reminder smallA Board portal is an online environment in which Board members and executive officers can better manage Communications, Agendas, Minutes and supporting documents, with a view to reducing paper, and streamlining the process of distributing and managing Board resources.

Security is an important consideration. What may not be known is that, in many cases, documents are more secure using Board portal/Cloud technology than the current old fashioned way of managing papers. With, say, 7 Board members receiving couriered or posted papers there are multiple ways that documents can go astray, from leaving them in airport lounges or taxis, to losing them at the office, or even throwing them in an open access trash receptacle. Over time members can become blasé about their responsibility to keep documents secure.

Once the papers have left the office from which they were generated all security controls are potentially compromised.

To suggest that Board portals increase the risk of compromising security implies that current paper-based systems are free of security risk. There’s plenty of evidence to the contrary; one just needs to talk to Board secretaries and executive officers who have to find replacement papers for Board members who have misplaced theirs.

Not using Board portals for fear of security breaches is like refusing to fly for fear of planes crashing, when there is a higher statistical likelihood of a fatality ‘crossing the road’; it’s simply not rational to avoid flying in the face of the more probable risk of injury crossing the road.

Until there is evidence of hackers regularly breaking into Board portal papers, it might be better to focus on maximising the benefits technology can offer, while accepting that security is everyone’s responsibility.