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Content Security in the Media and Entertainment Industry

Data breaches in any industry can prove to be a costly affair. Content security is crucial to businesses in all verticals. From privacy issues to financial ramifications and loss of reputation, a data breach can have adverse repercussions for organizations, both large and small. Data breaches can have far-reaching consequences, as we covered in our blog post – “How Costly Could a Data Breach Be?”

However, one industry that stands to lose significantly more due to a data breach is the media and entertainment industry.

In the media and entertainment industry, a data breach can result in a substantial loss of revenue because here, content truly is king. A data breach of media or entertainment content could have devastating consequences, both short- and long-term.

A new ransomware attack occurs every 14 seconds, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. The malware and ransomware attacks can cost businesses billions of dollars. That is why it is crucial to take all precautions to avoid any such attack.

Let us, therefore, take you through why content security is crucial in this industry, the content security approaches and secure cloud solutions opportunities.

Why Media and Entertainment Companies are at Cybersecurity Risk?

It is crucial to understand why media and entertainment companies are at cybersecurity risk. Creating original content is the backbone of any media house. None of the media houses, regardless of their size, would like their content to land in the wrong hands and destroy their revenues.

However, cybercriminals are on the prowl to take advantage of the vulnerabilities present in an organization’s security apparatus. Major organizations and small post-production houses are equally prone to cyberattacks. 

Sony, Disney and Larson Studios have all had their share of cybersecurity breaches. Of them, Sony was the first that hit the headlines. Though big-ticket companies are obvious targets for these attacks, they still have robust content security practices in place. However, small and niche post-production organizations and visual effects (VFX) houses that closely work with big media houses and handle their valuable content do not have all the security paraphernalia in place. They seldom have full-fledged IT teams or an in-house security expert. That is what makes them more vulnerable to cybercriminals. They are the weak link that criminals target to get hold of valuable content.  

The first third-party post-production hack that came to light was of Hollywood’s Larson Studios. The cybercriminals penetrated the Larson network and gained access to a complete season of Orange Is the New Black before its release. The attackers demanded millions of dollars for the safe return of the data under threat of leaking the episodes.

Apart from the leaked episodes, data breaches of this magnitude can pose other serious consequences that include loss of revenue, lawsuits and fines associated with exclusivity contracts, negative PR, and loss of reputation of both the studio and the third party.

That is the reason the media and the entertainment industry is now trying to put in place effective security solutions to ward off cyber threats.

To respond to cyber threats and effectively control third-party management and content processing, an industry-wide film and television protection agency was established by the name of the Trusted Partner Network (TPN). The TPN has created a global list of trusted partner vendors where the members need to adhere to the basic security parameters put in place jointly by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA).

Content Security Approaches

With the growing security threat in the media and entertainment industry, the media and entertainment organizations are reviewing their current security practices. Unless they follow best practices, it will be difficult to keep their content safe. Everyone in the media supply chain needs to know how to handle content securely to avoid data leakage. People in the media and entertainment industry need to have a proper understanding of how they should develop, store, transfer and eventually dispose of their content safely. These organizations need to give their staff the requisite training and create awareness so that everyone involved starts following safe security practices. Toward this goal, here are some content security approaches that media and entertainment organizations can follow to enhance their security:

Fingerprinting Digital fingerprinting is a process that helps media and entertainment companies to embed digital impressions to locate illegally distributed content. Companies can register their content for fingerprinting, which helps them take legal action for the illegal use of their content.

The analog hole Analog hole is a process where cybercriminals digitally recapture content in an unrestricted form. Using techniques like infrared blocking can prevent cybercriminals from copying content from analog sources.

Encryption technology Encryption technologies like Digital Rights Management (DRM) can prevent the unauthorized redistribution of media. It also places technical limits on the copying of content. These technologies help encrypt the physical media by using the product keys. Encryption, typically, is the first line of defense for media and entertainment organizations, which helps them protect their content from theft and redistribution. Also, encryption technology can protect content at rest, in transit or when in use. It can protect data from the file to the application and the network stages.

Blockchain With blockchain technology in place, you can securely distribute sensitive information like business transactions and events. It is a digital, peer-to-peer distributed network that keeps a public history of transactions. Based on cryptographic technology, it allows two verified parties to interact directly in a secure environment without any third-party involvement. The media and entertainment industry can benefit from this technology, as it allows them to distribute content securely. It can provide a safeguard against piracy, theft and illegal distribution.

Watermarking This is a process used to increase the security and safety of content or sensitive information by adding a distinct set of data to the content that is difficult to change or remove. There are numerous types of watermarking – static, digital, dynamic, etc. Static watermarks don’t change due to such factors as who created it, who consumed it, where it was consumed, or which copy of the content it consumes. However, dynamic watermarks can change because of these factors, and that is why they help increase the security of the content. Content providers and distributors use them to enhance their content security. Dynamic watermarking allows companies to track content at the individual asset level, find out where the content came from and check who all distributed (legally or illegally) the content.

Secure Cloud Solutions Opportunities

Though the media and entertainment industry prefers to work on its content in isolated offline pods, post-production houses and studios have realized the efficiency and portability offered by the cloud. Companies in the media and entertainment industry can use secure cloud solutions opportunities to protect their content.

Since the cloud simplifies and expedites the management of digital security rights, is on-demand, offers access from anywhere and for multiple users, many media and entertainment companies now offload some of their workflow and resources in the public cloud. With on-demand virtual servers becoming a reality, these companies have the option of scaling up or down based on their requirements. The cloud solution eliminates the amount of time required for scoping, capital forecasting and vendor review. It is also an extremely cost-effective option because there is no need to invest in expensive new server storage.  

The media and entertainment industry is shifting from traditional methods to more reliable cloud solutions. Many studios – such as Disney – have moved their workflows to the cloud. TPN is also planning to launch its app and cloud initiative. As more and more big studios adopt cloud solutions, the rest of the Hollywood studio community is likely to follow suit.

However, it is crucial to select a reliable cloud service provider, one that manages it properly and prioritizes security. That is where DocuServe comes into the picture. DocuServe is a cloud-based digital data protection company providing services that include cloud-based document management, content encryption and distribution, and digital media replication and encryption to businesses in every industry. Contact us today to learn about our full range of solutions.


How to Maintain Data Security with a Remote Workforce

The concept of work from home has been around for quite some time now. Many organizations in the last few years have offered some of their employees to work from their homes. However, the percentage of employees working from home was a minuscule number, and managing them was not all that big a problem from the security perspective for the IT teams. But with the COVID-19 situation turning from bad to worse, organizations had to migrate most of their workforce, in some cases, all of them, to a remote work environment.

Remote management of the entire workforce soon became a problem that most organizations were unable to deal with comfortably.

Why?

Remote working has many advantages, but dealing with security issues is a major concern. With data breaches increasing by the day and hackers on the prowl during these troubled times, it is imprudent to take cybersecurity lightly. Data security should be paramount for organizations, both large and small.  

Many companies had no clue how to tackle hardware, software, and infrastructure issues to support mass migration to remote working from the security perspective.  Even today, some companies are struggling to maintain robust data security with a remote workforce.

At DocuServe, we want our readers to take all the necessary precautions so that they can safeguard their data properly. For us, nothing is more important than data security, and we want our patrons and readers to do everything they can to protect their company data.

Let us, therefore, take you through how to maintain data security with a remote workforce.

Is Your Business Following Best Practices for Remote Working?

As a responsible organization, it is your responsibility to provide all the requisite hardware, software and infrastructure security support to your employees to avoid data breaches. Yet the question remains, is your business following the best practices for remote working?

