Strategic IT Solutions for an Agile Workflow
Image source: Adobe Stock Premium Collection / Blend Images.
by Colin van Oosterhout
posted on 07-12-2018
Most of us remember Y2K—the millennial bug that threatened to shut down the Internet because of one small flaw: a two-digit space for the year rather than the four digits that would be needed once we passed from 1999 into 2000. Not to worry, however. While the media beat the drums of digital doom, technologists set about modifying the code that supported our networks and computers, and we ticked safely into the new millennium.
Bugs like this seem almost quaint today: nothing malicious, just an unexpected glitch in a technology that grew faster than its creators expected. Yet still, we expect our IT experts to lead the way, scouting ahead for glitches, keeping our workflows agile, and paving the way to our digital transformation.
Maintaining an on-the-go workforce
Consider this scenario: You’re combing through emails on your tablet late at night, trying to get a head start on the next day’s work. You open up a document sent by a coworker. It contains all kinds of sensitive (not to mention proprietary) information that’s vital to your company’s bottom line.
The next day, your tablet gets infected with malware. Or you leave it on the train. Or you accidentally attach that document to the wrong outgoing email.
In all of these cases, you’ve just unwittingly exposed private data to the outside world, putting your job and your entire organisation at risk. Oops. What to do? You reset your passwords and alert your IT department. They should be able to fix it, right?
Unfortunately, scenarios like this play out all the time. As bring your own device (BYOD) policies become more prevalent and employees look for ways to collaborate and work on the go, organisations from all industries are seeing their private, sensitive, and proprietary information fall into the wrong hands.
Fortunately, however, technology is keeping pace, with forward-thinking brands investing in proactive solutions. Your brand would be wise to follow suit, because even if you haven’t dealt with a data security breach just yet, it’s safe to assume you will (and likely sooner than you think).
Protecting data outside your walls
Many decision-makers assume that BYOD policies are to blame for growing data breaches. After all, without those unauthorised tablets and smartphones accessing your network, the data wouldn’t have been at risk in the first place, right?
In reality, BYOD policies have the potential to save organisations thousands of dollars (or more) every year, cutting down on IT and equipment costs and improving overall worker efficiency. And although password-protecting every document and inch of your network could prevent future mishaps, it would also threaten that very efficiency that BYOD enables, hindering your workflow and slowing down every employee and every task across your organisation.
Rather than setting blanket password permissions or taking away device flexibility, companies can use strategic IT solutions to streamline, manage, and protect their documents. Consider, for example, the recent steps Austrian company Raiffeisen Informatik took to protect its data—without interrupting workflow.
The company has implemented IT solutions and best practices that allows them to:
- Set data classes for documents, thereby restricting who can access and view them
- Predefine security settings, so documents can’t be opened, printed, or modified by unauthorised parties
- Redact information and remove sensitive data when using documents in nonconfidential settings
- Add watermarks to documents to discourage printing and distribution
- Manage digital identities and set select password permissions by document class
- Ensure documents are created, edited, and modified securely with sandboxing technology that prevents malware attacks and enforces company-wide security standards
Raiffeisen Informatik also established clear and straightforward internal rules to guide employees in day-to-day document and data protection. And most importantly, the company was able to do all this without altering its BYOD policy or bogging down employees with extra steps or time-consuming processes.
The result was stronger data protection and a more agile, efficient workflow—all made possible with the right technology. As Raiffeisen Informatik’s chief security officer put it, tech helped the organisation “mitigate security risks caused by inconsistent or insufficient document protection without slowing down document processes in everyday business operations.”
Protect data seamlessly
The bottom line is simple: With strategic technologies that digitally identify users, customise access channels and allow document-level data control across devices, today’s organisations can better protect their proprietary information without threatening their employees’ efficacy or efficiency.
As the case of Raiffeisen Informatik shows, these IT solutions can significantly improve how businesses operate in our increasingly connected, digital world. Read more about Informatik’s challenge, and how the company overcame it with technology, in this case study.
Topics: Future of Work, Digital Transformation