What Small and Mid-Size Businesses Need to Know

secure content management

What is a Content Management System?

Before we go too far, we need to discuss what we are talking about. Some of you when you hear the term content management system, you think of WordPress, Joomia, or Drupal. If so, you are correct.  But others when you hear the term content management system you think of Laserfiche, Docuware, or OnBase. If so, you too are correct.

A content management system (CMS) is a software application that enables multiple users to create, edit, publish, and manage web content, without any specialized technical knowledge. That is a broad definition that includes several types of CMS systems and is often confusing to know which type of CMS people talking about.

Specifically, I would like to talk about CMS systems often called enterprise content management systems. There are also many other names that this technology goes by such as document management system, content service platform, and many more. I usually call it a paperless solution. The reason for so many names is this technology has evolved over the years to add more capabilities. And the experts tried to coin a name that would match the functionality. But as you know technology is every changing as by continually changing the name causes a lot of confusion. If you are interested, I wrote a chapter in my book about it. You can find it here: https://www.hemingwaysolutions.net/destination-paperless/#_Toc6039529

For the remainder of the article just know when I talk about content management, I am talking about the paperless solution some call enterprise content management (ECM) system.

Understanding Secure Content Management

Secure content management involves organizing and protecting digital information within a company. It ensures that sensitive data is safe from unauthorized access or cyber threats. Here are some key points to understand about secure content management:

Protecting Data

Secure content management safeguards important information from being accessed by unauthorized individuals. This is often called access control. It not only controls who can log in but also what content can they see. A good CMS system not only prevents unauthorized people from accessing the documents but also controls who is allowed to move, rename, and delete a document. And this control should be very granular. So that users can have proper  access to the only the documents they are authorized. Many systems have a difficulty with this.

Organizing Documents

It  helps in efficiently sorting and managing digital files to enhance productivity and workflow within the organization. Some solutions such as M-Files don’t do a good job of this. They do not have a good way for the user to visualize the documents and structure. The only way to find a document is doing a search of the metadata.  It is hard to understand the organization of the documents. But products like Laserfiche do a great job, they allow you to see the organization of your documents much like Windows Explorer allows you to see your documents in folders. This greatly helps user to adopt a CMS system because it is a familar interface.

Preventing Data Breaches

By implementing secure content management practices, small and mid-size businesses can reduce the risk of data breaches and information leaks. A good CMS should give you very granular control over which actions a user can take.

Not long ago, I had a client that their network was breached, but because they has their Laserfiche ECM system secured, the bad actors did not access any of their critical documents.

Compliance Requirements

Following secure content management protocols ensures that businesses meet legal regulations related to data protection and privacy.

Also, when selecting a CMS or ECM, it it important to make sure it has the features to ensure you are compliant with the regulations that govern your organization. 

Here are a few features to look for to judge if a system has the features necessary: granular access control, detailed audit trails, and reporting.


Understanding the importance of secure content management is crucial for the overall security of your business’s digital assets.

Secure CMS software

Importance for Small and Mid-Size Businesses

To ensure the safety of your business data, implementing secure content management is crucial. Small and mid-size businesses often become targets for cyber-attacks due to their vulnerabilities. By having robust content management in place, you can protect sensitive information, prevent data breaches, and maintain the trust of your clients.

Secure content management is essential for small and mid-size businesses to safeguard their digital assets and maintain business continuity. Many organizations don’t think they will experience a cyber-attack. But the reality is most organizations are susceptible.

Not long ago one of my clients was compromised by a bad actor and their data was encrypted and they had no to access it. Except for the documents stored in their Laserfiche ECM system, the bad actors were not able to access the documents in it because of the security protocols Laserfiche had in place.

Risks of Inadequate Content Management

Inadequate content management can lead to data breaches, loss of sensitive information, and compliance violations. Poorly managed content may result in unauthorized access to confidential data, putting your business at risk of cyber threats and legal consequences. Proper content management is essential to protect your company’s assets and ensure regulatory compliance. Key risks of inadequate content management include:

  • Data breaches lead to loss of sensitive information.
  • Unauthorized access to confidential data.
  • Non-compliance with regulatory requirements.
  • Missing or lost files

Key Features of Secure Content Management Systems

Secure Content Management Systems offer various key features designed to help businesses manage and protect their digital content effectively. Here’s what small and mid-sized businesses need to know:

  • Secure content storage to keep sensitive data safe from unauthorized access.
  • Access control tools to regulate who can view, edit, move, and share documents within the system.
  • Encryption capabilities to secure data both at rest and in transit.
  • Version control functionality to track changes made to documents and revert to previous versions if needed.
  • Compliance management features to adhere to industry regulations and standards.
  • Integration options with other software applications for seamless workflow execution.
  • Ability to automate business processes with a no-code low-code workflow system.
  • And the ability to convert paper-based form processes to electronic forms and automate the processes associated with them.

Understanding these key features is essential for businesses looking to implement a secure content management system successfully.

Choosing the Right Content Management System

To select the right Content Management System (CMS) for your business, consider factors like user-friendliness, customization options, security features, and scalability. Check for a system that aligns with your business goals and allows easy content updates without technical complications. Remember, the right CMS can streamline your workflow and enhance your online presence.

This is an important subject, and I don’t want to skip over it. I have written several articles that will help you with this step.