If your employees have started working from home, make sure you have a robust data security strategy in place to avoid security breaches. According to a Cisco report, while working from home, almost 6% of employees transfer files between work and personal computers. Such risky behaviors can put your company data at risk. Data breaches can lead to major financial losses and irreparable damage to your reputation.

Here is what you can do to create and implement a robust data security plan for your remote employees:

Make sure the connection of your employees is always secure Nothing is more important for your employees than a secure connection when they are working from home. Make sure your employees use a virtual private network (VPN) when they access company data. When your employees access corporate data with a VPN, you don’t have to worry about their private computers or unsecured public connections. To avoid data breaches, make sure you consider setting up multi-factor identification. You can also use a remote desktop security layer so that your employees are unable to save or copy files to their private computers.

Ensure that you have all the essential IT tools and resources When you have to manage a remote workforce, make sure your company has all the tools and skills to support and monitor your remote employees. If you want your remote workforce to work in a secure environment, ensure that your IT team gets control over all remote activities and devices. Some aspects you have to look into include browser privacy, password management, account lockouts and firewall configurations.

Make sure you protect your employees’ devices It is your responsibility to protect your workers’ devices from viruses, malware and unauthorized access. Instill computer security best practices among your remote workforce, like the importance of updating operating systems and applications used regularly for work. Also, let them know that they should install trusted security software only.

Make use of web-based applications You can use reputable cloud service providers because they have all the security protocols in place – both for their services and users – to protect them from possible security threats. While selecting the cloud service provider, make sure you know the kind of services you will receive and the levels of protection they offer.

Be realistic Despite doing everything from your end to keep data security foolproof, there may be instances when your remote employees will be careless. For example, most of your employees would work on secure Wi-Fi and would not save sensitive information on their system, but there might be some who ignore this policy. Therefore, it is crucial to be realistic and prepare yourself for the worst-case cybersecurity scenarios. That is why you need to regularly remind your remote employees about the importance of observing cybersecurity best practices. This can be accomplished by webinar training sessions, email questionnaires and other means.

Be cautious with your data With data protection laws become stricter, store data that is only relevant and vital to your business. Don’t store unnecessary data that could expose customers’ personal information or proprietary company information.

Factors an Organization Should Examine to Ensure its Cybersecurity When Employees Work Remotely

As an organization, you need to take many precautions so that your remote employees can work in a safe environment. Unless you take all the necessary precautions, it is difficult to safeguard your data. Here are some of the factors an organization should examine to ensure its cybersecurity when employees work remotely:

Make sure your employees use a VPN Using a VPN can keep your data secure. Using a VPN encrypts all your internet traffic, rendering it unreadable to those who might intercept your data. Hence, make sure your employees access company information only when they are using a VPN.

Ask your employees to use secure Wi-Fi connections Most Wi-Fi networks that your employees use at home days are secure. But it is crucial to make your employees understand that it is not safe to use unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. So, your employees should avoid accessing company information through restaurants or public spaces because these networks are not secure. Most of the hackers spy on internet traffic and collect sensitive information from these spots. Our blog post – “Is It Safe to Use Open Wi-Fi Hotspots?” – covers this issue in greater detail.

Ask your remote workers to change the router password after installation Many people don’t change the home router password after installation. If you don’t change the password, you make your home network vulnerable. To prevent malicious parties from accessing your connected devices, your employees need to reset their router passwords. Ask your employees to use strong passwords. Also, tell your employees to install firmware updates to patch security vulnerabilities.

Make sure your employees use two-factor authentication Strong passwords alone aren’t enough. You need to ask your employees to use two-factor authentication as well. For example, two-factor authentication and two-step verification can be of great help if your employee’s credentials are exposed in a data breach. Two-factor authentication adds another security layer. Two-factor authentication can be in the form of email, text message confirmations, or a biometric method, such as facial recognition or fingerprint scan.

Back up your important files It is crucial to back up all of your important files on a regular basis. Backing up your data can help you in case of worst-case scenarios, such as your network being seized by ransomware. If you don’t back up your important files, then you can lose all your data. One way of backing up your data is to store your important files in the cloud rather than on a physical server.

Use firewalls Firewalls prevent threats from entering your organization’s network. Firewalls close ports to communication between your employee’s devices and the internet, thereby adding a security layer. It can also stop data leaking from your employees’ devices. Typically, operating systems come with a built-in firewall. Also, many routers have built-in hardware firewalls – make sure your employees enable them.

Always use antivirus software Firewalls can prevent threats from entering your employees’ devices, but they are not foolproof. That is why you need to use antivirus software. But make sure you use updated antivirus software. Antivirus software adds another layer of security – it can detect and block known malware. Even if malware enters your employee’s device, antivirus software can prevent it from causing harm.

Encryption Install up-to-date encryption tools on your employees’ devices if they have to communicate sensitive company information to coworkers. If you are not using secure methods of communication, you need to look for other options. Many messaging services these days have end-to-end encryption. You can use these services to communicate sensitive company information.

Locking devices It is crucial to make your employees understand that they have to keep their devices secure if they have to work from a public space. Strong passwords can protect their devices until someone enters the password. Make sure you have a policy in place so that your employees follow it strictly.

Promote awareness of phishing attempts Make sure your employees know how to spot a phishing attack. Train them so that they can spot and handle these attacks. Teach them not to open links that they receive from unknown addresses in their mailbox. Your employees should also not open any suspicious link, regardless of whether they receive it from a known or an unknown person.

Helpdesk Make sure your employees have an email address or a phone number (or both) so that they can report security issues as soon as they occur.

If possible, provide company devices to your remote employees – Working on home computers is not a safe bet for any company. It might cost you some extra money upfront, but risking data security can prove to be more harmful, both financially as well as to your reputation. You should discourage the practice of using personal devices when your employees work remotely. All your remote employees cannot have the same level of protection as you would have in the case of company devices.  Personal devices usually lack strong antivirus software, customized firewalls and automatic backup tools.

Mobile device use Many employees use personal smartphones for work purposes. To protect your data, you can consider using Mobile Application Management (MAM) and Mobile Device Management (MDM). With cyberattacks growing rapidly across the world, it is vital to pay adequate attention to mobile security. You can use these solutions to manage and secure mobile devices and applications. These solutions allow you to remotely implement many security measures, such as data encryption, malware scans and data wiping on stolen or lost devices. You should also have a mobile security strategy in place, which we covered in our blog post – “Developing a Smart Strategy for Mobile Security.”

Policies and Training are Key

If you want your remote employees to work in a safe cybersecurity environment, you need to make sure that you pay special attention to policies and training. Policies and training are key when it comes to best practices for remote employees. Let’s look at them one by one.

The first thing you need to do is create a remote work policy for your organization. And it is crucial to understand that just having a policy document in place is not sufficient; you need to update your policies regularly. A recent report shows that almost 25% of the organizations with remote work security policies did not update them in the past year or more. All of your employees need to know what security protocols they need to follow to access company data.

When it comes to data security, another important aspect is employee training. A recent study shows that almost 40% of IT decision-makers feel that cybersecurity training is the backbone of their program. Keep in mind that most phishing attacks occur due to human error, and your employees are no exception. As previously mentioned, reinforce policies and best practices on a regular basis through training or other form of communication that requires employees demonstrate an understanding of their responsibilities.

The Take-Home Message

We can help your business meet today’s remote work environment challenges. DocuServe is a cloud-based digital data protection company providing services that include cloud-based document management, content encryption and distribution, and digital media replication and encryption to businesses in every industry. Contact us today to learn about our full range of solutions.


