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How PrizmDoc Editor Can Enhance Contract Management Security

If there’s one thing that keeps both independent legal firms and enterprise legal departments up at night, it’s the fear that sensitive, private contract information might be compromised in some way. As the contract creation and editing process has transitioned into the digital realm, it’s become more important than ever for legal teams to think about what safeguards they’re putting in place to protect confidential information. That’s why contract management security should be a high priority for every LegalTech developer as they build new applications to help streamline contract workflows.

Contract Privacy Challenges

By their very nature, contracts frequently contain various forms of confidential and personally identifiable information. This presents challenges for legal firms and departments as they continue to embrace technology solutions to streamline their workflows and automate contract management. The contract creation process has traditionally involved using word processing applications to assemble the contract itself and then sharing it over convenient channels like email during the revision process. Unfortunately, these tools don’t provide much in the way of security controls and are difficult for developers to incorporate into an application workflow.

Even if an organization has its own security environment in order, that doesn’t mean their clients or vendors will. Take Microsoft Office, for example. Many users have yet to patch a serious vulnerability discovered in 2017 that is still used by hackers to deliver malware that can compromise personally identifiable information. Sending a DOCX file to anyone with a vulnerable machine could potentially expose the contract’s sensitive data, creating massive liabilities for all parties involved. 

Automation Considerations

Organizations often make the mistake of thinking that implementing automation software will change everything about their existing processes. If that process already does a poor job of managing access or protecting privacy, putting an automation solution in place atop it won’t do much to address those problems. Going back to the previous example, all of the effort that goes into building a secure contract management system could be wasted if it’s easy to simply email a DOCX draft of a contract filled with sensitive data to someone who could be using a version of Word that lacks key security updates.

Upgrading to a document or contract automation system is the perfect time for an organization to rethink how it manages files during the assembly and editing process. LegalTech developers can help them meet this challenge by providing automation software that has the right features and tools in place to safeguard sensitive contract information. A document assembly integration like PrizmDoc Editor can serve as a foundational element for developers as they build these automation solutions.

Identifying Private Information Quickly with Programmatic Search

One of the challenges with protecting private information in contracts is being able to identify it in the first place. This is especially true when using document assembly tools to construct contracts automatically from predefined templates. Since the contract is assembled programmatically and may not even be reviewed by someone until late in the editing process, collaborators might not be aware of the document contents before they attempt to share it with another person.

That’s where features like programmatic search using API calls can be immensely helpful for a legal team. Developers can use PrizmDoc Editor’s ability to quickly locate various forms of text to ensure that a contract contains all the appropriate elements (such as key clauses unique to that contract type) as well as find information that should not be shared with external parties. PrizmDoc Editor supports a variety of search functions, including fuzzy text search, exact matching, and regular expressions, which makes it easy to scan a prepared contract before making it available for additional editing. These features can be embedded into an application to make them available as part of the contract workflow. Since PrizmDoc Editor is able to programmatically find and extract text from any DOCX file, it can be used to search any contract an organization needs to review, not only those assembled within the application.

Access and Version Control

Any organization that has multiple contributors collaborating on a document understands what a headache it can be managing access privileges and maintaining strict version control. Although PDFs can be password protected, sending a copy of a file in any format creates an opportunity for unauthorized access and editing. One of the best ways LegalTech developers can help to avoid this problem is by ensuring that all contract sharing and viewing takes place entirely within their secure application environment. These applications can incorporate a variety of access control features that allow end users to strictly manage who can view files and what editing rights are available to them.

PrizmDoc Editor supports strict access controls by making it possible to share contracts without editing rights. All viewing sessions are created within the application environment, so no files are exported or duplicated when the document is shared. That means there’s no chance of a file being mishandled by an end-user in ways that could compromise privacy. It also prevents someone from making changes that could go unnoticed by other contributors, resulting in version confusion.

Enhanced Control for Enhanced Privacy

While LegalTech developers put a lot of emphasis on security when building their applications, without the right document assembly and contract automation tools in place, they could end up relying on external software and file sharing practices that have the potential to compromise privacy. By incorporating contract management tools that allow them to keep more tasks within their secure software, they can help legal firms and departments ensure that their contract workflows are taking every possible precaution when it comes to safeguarding sensitive, private information.

Accusoft’s PrizmDoc Editor is a versatile document automation and editing integration that provides familiar word processing functionality in addition to programmatic assembly tools. It can easily insert key extracted text into a document template to build unique contracts automatically, making it far less prone to the types of human error associated with “copy and pasting” manual processes. Find out how PrizmDoc Editor can integrate seamlessly into your application by downloading a free trial today.