Going paperless? Consider three security questions first...

by Gavin Franks, General Manager: Enterprise Business, Telefónica UK

I’m looking at my desk and, despite my laptop, my tablet and my phone, it’s still scattered with notebooks, print-outs and Post-it Notes. Seeing this, the idea of a totally paperless office seems odd. But it’s inevitable, and it’s not a bad or difficult thing. Offices are going digital and it’s going to bring a whole host of productivity and mobility benefits.

Leading the way right now is the NHS – aiming to be paperless by 2018. A lofty ambition, but even if they don’t hit their target, they’re still doing innovative things that organisations in the private sector can learn from. Your organisation needs to be ready to reap the benefits of going paperless and you need to be asking the right questions – especially around security.

1) Do you have control over your critical data?

With digitised data being shared more easily and accessed faster, data security is crucial. This has a positive effect on your productivity, but you need to be sure that everything is securely stored when you’re eliminating the paper files and folders.

Like everything in life, there should be a balance. Your employees need to be able to access the data, but this access also needs to be controlled to prevent accidental loss or a cyber-attack. Tricky, but ‒ with the right cloud applications, encryption and Mobile Device Management solutions ‒ doable.

2) Do you know where threats are coming from and how to stop them?

Threat is all around. It could be coming from outside your organisation, or inside. Reactive security solutions are outdated and can’t cope with today’s environment, yet the adoption of active defence solutions is slow. Not enough organisations are using ongoing insight to keep themselves protected. Moving to digital gives you more threat visibility, but it also comes with a burden of responsibility – you’ve got to understand your security needs from top to bottom to avoid any nasty surprises.

Our own cyber security solution aims to tackle these issues by providing a consolidated and centralised point of security consultancy. Support comes from a variety of local and global experts – specialising in areas like hacking, fraud, and emerging trends in cyber-attacks.

3) How much do you know about your current infrastructure?

You also need to question how well you know your current systems, and the key word here is “integrate”. Your existing backend systems should be able to align with your new paperless solution seamlessly, securely and cost-effectively.

I’ve found that a service that utilises storage, security and caching to shift the existing complexity to the cloud is key to aligning mobile clients and enterprise systems. A paperless office is all about flexibility, so a solution that allows you to set your own levels of security, encryption and log-on access is essential.

A paperless office is an office full of potential. It also presents new security challenges. If you think you’re ready to ditch the printing, the pads and the pages – just consider those three questions first.

Visit our website for more information on O2’s Managed Mobility solutions.