The Security of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Tech

Cryptocurrencies are decentralized digital financial assets designed to act as a medium of exchange using blockchain technology. You must have heard of popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. However, there are many cryptocurrencies in circulation – according to CoinLore, there are more than 5,000 cryptocurrencies available. 

People can use cryptocurrencies to make purchases, but most invest in them as they would in stocks and precious metals. Dealing in cryptocurrency is exciting, no doubt, but it can be risky if you don’t have complete knowledge about them.

Let us, therefore, take you through what are cryptocurrencies and blockchain, important cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin, and the benefits and risks of blockchain technology.

What are Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain?

Before moving forward, it is crucial to understand what are cryptocurrencies and blockchain. A cryptocurrency is an encrypted and decentralized digital exchange medium. While you have a central authority to manage and maintain currencies like the US dollar and Euro, there is no such authority to manage cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency users maintain and manage the currency through the internet.

The first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which was brought in principle by Satoshi Nakamoto in a paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in 2008. Nakamoto designates the project as “… an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust.”

The cryptographic proof is in the form of transactions, which runs with the technology called blockchain. Our blog post – “Cryptocurrency For Dummies: What is Cryptocurrency & How Does it Work?” – provides a detailed explanation.

A blockchain is a distributed and open ledger in which transactions happen in code. Blockchain is comparable to a checkbook that users can distribute around the world through innumerable computers. Transactions occur in blocks, which then get linked together on a chain of past cryptocurrency transactions.

As Buchi Okoro, CEO, and co-founder of the African cryptocurrency exchange Quidax, explains, “Imagine a book where you write down everything you spend money on each day. Each page is similar to a block, and the entire book, a group of pages, is a blockchain.” 

Blockchain maintains a unified transaction record, with every person using cryptocurrency having a copy of their own book. Every new transaction gets logged into the software, and the new information is updated in the blockchain simultaneously, which ensures all records are accurate and identical.

There are two main validation techniques to prevent fraud – proof of work or proof of stake. Every transaction gets checked with either of these techniques.

Bitcoin and Beyond

Bitcoin introduced cryptocurrencies to the world. As such, every new cryptocurrency that followed tries to match up to it.  

In terms of market capitalization, popularity, and user base, Bitcoin continues to be the leader. However, since its introduction about a decade ago, many virtual currencies have flooded the market.

Let us now look at cryptocurrencies beyond Bitcoin

Ethereum (ETH) – This is a decentralized software platform where you can build and run Smart Contracts and Decentralized Applications (DApps), which is designed to be free of any third-party interference, fraud, downtime, or control. Launched in 2015, Ether is now the second-largest digital currency by market cap after Bitcoin. Developers need Ether to develop and run applications on Ethereum, and investors need it to make purchases of other digital currencies.

Litecoin (LTC) – Launched in 2011, Litecoin is among the first few cryptocurrencies to roll out after Bitcoin. In the cryptocurrency market, Litecoin is like silver, and Bitcoin is like gold. It is an open-source global network with no central authority controlling it. It uses “scrypt” as proof of work.

Cardano (ADA) – Cardano reportedly plans to become the financial operating system of the world by creating decentralized financial products. It also is designed to provide solutions for chain interoperability, legal contract tracing, voter fraud, and other purposes. One of the founding members of Ethereum, Charles Hoskinson, created Cardano.

Polkadot (DOT) – Polkadot aims at delivering interoperability between other blockchains. Designed to connect permissioned and permissionless blockchains – including oracles – it allows systems to work together under a single roof. Unlike Ethereum, Polkadot offers developers built-in security. Gavin Wood, another member of the Ethereum team, created Polkadot.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – A split in Bitcoin led to the creation of BCH in 2017. The split occurred mainly due to the scalability issue. While the Bitcoin network puts a cap on the size of blocks at one megabyte (MB), BCH offers a block size of eight MB. Due to its bigger space, the transaction speed of BCH increases since larger blocks can hold more transactions within them. 

Stellar (XLM) – Designed to provide enterprise solutions, Stellar is an open blockchain network connecting financial institutions facilitating larger transactions. It eliminates or reduces the cost and decreases the transaction time substantially for substantial transactions between banks and investment firms. The native currency of Stellar is Lumens (XLM), and individuals can also use the blockchain. It allows cross-border transactions between any currencies.

Chainlink – Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that connects smart contracts like Ethereum to the data outside of it.  Among its many uses, Chainlink can help monitor water supplies for pollution or illegal siphoning.

Binance Coin (BNB) – This is a utility cryptocurrency used as a payment procedure for the fees associated with trading on the Binance Exchange. People who use the token for the exchange can get a discount. Binance’s decentralized exchange operates on Binance Coin’s blockchain platform. Based on trading volumes, it is one of the most widely used exchanges in the world.

Tether (USDT) – Tether is a popular Stablecoin that tries to attach its market value to a currency or other external reference point to diminish volatility. The price of Tether is directly linked to the price of the US dollar. People find it easy to convert this digital currency to the actual physical currency.

Monero (XMR) – Launched in 2014, Monero is an open-source, secure, private, untraceable cryptocurrency that has garnered significant interest among the cryptography community. Monero is a totally donation-based and community-driven cryptocurrency. Its main focus is on decentralization and scalability, and it uses the “ring signature” technique to keep its transactions secure and private.

Dogecoin – This cryptocurrency started as a joke in 2013, but has garnered interest after people such as Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and Snoop Dogg gave it public attention.

Security Benefits and Risks

Blockchain technology has the potential to bring about major changes in the security industry. It not only helps drive digital currency exchange, but can also offer security solutions in general to address global security challenges.

From double spending and data security to cross-border transactions, currency reproductions, and frauds, blockchain technology can help address major challenges associated with digital transactions.

Here are some of the security benefits and risks associated with this technology:

It can protect sensitive records and authenticate the identity of a user – It can particularly help the banking sector. It is easy to spot data manipulation with the help of blockchain technology. The banks can think beyond asymmetric encryption and caching in public keys. Blockchain technology allows the authentication of users and devices without password protection. Due to its decentralized network, it becomes easy to generate consensus between different parties for verification, which happens through blockchain-based SSL certificates. The distributed and decentralized network ensures that no data breaches take place.

It increases structural security of IoT devices – Some block-less distributed ledgers help enhance the structural security of IoT devices. Devices here can recognize and interact with each other in a peer-to-peer manner, and there is no need for a third-party authority. With two-factor authentication also present, you get improved security with no risk of forgery.

It can secure all your internal communications Content security is vital for both large and small enterprises. Data leaks and cyber espionage can affect every organization. Despite end-to-end encryption, sensitive information can still leak because it does not cover the metadata. But in the case of blockchain technology, the metadata remains scattered in the distributed ledger. It does not collect at one centralized point, making data leaks impossible to occur.

No need for passwords – Blockchain technology can authenticate users and devices – therefore, there is no need for a password. There is no room for human error because blockchain technology can authenticate users and devices, preventing any potential attack.

Privacy and security of digital chats – With takers increasing by the day, messenger services like Facebook Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp, Alipay, etc., can use blockchain technology to improve their privacy and security. As cases of data breaches increase, mobile security is an issue that cannot be ignored. Since no single source can control or censor blockchain-decentralized networks, it is extremely secure. Scattered metadata provides another security layer to the communication. Moreover, since you don’t need to link your email addresses or telephone numbers, it increases your privacy.

