It seems like every day there’s a new story in the media about sensitive data getting in to the wrong hands. Headlines around companies or government bodies leaking a customer database or client details. An organization suspicious that its documents are under surveillance from a government body. With so much talk about risks handling confidential documents, customers are questioning the processes companies have in place when sharing sensitive documents – especially outside of the organization. And it’s not just what’s on the page or on the spreadsheet that can be exposed by snooping or loss. We’re hearing the word “metadata” more and more.
That awareness of the risks is actually encouraging. But, what to do about that risk is what’s key. And as the leaders in metadata cleaning and document security, Workshare is very interested in helping companies understand metadata – and providing options to eliminate those risks.
WHAT IS METADATA?
Metadata includes hidden data that resides inside every document that we created (and potentially send outside our company). It exists as hidden details about who originally created the document, track changes and review comments in a Word document, or even financial information that has been hidden but left behind a chart in an Excel sheet. It’s a pretty scary thought but within just one view of what was never intended to be seen outside, a company’s reputation and competitive advantage can be exposed and forever damaged.
Do you know how members of your team share files? Do you have a definitive way to remove metadata before it’s shared? If the answer to one of these is no, then you are running a high risk of exposing sensitive information, and once leaked, there’s often no way to recall it or gain back control.
However, stripping metadata doesn’t need to change the way people work. If anything, it can enhance a user’s experience and allow them to work safely from anywhere, using any device.
Example scenario: A lawyer working in Law Firm A is the author of a draft legal contract in Word and is about to share it with lawyers in Law Firm B. The lawyers in firm B modify the document to take into account their client’s requirements. With Workshare’s secure file transfer features, the owner has the option to automatically and selectively remove metadata. As the document is attached to an email, the user is notified of all hidden metadata and is provided with a series of options with how to deal with it, including converting to PDF, sending via a secure link, or even leaving it in.
Having full control over what information is shared, and with who, ensures that sensitive information within documents doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. This saves the organization not just a client or an expensive lawsuit, but in many cases, its reputation.
Watch a demo to see how metadata can be stripped easily in just two-clicks.