Table of Containts


Objective of the Webpage

This webpage was written primarily for persons and entities that are engaged in the organized promotion of digitization and those studying into the handling of documents being used in day-to-day business operations (hereinafter called "document information"). The objective is to offer an introductory, clear-to-understand presentation on the systematic management of document information from its development and acquisition through processing, storage and disposal.

The assessment of the current state of the digital society and documents is followed by a description of the principal concepts related to document information management in Chapter 1, basic knowledge of document information in Chapter 2, the actual conditions of document information systems in Chapter 3 and the directions to be taken in document information management into the future in Chapter 4. The latter half features the document information to be handled digitally in Chapter 5, system controls such as document production criteria, storage periods, classification systems and access authority management in Chapter 6 and how document information management is put into practice in Chapter 7.

The Digital Society and Documents

With the enforcement of the amended Act on Adjusting Laws Related to Forming a Digital Society (Digital First Act) and the Basic Act on the Formation of a Digital Society on September 1, 2021, along with the rising awareness toward the new normal, both government and private sectors have embarked jointly on comprehensive actions to build a digital society.

The Electronic Book Preservation Act has also undergone change with the amendments of 2021 by abolishment of the provision allowing the substitution of transaction data storage as electromagnetic recordings with storage in paper form, etc.

In fact, nearly 100% of business-related documents are produced electronically. Dissemination of the Internet has replaced conventional post mail with electronic means of transmission such as e-mail and spread to the use of social media in business. In addition, the Internet has enabled material goods to connect online through the Internet of Things (IoT). It has not only led to the utilization of a growing volume of electronic documents and data but also the accumulation of knowledge, and is triggering the creation of added value through artificial intelligence (AI).

In the drive to promote the digitization of documents within business corporations, total digitization has grown 7 percentage points over the 2020 level. However, a survey conducted in 2021 found that total or partial digitization remains stalled at around 61%.

In the face of the need to accelerate progress in globalization, improved office productivity, greater fluidity of human resources, work style reforms, etc., in Japanese society today, the use of electronic documents is vitally important in realizing such changes.

1.The Principal Concepts

1.1 Document

In describing the principal concepts of the document, the 1901 judicial precedent of the Supreme Court of Judicature of Japan is quoted frequently. This precedent led to the establishment of the following three characteristics as the requirements that constitute a document.

  • Information is written in characters and symbols that serve as their substitute.
  • Information is written on some physical object and is in a permanent state.
  • Information expresses intent.

Today, photo images and computer data are now included in (1) along with characters and symbols.
Additionally, the physical objects on which information is written and described in (2) may be paper for a paper-based document and electronic media for an electronic document (referred to as electronically stored information or ESI). In the case of an electronic document, information is not to be merely written on electronic media but must be available for reading and comprehension by means of display via a monitor screen or printout.

1.2 Document Information

The Japan Image and Information Management Association (hereinafter called JIIMA) defines "document information" as a document produced or acquired in the course of business operations in an organization. The definition not only includes conventional documents, drawings, vouchers and reference materials but tabular data and images as well.

Document information ranges widely in format, such as printed matter, structured data, unstructured data, scanned paper and facsimile sheets, e-mail, audio, video, animation and webpages that include images.

Most recently, the automation of data processing has spurred change in formats that humans can read and enabled computer processing, such as the use of tags to show Word document structures and XML data embedded in PDF documents.

1.3 Document Information System

A document information system is a system (or) system service for the storage of document information produced or acquired in the course of business operations, and at the same time supports the execution of the various processes in the document information lifecycle (2.2) and control over document information (Chapter 6).

In the transitional phase of rapid business digitization, electronic document information is now being stored and scattered in various business systems and services, including electronic contracts, electronic billing statement issuance, electronic payment and settlement, and accounting and employee attendance management, making document information management extremely important in the control and management of such data.

1.4 Document Information Management

Document information management refers to the "organized administration of document information to assure authenticity in its production or acquisition, maintenance, storage, disposal and long-term storage." Its objectives are greater business efficiency, information and knowledge sharing and the reduction of document volume, as well as the assurance of accountability, compliance with laws, action in legal proceedings, internal controls, business continuity planning (BCP), information security, risk management and the assurance of rights (assurance of intellectual property rights and right of prior use).

The term "management" does not suggest supervision or control in accordance with rules. Rather, it refers to the "skillful handling and processing of people, materials and events" as in quality management and environmental management. Document information management should be understood as planning, implementation and administration for the efficient and effective handling of document information by each organization.

2. Document Information

2.1 Requirements of Document Information

Document information is an important information asset for a business enterprise. In conducting business or administrative operations, data transmission and sharing and the reporting and recording of results are essential. Additionally, its effective utilization as knowledge is vital in efficient business management.