Blockchain technology can prevent identity theft, provide protection against data tampering and protect your critical infrastructure.

Blockchain technology has also paved the way for a future of smart contracts. Smart contracts (digital contracts) allow you to exchange money, shares, property, etc., transparently with no middleman.

However, every new technology has some concerns, and blockchain technology is no exception. Mass adoption and security are two areas of major concern. Cryptocurrency is the latest on the block in the fintech industry, and there are security and legal concerns here, as well.

As adoption of cryptocurrencies increase across industries, more security features are coming up to secure the transactions. People are trying to learn how cryptocurrencies can help in areas other than the financial sector.

Also, issues like compliance, regulations, and enforcement are among the matters that still need attention. For example, regulatory and compliance issues such as KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) laws need more clarity. However, as the adoption rate increases, the technology can address these issues.

Irrespective of the industry you belong to, it is crucial to do everything you can to keep your company secrets safe and secure from prying eyes. DocuServe specializes in offering industry-leading solutions for keeping your digital content safe. Our secure document and rich media sharing app can reduce the risk of data exposure. With DocuServe, you can easily control content distributed to employees, vendors, and potential customers. Contact us to learn more.


The Rise of Multi-Factor Authentication

With data breaches increasing by the day, cybersecurity is an essential protection that businesses and individuals cannot afford to ignore any longer. Unless you and your employees take the necessary precautions, your company information and crucial data are at serious risk. Most companies, both large and small, are now understanding the importance of putting in place security layers to keep their data safe.

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is one such method. Using multi-factor authentication can help reduce business security risks. While many businesses have started using MFA (also known as MFA 2FA) to enhance their security, some still need to understand why it is needed. Let us, therefore, take you through what multi-factor authentication is, types of authentication factors and why your business needs it.

What is multi-factor authentication?

Although it initially sounds complex, most of us have used multi-factor authentication in one form or another. For example, when you swipe your bank card in an ATM and then enter your PIN, it is a case of MFA. When you sign into a website, and it sends you a numeric code on your phone, which you need to enter to access your account, is another example of MFA.

Multi-factor authentication involves two steps. In the first step, you provide a username and password, which leads you to the second step – in which you provide your credentials to log into your account. Your credentials can be any one of the following:

  • A passcode – you receive a verification code on your mobile phone, which you need to enter to access your account.
  • A personal security question – you need to answer this question to log into your account. It could be your place of birth or the name of your pet.
  • Your biometric detail – it could be either facial recognition or your fingerprint.

MFA enhances security because you put in information from two sources. For this reason, it is crucial to understand that entering two different passwords in and of itself is not multi-factor authentication.

For example, if you log into your bank account where MFA is in place, you will need to complete the following process. The first step is to type in your user name and password. To complete the second step, you need to enter the passcode you receive from an authenticator app on your mobile phone. When you complete these two steps, only then can you log into your account. The additional layer improves your security.

If you are using the same device, the process of 2FA becomes easier for you because MFA will remember your device. If you use the same phone or computer to log into your account, the site remembers your device in the second step. 2FA enhances your security and makes it more difficult for criminals to access and steal the information.

Types of Authentication Factors

Before you opt for 2FA, it is vital to understand the types of authentication factors. Authentication factors can be of five types, which consist of the following:

Something you know – It is one of the most commonly used authentication factors, which includes passwords and PINs (personal identification numbers). Chances are, your business might be using this factor already.

Something you have – This form of authentication requires the use of an item, and you need to carry it on your person, like a smartphone, USB drive, personal identity verification (PIV) card or any other hardware token. It works by either verifying your identity or generating a one-time password that expires after use or after some time. You need to generate a new password once it expires.

Something you are – This form of authentication relies on biometrics. It verifies your identity using information unique to you, like your fingerprint, handprint, face, voice, retina, or iris.

Somewhere you are – This form of authentication mainly relies on IP addresses to verify identity. Organizations can limit the geographical area from where someone can access the system – it means you can log in only from the country where they are present. Another option is Media Access Control (MAC) addresses, where only designated computers can access the information and employees cannot log in from any other device.

Something you do – This is the least common authentication factor, where you need to perform some action to access your account. The action here could be a touch or gesture. For example, users can set up a series of interactions with a photo for authentication on Picture Password on Windows 8. You can either draw or click on the photo in a specific order.

Yes, Your Business Needs It

Traditional password protection is not sufficient to keep your sensitive company information safe because cybercriminals can use phishing to get your employee’s username and password. Email accounts are also vulnerable to phishing attacks, where criminals send requests to employees and ask them to change their password or share personal details. The email directs unsuspecting individuals to a website that looks legitimate, but the information you enter on it goes straight to the criminal. The criminal can then access company information through the details entered by the employee. If your company uses single-factor authentication, hackers can easily access your proprietary company information or personal customer data.  But when you have two-factor authentication, most phishing activities become useless because the criminals need another password that they don’t have.

Noncompliance is another issue that companies have to deal with, in which employees try to get around complex passwords. But if you have MFA, it can serve the purpose, as your employees will have to remember only one complex password.

Here are more reasons why your business needs it:

  • Hackers can crack 90% of passwords in less than six hours.
  • Tech-savvy cybercriminals can test billions of passwords every second.
  • Two-third of individuals use the same password for all their logins.

If you are using any cloud-based software or in your employees log onto a virtual desktop, your business should use multi-factor authentication because MFA can keep your data protected.

Multi-factor authentication does provide another layer of security to your data. But it is crucial to understand that MFA alone cannot protect your company data. If you want your confidential company information to remain safe from cybercriminals, you need to think about content security and mobile security.

And that is where DocuServe comes into the picture. Our content security solution helps businesses in diverse industries to keep their data safe. With DocuServe’s eServe content encryption solution, you can control your content to the last thread. Our secure document solution allows you to share content from anywhere, send multiple file types and rich media, set recipient controls, track viewership – all on the cloud, without software installation.

Our content encryption solution also enhances your mobile security. Many businesses these days encourage the use of BYOD (bring your own device). When workers use personal devices to access company data, you need more security to protect it. Our content security solution enhances mobile security and keeps your data safe. You can use our solution to protect your sales documents and marketing material, internal training manuals and videos, retail and wholesale pricing sheets, on-site and off-site inventory information, HR data and other internal documents, executive-level communications, and more.

Contact us to learn more about our industry-leading solutions.


What Is Data Encryption?

The growing digitization of information has helped businesses in more ways than one. However, this shift brings with it the increasing risk of data breaches – which can result in theft of your customers’ sensitive personal data, and your company’s financial and proprietary data – in addition to leaving your organization vulnerable to numerous other types of cybercrimes.

As we covered in our blog post – “How Costly Could a Data Breach Be?” – this disastrous event can have wide-ranging consequences for businesses of all sizes. Data breaches not only affect your company’s reputation, but can also cause you substantial financial losses.  With regulatory fines, remediation costs and lost business opportunities due to your damaged reputation, data breaches can prove to be a costly affair to handle.

Defining Data Encryption

The main defense in preventing data breaches is through data encryption. This process translates your data into another form or code, rendering it useless for those who don’t have the secret key (decryption key) to read it. Only those who have access to the secret key or password can read your data. While unencrypted data is plaintext, encrypted data is known as ciphertext. Encryption is by far the most effective and popular method used by organizations for data protection. Data encryption is mainly of two types – asymmetric encryption (public key encryption) and symmetric encryption.

Most of your data today remains on computer systems, and you use the internet or other computer networks to transmit your data. Data encryption helps protect your digital data. Modern encryption algorithms have replaced the outdated data encryption standard (DES), which boosts the security of IT systems and communications.

