Cyberattacks and data breaches are costly affairs for businesses, especially when it comes to contract management. All types of data, including the valuable contract data associated with your company, are vulnerable to unsanctioned access. It can lead to legal, financial, and ethical repercussions for the organizations. Businesses must therefore take extra precautions to safeguard their contract data and related documents.
Contractual agreements are frequently passed back and forth for review, approval, and signing. As a result, it is challenging for organizations to keep track of legal documents, and cybersecurity threats increase exponentially. Furthermore, there is no assurance of the security of the contracts if they reside in various locations throughout the organization. Contract management software enables businesses to strengthen data security throughout the contract lifecycle.
Every business contract an organization executes contains confidential information. It’s a wealth of data vulnerable to cyberattacks, breaches, and leaks. Cybersecurity threats come from both inside and outside the company, especially for third-party contracts. The following are some contract cybersecurity risks that organizations need to be aware of.
One of the most crucial cybersecurity risks is unauthorized access to contract data. The contract management lifecycle typically involves several parties. Manually keeping track of all the contacts is challenging. Hackers may use social engineering, malware, or phishing to access private contract information. Or even unsanctioned access within the organization can lead to data leaks or breaches. It may result in data theft, manipulation, or destruction leading to monetary loss, legal liability, and reputational harm.
Anyone with direct or indirect access to an organization's information or communication technology network, systems, or data is considered an insider threat. It could be a worker, contractor, or business partner. They can misuse that access for improper, impermissible, and possibly illegal purposes. An insider threat security incident could happen in any sector or company. In contract management, insider threats pose contract cybersecurity risks for the company. Employees or contractors with authorized access to contract data can misuse or abuse it for personal gain or malicious purposes. Insider threats can result in data breaches, theft of intellectual property, and other profound repercussions.
Data loss occurs when users or software programs accidentally delete, corrupt, or render data unusable. A data loss event can be intentional or unintentional. Loss of contract data prevents the organization and its parties from accessing some or all valuable contract components. System failures, natural disasters, or cyberattacks are all causes of cybersecurity risks that can result in data loss or corruption. It might lead to the loss of crucial contract data, which might cause monetary loss and legal trouble.
Compliance and data security are interdependent; if a company's systems do not follow data privacy laws, there is a good chance that its data security is also lacking. After all, protecting consumer data from malicious actors constitutes a sizable portion of contract data privacy on your compliance. As a result, failure to adhere to legal or regulatory requirements, such as those relating to data security and privacy, can result in cybersecurity risks. It can lead to legal action, fines, and damage to reputation.
Organizations often depend upon separate businesses or individuals for software, physical goods, supplies, or services. Working with third parties with access to contract data, such as suppliers, partners, or vendors, can present cybersecurity risks. These days, they are frequently the preferred vector for cyberattacks. Attackers breach supply-chain connections and silently infect their systems and equipment. After that, the attacker employs the third party as a "platform" to attack targets with higher value. It can result in data breaches, intellectual property theft, and other grave consequences.
When organizations do not put enough security controls in place, like encryption, access controls, and user authentication, there is a risk to their cybersecurity. Cyber actors frequently take advantage of weak controls, misconfigured or unattended security configurations, and other poor cyber hygiene practices to access a system or as part of strategies to compromise it. The absence of security measures may lead to data breaches, unauthorized access, and other serious repercussions.
Contract management software is the ideal solution for organizations to streamline their contract lifecycle, from generation to execution and renewal. The legal team can automate workflow and tasks related to business contracts thanks to the cloud-based contracting system. Thus, it eliminates the need for human intervention and error from contract management. Apart from ease and efficiency, a contract lifecycle management solution is a way to safeguard valuable contract data.
Contracts traditionally resided in diverse locations, such as a company's internal network, a shared server, enclosures, data centers, etc. Tracking the data flow becomes more challenging as the percentage of users and contract portfolios increases. Contract management software provides a centralized platform to store contracts and other sensitive documents. The digital repository gathers all your active and completed contracts.
Data loss or theft is less likely because contracts are not stored on specific computers or servers. It guards against unauthorized access and keeps track of all sensitive data. Another reason to go for a centralized system is that it will remove the need for you to send copies of your files to everyone involved, thus improving data security. Moreover, Dock contract management software is developed upon an organization’s pre-existing Microsoft 365 environment. So, there is no cybersecurity threat of storing sensitive contract information on third-party sites.
Unauthorized access poses a serious cybersecurity risk to the contract management procedure. Setting up user permissions empowers businesses to control the accessibility of specific contracts, client information, and related documents. Without personalized user permissions, enterprises will be vulnerable to tampering and allowing unauthorized individuals to access confidential information. Thanks to the customizable user permissions built into the platform, a contract management software solution can help you reduce risk and avoid accessibility problems.
Dock 365 contract management software provides role-based permission to customizable dashboards, workflows, reports, and digital repositories. Hence, there is no scope for impermissible access to sensitive contract data. It divides permission controls among owners, members, and visitors. The owners have complete access to all settings and functions of the platform. Limited control and editing privileges granted by the owners are available to members. Visitors such as trainees, potential clients, or third parties, can only view the documents or data.
Automated alerts can be an effective way to enhance cybersecurity and quickly identify potential security incidents. Contract management software can automatically alert users when changes are made to contracts, such as when it is modified or when an unauthorized user tries to access it. They provide real-time document status so organizations can consistently track the legal documents as they progress through the contract lifecycle. Companies can carefully monitor the access, modifications, and such even for executed and legacy contracts.
Contract management software can monitor user activity to identify suspicious behavior, such as multiple failed login attempts or attempts to access restricted files. It helps prevent unauthorized access and can alert administrators to potential security breaches. There is a version history and notifications for each action taken on the document, such as opening, editing, and deleting. These alerts enable businesses to quickly identify potential security breaches.
Too often, businesses assume the contract data will always be safe and accessible. Recovery from a contract data loss could be difficult, expensive, or even impossible. Organizations must regularly safeguard, archive, and back up their data. Contract management software enables businesses to back up contract data to prevent loss due to data corruption, accidental deletion, or system failure.
Cloud-based storage through contract management systems enables businesses to access contract data through the internet anytime, anywhere. Thus, they can quickly restore crucial contract data during a security breach or other emergency. Moreover, most contract management software provides encryption features that protect data in transit and at rest. Encryption helps ensure that confidential data remains secure even if a hacker gains access to the system.
Contract management software can help businesses to mitigate cybersecurity threats by providing various security features that ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of contract data. The centralized digital repository provides secure storage for contracts and related documents, reducing the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access. Automated alerts notify relevant parties regarding alterations, unauthorized access attempts, and the expiration of contracts.
Organizations can also have additional data security by implementing role-based access controls, which restrict access to contract data based on the user's role and level of authorization. The software can maintain a thorough audit trail of all contract-related activities, making it simpler to spot unauthorized actions.
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