to the document. The project manager assigns roles to each team member, and everyone works in sync, with access to the document whenever they need it. And you can oversee and review everyone’s work without having to send or receive files and attachments. Plus, XaitPorter saves previous data and documents for you, so you don’t need to share anything outside of your circle.

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