The algorithms not only offer confidentiality, but also drive other key security initiatives like authentication, integrity, and non-repudiation. While authentication verifies the origin of the message, integrity is proof that the message’s content remains unchanged since its origin. Non-repudiation is to make sure that the sender of the message cannot deny sending the message.  

When to Use Encryption

Encryption can help protect the sensitive information of your organization. Generally speaking, there are two contexts when you would use encryption: when it is “in transit” or “at rest.” What “in transit” means is when you send it somewhere else via the internet, email, or any time you want it to be somewhere other than just on your own device. Data is considered “at rest” when it is on the storage media on your device, which could either be an integral part of the device – like the hard drive – or removable, like a thumb drive.

Either in transit or at rest, here are examples of when to use encryption.

To protect your sensitive data if your laptop or other mobile device is stolen – Encryption can help protect your sensitive information and financial details if your laptop, tablet or smartphone is stolen. Without encryption, anyone can gain access to data stored there. A laptop thief is mostly interested in the hardware, but there are occasions when it can land into the hands of someone more interested in stealing the data.

When you send sensitive data online – Any communications or transmitted files are vulnerable to theft or interception when sent via email. In today’s environment, not providing encryption is irresponsible, negligent and will most likely have severe consequences should the data be stolen, exposed or otherwise compromised.

The Different Types of Encryption

Data encryption consists of the following types:

Individual file and folder encryption – This encrypts specific files, folders, and documents. As a business, you can use this method if you store very few documents on the computer. It will at least provide some protection to your sensitive documents.

Volume encryption – This is a notch above the first type. It creates a kind of container that is fully encrypted. Whatever you save or create in this container is encrypted.

Whole disk or full-disk encryption – This is the complete encryption format. You don’t need to save your files or documents in a specific location because all files, documents, folders and volumes are encrypted here. In full-disk encryption, you have to provide an encryption passcode or let the computer read an encryption key from a USB device when you open the computer to unlock the files so that you can use them.

The Take-Home Message

Your company’s data and reputation are too valuable to be left vulnerable to theft or compromise. Finding the right partner to protect your digital assets is essential.

DocuServe is a cloud-based digital data protection company providing services that include cloud-based document management, content encryption and distribution, and digital media replication and encryption to businesses of every size, in every industry. Contact us today to learn about our full range of solutions.


Why Your Business Needs Digital Document Management

To improve communication and collaboration these days, organizations rely on digital file transfers and email. As an organization, you have to share a good amount of information and data with your employees, partners, suppliers and customers across the globe. But you need to ensure that this information remains safe from unauthorized individuals. Unless you take all the necessary precautions to safeguard your proprietary content, it can fall into the wrong hands, compromising the security of your company and those that you do business with.

So, what should you do to keep your company information safe? One way of safeguarding your proprietary content is to implement a document management system (DMS).

What Is Document Management, and Why Does It Matter?

Document management is the process that businesses use to capture, organize, track, and store documents in electronic form – such as PDFs, word processing files and digital images of paper-based content. The Association for Intelligent Information Management (AIIM) defines document management as incorporating document and content capture, workflow, document repositories, output systems and information retrieval systems – as well as the processes used to track, store and control documents.

Document management offers help on many fronts. It provides security, easy access, total control, centralized storage space, audit trails and convenient search and retrieval of all your documents. 

Many organizations these days have to manage their paper and digital information. Your company information could be anywhere – paper documents, electronic files, scanned files, spreadsheets, and images. You could be storing these documents in filing cabinets, on public or private networks, hard drives, shared drives, and emails. When your company information resides in so many formats and so many places, it can pose several challenges.

From damaged or lost files, errors, and redundancies to wasting precious office space for storage, you have to tackle many issues. Also, searching for valuable information at any given point in time is yet another issue that organizations face when they don’t manage their documents properly. It is crucial to understand that managing documents smartly and properly is vital from a legal perspective, as well.

When you opt for a document management platform, it can sort out most of your problems. It integrates all your documents in one place, gives you total control over them, makes access and retrieval of documents easy, increases the security of your documents and above all, lowers your cost of operations.

According to business.com, “… any organization that requires the structured storage and retrieval of documents can benefit from investing in a document management system (DMS). Not only does it save time and money, but it provides tracking for sensitive documents, showing who has accessed them, when and any actions that were performed on the document. This kind of tracking gives DMS software its greatest value and appeal, protecting organizations from lawsuits, fines and penalties.” 

Therefore, the sooner you implement a document management system, the better it is for your organization.

What Is a Document Management System?

A document management system is software that automates and facilitates the process of storing, managing, and tracking all your electronic documents and images of paper documents. Initially, DMS was mainly used to convert paper documents into digital documents; hence, it was also known as an electronic filing cabinet. However, the present-day DMS is much more than that. 

With a DMS in place, you can capture, digitize, and tag documents easily and quickly. Your DMS can also manage channel workflows, output systems, and document retrieval.

There are three main functions of a document management system – to capture, store, and distribute documents. A DMS performs these functions for the following purposes:

It captures documents from any source – A DMS should capture a document from any source – paper, email, CRM and all other applications, and index them so that you can conveniently retrieve them when you want. Indexing helps classify a document by adding terms to its metadata like tags, customer information or order numbers. There are different ways of capturing different documents.

Paper documents – You need high-speed scanners to capture paper documents. A DMS receives the documents from the scanner, which you can then index by ERP integration, OCR, barcoding or by hand.

Emails – Document capture from email is essential because businesses receive many documents in this manner. When you have a DMS, it allows you to automatically import and place email messages or attachments in the folders you want.

External applications – You also have to store documents that are in your customer relationship management (CRM) system or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. With a DMS, you can import these documents and store them where you want to, or share them with others in your organization.

Centralized storage of documents – Another important function that a DMS can perform for your organization is to store all your documents in one central place – allowing your employees easy access.

Also, having a centralized space to store your documents provides protection against errors and malicious intent. You get version control in a DMS that tracks the changes made to a document and identifies the person who made those changes. A DMS also allows you to set permissions to control who can access which document and who can make what type of changes.

Retrieval and distribution of documents – Another important task that a document management system can do for you easily is retrieval and distribution of documents. Since you index your documents, it allows you to retrieve any document with a keyword quickly and conveniently.

Once you retrieve a document, you can share it with anyone the way you want. You can share it through email or file transfer protocol (FTP). It also automates manual business processes and workflows. For example, you can integrate your DMS with your ERP so that when you receive an order in your ERP, it automates the approval and fulfillment workflow process.

What Features Does a DMS offer?

To understand how a DMS can help you, it is crucial to know what features a DMS offers. Here are some of them:

Document storage – You can archive your documents in a single place, which makes retrieval, sharing, and storage simpler, easier and quicker. When you centralize the process, you can access the documents without any hassles. 

Security and access control – You can avoid unauthorized access by putting in place role-based permissions for file entry. Some software programs can restrict IP addresses as well. It means only those who have the authority can view, open, and modify your important files.

Version control – You don’t need to create multiple copies of the same document because of version control. You get to see all the versions of the document, which means you remain in total control of your documents.

Classification and indexing – You can index and classify your files for quick and easy retrieval with a specific keyword.

Bulk upload – A DMS allows you to upload documents in bulk. You don’t have to upload them one by one.

PDF document editor – A DMS allows you to adjust and modify a PDF file easily and quickly. You can add text, textbox, date, and check bar for customizations. Also, you can eliminate typos with an online spell checker.