And my book talks specifically about CAP agencies and Non-Profits but much of the content would apply to any organization. You can read it here https://www.hemingwaysolutions.net/destination-paperless/

I have working in the paperless field for 30 years and looked at many products. I think that Laserfiche is the best enterprise content management solution solution on the market.

scanning paper documents

Implementation Process for Secure Content Management

When implementing secure content management, the process involves several key steps to safeguard your business data. Here’s what small and mid-sized businesses need to know:

  • Assess Your Current System

    : Understand how information is currently managed in your organization and identify any security gaps. For many of you, it is your paper system and the business processes associated with it.
  • Choose the Right Solution: Select a content management system that aligns with your security requirements and business needs.
  • Plan a Deployment Strategy

    : Develop a detailed plan for implementing the secure content management system across your organization. I suggest you hire a consultant who has years of experience helping organizations like you go paperless.
  • Train Your Staff

    : Educate employees on the new system, security protocols, and best practices to ensure proper usage.
  • Regularly Monitor and Update

    : Continuously monitor the system for any potential weaknesses and implement updates to enhance security.

By following these steps, your business can effectively implement secure content management to protect sensitive data and streamline operations.

Training Employees on Secure Content Practices

Make sure to educate your employees about secure content practices to keep your business safe from cyber threats. Provide training sessions where they learn about password security, identifying phishing emails, and secure file sharing. Encourage them to practice good digital hygiene, such as regularly updating software and avoiding public Wi-Fi networks for sensitive work. Regularly remind them of the importance of keeping business information secure and how their actions can impact the company’s overall security.

A product I recomment to train your user to understand and prevent data breaches is KnowBe4

Monitoring and Auditing Content Management

It’s crucial for small and mid-size businesses to monitor and audit their content management regularly. This helps ensure that sensitive information is protected and accessed only by authorized personnel. Here’s why monitoring and auditing content management are essential:

  1. Security: Regular monitoring helps detect any unusual activities that may indicate a security breach, allowing timely intervention to prevent data loss.
  1. Compliance: Auditing ensures that your content management practices align with industry regulations and internal policies, reducing the risk of fines or legal issues.
  1. Efficiency: Monitoring can help identify inefficiencies in your content management processes, allowing you to streamline operations and improve productivity.
  1. Risk Management: By conducting regular audits, you can identify potential vulnerabilities in your content management system and take proactive measures to address them before they are exploited.
  2. Review Automation: If you have automated your business process and forms process to an ECM system, make sure you review them periodically and look for ways to streamline your business processes to make your team more efficient.

Keep a close eye on your content management practices safeguarding your business data and operations effectively.

Cybersecurity Best Practices for Businesses

Employing robust cybersecurity practices is essential for safeguarding your business data. Here are some key steps for enhancing your business’s cybersecurity:

  • Utilize strong passwords for all accounts and systems.
  • Ensure that all devices and software are regularly updated with the latest security patches.
  • Educate your employees on phishing scams and other common cybersecurity threats. Did you know that your employees are your biggest security threat? Bad actors can trick them into opening an email or clicking on a link, giving them access to your system. I suggest you look at KnowBe4 or a similar training platform. This is not a one-and-do process, you need to continually remind and train your staff in security.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) for an added layer of security. A few examples of are Duo, Google Authenticator, RSA, OKTA, and OneLogin.
  • Back up your data regularly and store backups in a secure location.
    By following these practices, you can significantly reduce the risk of cyber threats to your business. This sounds like a basic thing that everyone does, but there is a lot of issues is this arena. But there are good technologies out there to assist. I really like organizations to have not only an onsite backup but also a secure cloud backup solution.
  • Developing cybersecurity strategies is a good idea. Some of these practices involve virus protection, intrusion protection, monitoring, and testing. This is a whole world, and you need to be a part of it. Cyber protection is also becoming a requirement for business insurance. I recommend you contact a cyber security expert to help you with this.

Enterprise Content Management System Summary and Future Trends

The future of CMS looks promising for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs). As data breaches continue to rise, implementing secure content management is crucial to safeguard sensitive business information. SMBs should consider investing in CMS solutions with built-in security features to protect against cyber threats. Additionally, future trends in CMS may include advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) for personalized content delivery, seamless integration with other business tools, and enhanced data analytics capabilities. 

Feel free to reach out to me, I help small businesses, mid-size businesses, community action agencies, and non-profits go paperless. I can help implement effective solutions for businesses of all sizes

Customer Testimonials

“The workflow they created for us to mimic our paper flow, so it was easy for our staff to use.””

Catherine Fair

Director of Energy Assistance and It, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey Washington


“When we migrated from a legacy ECM system to Laserfiche, the Hemingway team found over 30,000 files that were lost in our legacy system because a problem in it’s lack of security and problems with the way it linked  documents.”

Corrie Kuester

IT, Minneapolis Star Tribune


“I feel much more confident in the process now that there’s less risk of error (because of our Laserfiche AP workflow)”

Thor Nelson

COO, Aspen Waste


“Finding documents is easy and fast in Laserfiche. This is important because child care industry is a highly regulated industry and it is critical that you find the documents you need when you need them.”

Rachel Perez

Director of Human Resources and Compliance at Kids Quest, Kids Quest – New Horizons Child Care

We would love to help you achieve long-term success in a selecting and implementing a secure Content Management System