How to Protect Confidential Documents for Boards

Board members are able to access sensitive information as part of their fiduciary responsibilities. This information must be kept in a secure manner. While deliberating about the employees‘ performance issues or discussing strategies to manage a competitor, it’s important that board members have the ability to discuss delicate information without fear of it being released to the public.

Boards can put in place a variety of robust security measures to reduce the risk of leaks. These include limiting access, stopping sharing documents by encryption, encrypting them, and backing them up. They can also employ an online board management solution that offers granular controls on documents to stop unauthorized printing or downloading, as well screen images. It also offers an audit trail that is detailed and outlines user activity to the page level.

A well-written confidentiality policy will also help to ensure confidentiality of the board as it clearly discloses the directors‘ responsibilities and establishes a culture that views leaking as dishonourable and unethical conduct. The chairman or the lead director could distribute the policy to prospective directors prior to their nomination and to current directors prior to when the start of their term so that they have the opportunity to ask questions and sign the agreement if they wish to do so.

For the most sensitive information it is recommended to use a secure portal that lets users access documents only on devices they own and only use for this purpose is the most effective method to protect confidential data. Govenda’s secure board portal provides high-end security and granular document controls like watermarks that resist tampering, blocking printing to files and revocation of download permissions and logging of usage to determine who has viewed and printed each individual document.