Although document information requirements differ slightly by varying laws and guidelines, they are generally required to comprise the following characteristics.

1) Authenticity

The document information expresses a purpose and can be proven to have been produced or transmitted by a person who can be identified as to have produced or transmitted the data, and to have been created or transmitted at the intended time.

2) Readability

The document information can be read. The information on the electronic document can be read via display on a monitor screen or by printing.

3) Integrity

There is no loss or damage in the document information. It is protected from unauthorized changes. In addition to integrity in the physical sense, it is important that the document complies with all applicable rules. Measures must be implemented to protect against wear and aging of the recording medium, unforeseen system failure, power failure, disconnection errors, etc.

Additionally, actions must be taken for the compulsory preservation period to prevent alteration of the document information and related data, whether caused by user operation error or deliberate tampering, and to protect against data tampering caused by a computer virus or unauthorized access by a third party.

Requirements of Document Information Retention

The requirements in document information retention must have the following characteristics in addition to 1) through 3) above.

4) Confidentiality

Since document information is by nature classified, represented by privacy information and trade secrets, etc., appropriate measures must be taken for protection against unauthorized access and data leakage.

5) Searchability

Measures must be implemented to systematize document information to make search easy and to assure appropriate linkage with the search system.

Regarding laws and guidelines, the National Tax Agency, for example, calls for visibility and credibility as requirements for data preservation. Visibility is covered by readability and searchability, while authenticity and integrity cover credibility.

Legal admissibility of evidence

In terms of legal admissibility of evidence and permissiveness (approval given for preservation or submissions in non-paper formats) of electronic document information, the conditions basically remain the same as those for paper-based documents, so long as the requirements above are satisfied.

Differentiation between original data and reproduction

It is believed that there is no actual benefit in determining whether an electronically produced document information is the original or otherwise when there are multiple copies of the same information.

Depending on the organization, document information may be managed in a way to differentiate the original from the copies, due to statutory or administrative needs.

2.2 The Lifecycle and Lifetime Characteristics of Document Information

The lifecycle of document information is defined as "the process from document information creation or acquisition, processing, preservation to disposition."

The lifetime characteristics of document information describes the change in frequency of document information use over time.

Depending on the level of document information use, document information may be classified and referred to as active if it is used on a daily basis, inactive if it is rarely referred to any longer, or semi-active if it is considered active occasionally.

The various processes in the document information lifecycle are outlined as follows.

1) Creation/acquisition

This is the process of creating or acquiring document information.

Computer-based production is also included in document creation. Document acquisition also involves the receipt of document information from outside the organization.

2) Processing

This is the process of editing, approving, sending, receiving, circulating, and/or handing out/distributing the document, depending on the purpose of the document information.

“Sending” refers to transmission of the document information to a specific party. “Circulating” refers to sending of the document for viewing by designated parties, one after another. “Handing out” refers to sending copies to specific multiple parties. “Distributing” means the document information is widely sent out to an indiscriminate number of parties. “Receiving” means the acceptance of a document.

3) Preservation

This is the process of preserving document information in accordance with document management regulations, etc., for storage of the document information in the state it was received for a designated period.

Preservation also refers to storage in a recording medium.

The word storage may be used instead of preservation to refer to the state of being preserved and managed. In paper-based document filing, the document is considered in storage when kept in a business office and in preservation when it is moved to an archive or similar.

4) Disposition (final decision)

This is a process of doing away with document information in accordance with regulations when the preservation period designated by document management regulations, etc., has ended.

A decision is made as to whether it is to be disposed of (data deletion in the case of electronic document information), or whether to extend the preservation period or transfer the document information to public archives or a historical data storage facility (in the case of a business enterprise, etc.) if the data is designated for permanent preservation.

Preservation of document information as a record

The period of preserving document information is divided into the period from the start to completion of a business project or transaction (the period of time in a line operation) and the subsequent period of preservation as a record. (See Figure 2-2)

While in preservation as a record, data rewriting or deletion is prohibited to assure the preservation of evidence. Also, a dedicated business department may be responsible for the function of preserving as a record.

2.3 Recording and Preservation of Time-Series Data

Preservation of document information now covers not only the content (the substance of the document but also the recording and preservation of the background that led to its creation, the procedure up to document approval and time-series data regarding sending, acquisition, etc. Such data is collectively called context data, while the substance is called content data.

Figure 2-3 shows the relationship between content and context. In this illustration, the types of document information that is created or acquired are, for example, billing statements and receipts.

3. Document Information System

The document information system is integrated into dedicated systems such as enterprise document management (EDM) and enterprise contents management (ECM) systems as a built-in function and is available in appearance as a business system.

The functions of the document information system are generally the following.