White labeling – You can do your company’s branding as well because a DMS allows you to set up your color, theme, and logo to convey your brand’s image. It makes your company look more professional.

Mobile apps – You can access your files on mobile devices as well. It simplifies image capture and makes uploads easy.

File synchronization – You can sync online files with your stored documents, which helps you share updated files with your team members. 

Audit trail – You can pull out detailed reports on the path that the file has taken in its lifecycle. You know the name of the user, the date and time of access to the file, the changes made to the file and the comments added by the user.   

If you are looking for a secure content distribution and protection solution, DocuServe is an industry-leading cloud-based document management system that can keep your digital content safe. We can help you improve the productivity and efficiency of your employees and streamline your processes. Contact us today to learn more.


Cybersecurity in the Remote Workplace

Cybersecurity issues have been around for quite some time. Most organizations have put in place security layers to reduce or eliminate the risk of data breaches. But all of that was when offices used to function in the traditional way – unlike in the “new normal” world that COVID-19 brought about, in which many employees now work from home.

Yes, the coronavirus pandemic has turned things upside down. It is not as if remote work is a new concept. Companies were flexible with remote work set-ups, but were certainly not prepared when a majority of the staff needed to work at home.

Making home a remote workplace is a challenge from several standpoints. And security – or cybersecurity, to be more precise – is one such challenge that needs addressing.

Pandemic Affects Security Needs

As a business, you need to understand how the pandemic affects security needs. Businesses need to factor in the security issues that are imminent with telework and mobile security. With the current situation unlikely to change in the near future, it is in your interest to implement security measures to keep your company’s data – and that of your customers’ – secure, while maintaining the productivity of your employees at the optimum level.

It is, therefore, crucial that business take into account the rising risks of security breaches. To create continuity plans, businesses need to put in place security measures for mobile and remote computing to reduce or eliminate the threat.

How to improve cybersecurity for remote employees?

A strong company policy that covers every risk area needs to be drawn up and distributed to every employee in your organization. To ensure that everyone understands the measures and to enforce compliance, you should schedule teleconferences for training. There can be no compromise on content security, especially when it comes to your proprietary data. 

Here is how you can improve cybersecurity for your remote employees:

Make sure your remote employees use a VPN – People working from home should use a virtual private network (VPN). Using a VPN not just bypasses geographic restrictions, it also helps improve online privacy. A VPN can encrypt your internet traffic. Therefore, even if someone intercepts your data, they cannot read it. Ask your employees to use a VPN when they are accessing company information.

Tell your employees to use secure Wi-Fi connections only – Most of our home Wi-Fi systems are secure. Ensure that your employees know that it is not safe to use public Wi-Fi networks while accessing company information. Most of the cyberattacks emanate from these places. Make sure your employees don’t use public Wi-Fi while accessing company information. Our blog post – “Is It Safe to Use Open Wi-Fi Hotspots?” – covers this important issue in detail. Spoiler alert: No.

Change the password of your home router – Ask your employees whether they have changed their home routers password after installation. Many people don’t bother to change the password, which makes their home network vulnerable to cyberattacks. Also, ask your employees to install firmware updates to patch security vulnerabilities.

Make sure your employees use strong passwords – Tell your employees to use strong passwords. Many people still use the same password for several accounts, although it leaves their devices vulnerable to hacking. Also tell your employees not to use the “remember password” feature while accessing company data.

Make sure your employees use two-factor authentication – Some cyber attackers are smart enough to break strong passwords. That is why adding a second layer of security like two-factor authentication and a two-step verification process can help avert many cyberattacks. You can opt for email or text message confirmation, or use facial recognition or a fingerprint scanner.

Back up your important data – Make sure you back up all your important files. In case of an attempted breach, you need to have your data secure somewhere, and the best and most cost-effective place to keep your data safe is the cloud.

Make sure you have firewalls – Writing for Cybereason, Sean Mooney recommends the following

“Firewalls act as a line of defense to prevent threats from entering your company’s system. They create a barrier between your employees’ devices and the internet by closing ports to communication. This can help prevent malicious programs’ entry and can stop data leaking from employees’ devices. Your employees’ device operating systems will typically have a built-in firewall. In addition, hardware firewalls are built into many routers. Just make sure that they are enabled.”

Ensure your employees have antivirus software in place Ensure antivirus is in place and fully updated. Although a firewall can help, threats will inevitably get through. A good, advanced antivirus software can act as the next line of defense by detecting and blocking known malware. Even if malware does manage to find its way onto an employee’s device, an antivirus may be able to prevent it.

Go for end-to-end encryption Make sure your employees share sensitive company information in an encrypted form. Your employees’ devices should have up-to date-encryption tools. The messaging service you use for communication should have end-to-end encryption.

Have a data security policy in place It should be the responsibility of your employees to keep their devices safe if they are working in a public space. The content on their devices can remain secure until the time someone enters the password. You should have a policy in place so that your data remains safe and secure.  

Teach your employees about phishing attacks Train employees how to identify and handle phishing attacks and other forms of social engineering involving remote devices and remote access to company information systems. Employees should be warned to be suspicious of emails from people they don’t know — especially if they are asked to click on a link or open a file. Even emails sent from people they know, but asking for unusual things, should be suspect. Instruct your employees to double check with a phone call when in doubt.

Using personal internet-connected devices for work – The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend was gaining in popularity even before COVID-19. However, as covered in our blog post – “What You Need to Know Before Your Company Adopts BYOD” – there are significant security risks that can leave companies vulnerable to data theft and other cybercrimes. Before your company goes BYOD, be sure you take the necessary risk mitigation measures.

Ask your employees to report security issues Your employees should report suspicious security incidents on a priority basis so that your IT team can act quickly and avert any potential breach.

Don’t forget mobile security

Everyone owns a smartphone or other type of mobile device – at least, those who are part of the working world. Therefore, it is crucial to give due attention to mobile security. According to Wandera, there were 455,121 mobile phishing attacks, 1.9 million Wi-Fi incidents, and 32,846 malware attacks in 2018. Mobile security is crucial, and you need to do everything you can to thwart possible threats. Our blog post – “Mobile Security Threats – Present and Future” – cover this in greater detail.

Here are steps that you can take to improve mobile security:

Endpoint security detection to ward off sophisticated attacks – Hackers these days use sophisticated methods to steal information. Mobile phishing, whaling, pretexting, and baiting are some of the methods that hackers use these days to steal information. 

To prevent these threats, you need to implement endpoint detection. Endpoint detection alerts you about unknown or unauthorized devices that are present on the network. You can then get the matter investigated and bar the device from accessing your network.

Monitoring user behavior – The Wandera report states that 1 million smartphone or tablet lock screens got disabled in 2018, making the job of hackers easy. Moreover, many users don’t even implement lock screen protection on their devices.

If your employees lose any of their devices, it can increase the risk of data theft. Monitoring user behavior is important because it can tell you when the user usually uses the device. And if you see unusual activity on your employees’ devices, you can lock the device out of your network to avert a data breach.

Bar user access to those who don’t need it – People often change jobs. The moment someone leaves your organization, make sure you remove them from your network so that they cannot access your company information. Leaving these endpoints open can increase your chances of data theft.

Educate your employees – If your employees are using mobile devices of their own, teach them best practices for mobile device security. When you educate your employees, they are more likely to keep their devices protected. Teach them about strong lock screen codes, facial scanning and why they need to update their devices. You can also consider using Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Mobile Application Management (MAM) as these solutions can keep your employees’ mobile devices secure.

