You and your team have moved away from unencrypted and insecure data management practices because they can be susceptible to hacks. You've established a cloud-based storage system to hold sensitive documents and grant access to key stakeholders.
However, generic cloud-based storage options don't provide optimal organization for the complex immigration process, individuals across your team are still struggling to locate important documents, and most up-to-date version always seems to not be in the right folders.
After ensuring your employees documents are secure and easily accessible, it might be time to consider some of the second order implications that can unlock more operational efficiency as you strive to create a world-class immigration program .
Why Generic Cloud-Based Storage Systems Aren't Secure
When it comes to sharing family photos, and for sales and marketing collateral that don't deal with sensitive information, Drive, Dropbox, and MicrosoftTeams, etc., are great tools to stay connected. However, these systems are prime targets for hackers looking to expose sensitive information.
According to Business Insider, over 14 million customers utilized Dropbox as of December 2019. While Dropbox is trying to introduce new security measures to keep users safe, the company's history is fraught with security breaches such as the 2012 hack where 68 million account credentials were compromised.
Most businesses don't full understand the critical security pitfalls of these platforms and the danger they could face when putting sensitive documents in these systems. With international employees who might be sponsoring dependents, beyond passports you also are potentially collecting social security numbers, children's birth certificates, and other personally identifiable documents which could be exposed under your watch.
The biggest security issue threatening these generic cloud-based storage systems is the user's lack of IT control. These systems encode each user's data with an "encryption key," but the user itself doesn't hold the key. Instead, most servers prefer to store the digital key themselves.
Because individual organizations don't have control over the encryption process, they must trust in the security measures of DropBox, One, etc., measures that have failed in the past. Essentially, users don't know if their data is vulnerable before it's too late.
Immigration Specific Platforms
Today, cloud-based storage platforms are essential for organizations in any industry. Cloud-based platforms provide immense value in their flexibility and allow businesses to scale quickly by efficiently disseminating relevant information.
According to TechNative, the three pillars of a successful cloud-based storage platform are mobility, consistency, and cost-control.
While this is true for any industry, most cloud-based storage platforms don't have the design features necessary to adequately organize critical documents and information specific to the corporate immigration process.
To streamline the process within your organization, you might consider adopting an immigration-specific platform. Such a platform will allow your People team to:
Create Employee Specific Profiles
An immigration-specific software will allow you to create detailed immigration profiles for individual employees. Such profiles will allow you to forecast future immigration activity that incorporates: employee data, company immigration policy and historical processing times.
Accurately Budget for Immigration Expenses
An advanced software system will allow you to research past spendings needed to secure certain work visas. Such information will also let you forecast future spending based on the number of employees or prospective employees who will need to work through the immigration process.
Automate Tedious Manual Tasks
Optimized immigration software allows users to automatically track case-specific progress and keep on top of important due dates.
Establish a Centralized Communication Platform
Trying to find a single email thread can be incredibly frustrating when you have different team members working on one case.
Utilizing immigration software with built-in search functionality allows your People Team to keep all communications within and outside of the department in a single location so you can quickly find a specific conversation, open case, or international employee question.
Inexpensive Ways to Beef Up Security
If your organization doesn't have the budget to invest in an immigration-specific centralized platform, there are steps you can take to increase security around your current storage system.
Utilize a Secure Network
Data is most susceptible to hacks when it's moved from one digital destination to another. Increase security by ensuring all sensitive information is encrypted and that you use a secure network during the transfer. Don't transfer data in a coffee shop or at home, and make sure your office's network has proper protections in place.
Create a Password System
For every cloud-based system, individuals who hold the proper credentials have access to specific folders. However, some people are not great with unique passwords and instead use their birthdate for everything. This is a huge security risk.
Create a guide for password creation that employees must follow to keep passwords as protected as possible. Also, create a schedule where everyone changes their passwords at a set time, which can help further protect People Team members from a security breach.
Consider Accessibility on Personal Devices
Today, everyone has a personal cell phone, and laptop and many businesses have adopted a "Bring Your Own Device" policy to save on overhead costs. However, such a policy brings significant security risks if it's not managed correctly. With a hybrid office approach gaining more support, accessing emails and coordinating small tasks on the move is quite convenient, however, you probably don't want your employees downloading PID onto their phones and re-uploading them into emails.
If someone's device gets stolen or misplaced, sensitive data is now susceptible to someone outside of your organization, especially if the individual keeps their cloud passwords on their personal device. Choosing only to use company computers to access a cloud-based system may limit the amount of work done outside the office but significantly increases security measures.
Seek out Help from Experts
Building such a system from scratch can seem daunting and incredibly overwhelming or piecemealing multiple solutions can often be expensive and redundant. However, there are immigration experts who have already done the foundational work and also thought about second-order implications. Look into platforms that you can implement within your organization to automate an optimized immigration process. A tech-enabled immigration system will allow your People team to rest assured that the company’s immigration program is on the path towards optimization and allows your employees to trust the your company has their back.
Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult a Bridge-affiliated partner attorney or another qualified legal professional.