Solid Cybersecurity Solution for Today’s Work Environment

Fortunately, adapting to the new normal of remote work need not leave your organization vulnerable to cybercriminals and data loss – not to mention the substantial loss in revenue and reputation suffered after successful data breaches. DocuServe has the industry experience and solutions to protect company data, keeping employees productive without risking data loss. Our eServe encryption solution provides content security in the cloud, mobile access, security at rest and in motion, encrypted data security, remote wipe and much more.

Contact us to learn how DocuServe can be the ideal solution for your company’s move to the brave new normal world.


Remote Employee Training and Development

The ongoing COVID -19 pandemic has disrupted life in profound ways. It has changed the way we interact, shop and work. It has also changed how businesses conduct their activities. With social distancing norms in place, many companies have asked their employees to work from home. Although a trend toward working remotely had been growing even before COVID-19, companies had to quickly make arrangements for their employees to move out of the main office into the home office.

Among the numerous logistical issues for companies to address has been remote employee training and development. Remote training is not an easy fix. It is crucial to understand that remote working presents a lot of challenges – technology, distractions, staying organized and various other factors. However, remote working offers several benefits.

To make remote training effective, we will look at how you need to train remote employees, the benefits of remote training and why you need to document everything.

How to train remote employees during COVID-19

Unless you give your employees the requisite training, it could be difficult for them to adapt to the work-from-home model. To ease the transition for your workforce, it is crucial to know how to train remote employees. HR Daily Advisor provides some valuable tips.

Provide advanced training to your employees – While it may seem too late if your employees are already working from home, the current crisis is not likely to be the last or only time companies need to shift staff to remote work arrangements. Advanced training while employees are still on-site can give them the tools and skills they need to succeed in a remote environment. For those now working remotely, providing a broad overview of available online tools and strategies will set them up for success with subsequent training programs.

Teach your employees time management and how to organize themselves – Everyone can’t excel in the work-from-home model. Time management and staying organized are the two main challenges that remote workers face. Some who are good at this in the office might struggle when they work from home – especially when they deal with such distractions as children and day-to-day domestic demands. Provide any necessary resources and support to help them cope.

Share remote communication etiquette with your employees – You need to make your employees understand that dealing with people virtually is no different from in-person dealings in the office. Establish etiquette standards for video conference calls – such as not shouting, and the need to dress appropriately.

Make sure training resources are accessible remotely e-learning is an extremely potent tool for remote workers. According to Kimberly Cassady, chief talent officer at Cornerstone, companies should provide online access to learning and development materials. Your L&D materials should also include how to make remote learning more effective.

“For example, if your organization has adopted a more flexible work from home policy, a learning course on how to stay productive when working remotely can help employees manage their tasks and stay engaged. Meanwhile, online courses about stress management and mindfulness can help employees navigate worrisome situations – while simultaneously equipping them with important soft skills for the future of work.”

Look after the emotional health of your employees – You do need to train your remote employees on technology, logistics and adapting their work ethic. But it is important to understand that you should also address their mental and emotional well-being.

According to Peter Jackson, CEO of software company Bluescape, “Loneliness and depression are major pain points for remote workers, and those that are new to working from home can be negatively impacted by the sudden drop-off in social interaction. This can lead to a breakdown in collaboration and productivity, especially as those who are used to face-to-face meetings struggle to identify how to establish those same connections virtually.”

To overcome this hurdle, you need to focus on building team culture. You can start your virtual meeting by interacting with your team members on a personal note. For example, you can ask how they feel about the remote work environment, or simply general day-to-day questions. When you interact with them on a personal level, you can get to know how they are feeling, and address early signs of burnout or disengagement.

Benefits of remote training

You can conduct remote training in various ways, such as e-learning courses, instructor-led face-to-face training over the web, webinars, customized podcasts, etc. There are several benefits of remote training, which include the following:

Affordability In traditional training, you need the instructor as well as the trainees to be present in the same room. You either need to bring all your employees to a particular geographical location or pay the instructor to visit your office or any other preferred location. However, that is not the case in a remote training setting. Employees and instructor/s can join in from wherever they are, making remote training more affordable.

Availability of resources Regardless of your location, you can get the best trainers in the world to instruct your employees. You don’t have to bother about visa issues and programming conflicts. In traditional training, you have to call the trainer to your physical location

Convenience – In traditional training, you need to follow a strict routine because you have to meet the trainers face-to-face. External problems like travel issues, inclement weather or any other emergency can hamper the training schedule.

The need to document everything

There is no doubt that remote training can prove to be useful for the development and growth of your employees. However, when it comes to remote training, make sure you document everything.

If your organization has only one person in charge of training, that person’s knowledge about your training programs leaves when they leave your organization. Documentation is essential to keep your programs and materials accessible to subsequent employees who fill that position.

Document all your training processes and store them in a centralized place where more people from your organization have access to your training materials. Make sure all your documents, slide presentations and videos are marked so that people other than your primary trainer can assume the duties if necessary.

When it comes to training documentation, security is always a priority. After all, training materials comprise your company’s valuable intellectual property. As most training materials and programs are now in digital format, you need a robust solution to keep them secure from theft or compromise by disgruntled former employees, competitors and cybercriminals.

DocuServe is a cloud-based digital data protection company providing services that include cloud-based document management, content encryption and distribution, and digital media replication and encryption to businesses in every industry. Contact us today to learn about our full range of solutions. 


The Key Responsibilities Between Project and Product Management

An organization has many verticals, and each of them has a well-defined role to play in its smooth functioning. For example, you have salespeople looking after selling, HR personnel working as administrators, account people overseeing the financial aspects, and learning and development staff taking care of corporate training.

Likewise, an organization can also have project management and product management verticals. We’ll walk you through the difference between these roles, their demand in today’s company structure, and the keys for success between project and product management.

So, what is the difference?

Product managers and project managers often work in tandem, but their roles are different. One is responsible for building the product, while the other is responsible for executing the project.

Product managers work in close association with marketing, sales, and customers, and are responsible for the research and evolution of the product. They set the direction of the product. However, project managers take their cue from the product direction and execute the vision. They ensure that the product is delivered on time and meets the product’s goals.

Put simply, product managers are accountable for the “why” and “what” of developing a product, and project managers are accountable for the “when” and “how.” Their roles are different, but they work closely to make sure that the product develops and reaches the market on time and within the set guidelines of the company.

The scope of work is another major difference that sets product managers apart from project managers. While project managers have to start and finish their given project in a fixed timeframe, the product managers stay with the product throughout the product’s lifecycle. From the developmental stage and launch of the product to client feedback, updates, and improvement, product managers stay with the product at every stage of the product’s lifetime.

Product managers also have to coordinate with other teams – such as sales, marketing and customer service. They are also responsible for networking with potential beta and trail users to take valuable feedback. Conversely, project managers mostly work internally and ensure that the project remains on track.

As for the educational qualifications, it is not essential to have a technical or engineering background to become a product manager, but project managers mostly come from a technical background, such as engineering, development or design to oversee the projects effectively.

To have a successful product team, you need to ensure that your product and project teams work together harmoniously. When they work in unison, you can expect to get a better product.

Both are in demand

Both product managers and project managers are in demand. According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the demand over the next 10 years for project managers is growing faster than demand for workers in other occupations. Organizations, however, face risks from this talent gap.

In the 11 countries studied by Anderson Economic Group (AEG) for the PMI-commissioned talent gap analysis, they found that excellent jobs and career growth opportunities exist for project managers. The project management-oriented workforce in seven project-oriented sectors is likely to grow by 33 percent for a projected total of 22 million new jobs through 2027.

The report also points out that project managers are valuable contributors to productivity. In case there is a talent shortage in this profession, it can create risks of around USD208 billion in GDP by 2027 in the 11 countries analyzed.

Key to success between project and product management

As mentioned earlier, if you want great results, your project and product teams should closely work in tandem. The key to success between project and product management lies in coordination.

According to Chris Bolick, Northeastern University assistant academic specialist for project management, successful project managers should have the following qualities:

High emotional intelligence – “This is a critical skill for project managers, who need to be able to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Emotions drive our behavior and the emotions of those whom with we’re interacting. Recognizing emotions and actively engaging with others is the key to building effective project teams.” 

In emotionally-charged scenarios like handling challenging personalities, dealing with setbacks, or taking and giving feedback, an emotionally intelligent project manager can help resolve most of the issues positively as well as productively.

Should have a nimble mind – “Project management involves dealing with ambiguity, such as translating a grand idea without a lot of details behind it into a real plan. Project managers need to be comfortable communicating with everyone from company leaders to colleagues to indirect project contributors. For example, they may interview stakeholders and need to go back to ask for clarification, and can’t be afraid to ask for that from a senior-level executive.”

Project managers need to be ethical – “Another key element of project management is learning to manage ethically within an organization. Project management is all about ethically delivering on expectations. At times this may not be the easiest path, but it is important for project management practitioners to do what is right and honorable; this will establish trust and credibility within the organization.”

They need to be great listeners –“Most projects that fail do so because of poor communication. There is tremendous value in having people who are mindful of how to be an influencer and communicator and how to deal with ambiguity. Those skills are critical, particularly for large-scale projects where many of the details have not yet been fleshed out. People often think communicating is only about talking, yet listening is just as important.”

They need to be persistent – “The project management field isn’t for someone who is timid. You’re responsible for pulling together resources, motivating team members, addressing conflicts, engaging stakeholders, and maintaining control of the project plan. Hardly a day that goes by where there is a routine schedule. Most of the day is spent communicating with others and problem-solving.”

How it all comes together – the need for content distribution security

For the product manager and project manager – as well as everyone in your organization – keeping your company’s valuable data secure is essential. Our blog post – “What Are Document Management Systems Used For?” provides a good introduction to the benefits of digitally organizing your office records.

Again, organizations succeed based on the efforts of multiple teams. Cloud-based collaboration tools, digital file transfers, and email are all relied upon to bring teams together in order to communicate and complete projects. In addition to this type of information sharing, companies frequently need to share information with partners, customers and suppliers across town and around the world.

However, the information that is being shared isn’t always for public consumption. For many companies, their proprietary systems and plans are their most valuable assets. From trade secrets to product designs to product launch information, this digital content needs to be secure.

DocuServe is an industry-leading cloud-based document management system that can keep your digital content safe. We can help you improve the productivity and efficiency of your employees and streamline your processes. Contact us today to learn more.


What Are Document Management Systems Used For?

In the not-so-distant past, businesses had to dedicate a substantial portion of their office space for storing office records and documents. Archiving and storing paper records was the only option available to keep their business processes organized. But with the advent of digitization, companies now have the option of organizing all of their records and documents properly, systematically and painlessly.  

With a document management system (DMS) in place, you don’t have to put up filing cabinets throughout your office. You can store all your paper records and documents safely and securely in one single space digitally in your document management system. A DMS not only organizes your office records, but also improves the accessibility of every single document in your organization.  

So, what are document management systems used for? We’ll look at what a DMS is, its main components and its numerous benefits.

What is a document management system?

Managing records efficiently is a prerequisite for companies of every size. You either have the option of manually filing your paper documents or use the modern technology of a DMS. While manual record-keeping is costlier, time-consuming and cumbersome, digital record-keeping is simpler, efficient, systematic and more cost-effective. Document management software can solve most of your record-keeping woes.

Simply put, a DMS is an electronic filing cabinet that can organize all your digital and paper documents. It is a system that allows you to receive, track, monitor, manage and store documents and reduce the use of paper. The system allows you to keep records of various versions created and modified by different users.

You can scan and upload hard copies of your documents directly into your document management system. Users can enter metadata and tags into their document management systems to organize the stored files.

Typically, document management systems have a built-in search engine that makes accessing files easy, even from the most extensive document libraries. Storing and sorting documents is not the only benefit a document management system offers. A DMS also helps you keep all your sensitive company information safe and secure because it has permission settings, which means only authorized persons can access the information.

Important components of a document management system

The traditional form of capturing and storing paper documents is costly because it requires manual processing. In addition, needs for storage space increase over time, with some organizations requiring warehouses to free up office space in the main building. Other issues include the following:

  • Human error – such as misplaced documents
  • Retrieval issues
  • Risk of physical damage to the documents – such as fire, flooding, accidental disposal or deliberate malicious destruction

DMS software was developed in the 1980s. With scanning technology established, organizations could digitize paper documents and store and track them easily online. However, much has changed for DMS since its creation. It has now evolved and expanded to include such additional features as security, workflow and auditing.

Around the world, organizations are taking advantage of online document management tools. Apart from cost reduction, the biggest advantage a DMS offers is the storage capacity of the server. You don’t need physical space to store your important documents – no warehouse or filing cabinets required. You can store all your documents online and retrieve them whenever needed.

Here are some of the important components of a document management system.

Metadata – Metadata is assigned to each document in a DMS. Metadata includes all the relevant information about the document – when it was stored (date), title and description of the document.

Indexing, retrieval, and search – These features allow users to locate documents and information with the help of document identifiers, metadata and content.

Security – The security features protect your information, and also supports compliance. Administrators can put in controls in place so only those who have permission can access documents.

Workflow – Administrators can create rules that determine the flow of documents within the organization.

Collaboration – A DMS allows multiple users to view and modify documents simultaneously. The system monitors document changes and history.

Versioning – Most DMS solutions allow users to retrieve the previous version of a document. The system also allows users to continue working from a designated point. Versioning is a vital feature that allows you to change and update documents as needed.

Benefits of a document management system

The benefits of document management software include optimized document handling, improved data accessibility, streamlined file searches and lower document management costs. Such tools will allow you to better control the security of your company’s files while improving collaboration by making data sharing easy.

Here are some of the major benefits of a document management system.

Cost reduction – When you can locate, update and collaborate documents from a centralized repository, it simplifies the process, reduces manual intervention in locating the document, minimizes human errors, decreases space requirement for storing documents and saves a significant amount of time, thereby reducing your overall costs.

Improves data security – Most DMS solutions provide robust security. You get configurable access options that you can set up according to your security needs. Highly regulated businesses need to especially protect their data for a number of reasons – including protection of end-users and from company liability.

Improves collaboration – A DMS brings all of your departments and stakeholders on one single platform. When everyone is on the same page, it eliminates data silos and supports teamwork, thereby improving collaboration. When people work as a single unit, it increases their productivity, which is bound to enhance your profits.

You can make your office paperless – Using paper is neither good for the environment, nor ultimately beneficial for the financial health of your organization. So, if you want to become a paperless office, DMS can help you achieve your goals. A DMS allows you to transform all of your paper documents into electronic assets. It not only makes sorting, storing and accessing these documents easier, but also means that you can use your office space for more meaningful – and profitable – purposes.

If you are looking for a secure content distribution and protection solution, DocuServe is an industry-leading cloud-based document management system that can keep your digital content safe. We can help you improve the productivity and efficiency of your employees and streamline your processes. Contact us today to learn more.


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