  1. Classification and ID assignment
  2. Preservation and disposition
  3. Search and viewing
  4. Editing, revision (version management) and reduction
  5. Authority setting and access control
  6. Workflow coordination (approval coordination, etc.)
  7. Monitoring, reporting and audit

In reality, various business systems and services are interconnected in many cases, prompting the need of coordination with a dedicated document management system and customization in order to align the functions and interface as a document information system. However, such alignment is not necessarily possible due to technical reasons and cost.

Vital in doing so is to have an accurate assessment of the differences and what is deficient or excessive, introduce ideas in system and service configurations and/or add manual work to fill any needs in the business operation procedure.

Substitution with a file server

Japan falls behind Western nations in the implementation of document information systems. Instead, many organizations appear to make use of file servers as substitute systems.

However, appropriate file operations may not be possible without a unified method for document organization, such as the preservation of multiple copies of a document or data file, and version management.

In addition, documents and data that are not preserved in a unified system makes utilization difficult. Not only is swift access not possible, the document information needed may in fact not be found when searched for. There is the possibility of important information assets not being utilized effectively, due to delays in addressing the need to build a system from scratch.

If a file server is used in place of a document information system, operational measures must be implemented to cover for the absence of the functions of a document information system that the file server does not have.

4. Document Information Management

4.1 Relationship with Record Management

In the lifecycle of document information management, from creation/acquisition to processing, preservation and disposition, part of record management is executed in the stage of storing the document information as a record, as shown in Figure 4-1. (See also Figure 2-2.)

The concepts that underlie record management have already been thoroughly discussed at ISO, etc., and have been established as a standard in JIS X 0902-1.

4.2 Document Information Management of the Future

Until now, document information management involved dealing with the phase of transition from paper-based documents to document information centered on electronic formats. It was in fact the replacement of paper documents with digital documents, while business operations have basically remained unchanged.

The next step is expected to be the resolution of the following issues regarding the digitization of business operations and implementation of business activities completely in digital formats.

  1. A structure that is versatile enough to adapt to advances in digitization that are underway,
  2. The assurance of credibility of the document information received via non-physical interaction.
  3. Action on AI/robotic process automation (RPA).

Note: The credibility mentioned in (2) does not refer to the reliability of the equipment used. Rather, it points to the credibility of the document information content, in that its processing, activities and evidence are sufficient and accurate in expression.

  1. A structure that is versatile enough to adapt to advances in progress in digitization.

As mentioned earlier, electronic contracts, e-billing, electronic settlement of accounts, accounting, employee work attendance control and many other services are today cloud-based, with document information storage being dispersed among various cloud services. These services are expected to continue evolving and changing at a speed exceeding business reforms.

For this reason, document information to be handled must be structured in such a way that it can withstand such changes and developments.

The method regarded as an example of good practices in terms of resistance to change involves the creation of a flat organizational structure and segmentation of its business operations into units that can exercise the maximum amount of autonomy possible. This was roughly 200 units in the overseas cases studied, although this would be dependent on the line of business and organizational scale. The business workflows are identified clearly, with document information created or acquired in the operation linked to the business operation and the organization, and the systems and applicable services linked to the operation.

Also, it must be noted that the definition of the business operation and workflow are basic to internal control.

This structure enables what document information is being used where. Even when a part of the operation is replaced by another service, the impact of document information management in other operations can be minimized.

  • The assurance of the credibility of document information received via non-physical interaction.

Business transactions in cyberspace are non-physical, conducted without any actual encounter with the other party. The credibility of the other party in the transaction and of the document information received is a major issue.

A transaction via the web involves a variety of risks, such as identity theft, non-delivery, discrepancy in format and failure to determine the reliability of the document content.

Since the reliability of the transaction partner and document information received depends on factors such as the use of a trusted service provider (with an e-seal verifying that the document is issued by the organization in question), previous communications, contracts and trade transaction records, the quality of the mediating service provider and acquisition of third-party authentication, etc., the selection of a suitable verification method is expected to become possible with systematization of the requirements and disclosure of the level of trustworthiness.

  • Action on AI/robotic process automation (RPA).

Presently, data input involves either printing out hard copies or displaying the data on a monitor screen and transcribing the data into a ledger (e.g., database or Excel table). Automation is not possible if the data is not machine-readable but is human-readable only.

If data can be extracted mechanically from the acquired document information, it can be written into a database and the processing completed instantaneously, preventing transcription errors.

For AI use in the mechanical extraction of data from acquired document information, actions such as following must be executed.

  • Tags are added to the content to indicate where the data is embedded.
  • The document is made readable to both humans and machines via the use of XML, for example.
  • Machine-readable table data is attached to human-readable body text (such as embedding XML data in a PDF). In such a case, an explanation must be given to prove that there is no discrepancy between the body text and the table data.

It must be noted that AI-OCR is now available to enable the mechanical extraction of data from document information received in paper form.

5. Document Information Categories Covered

The categories of document information covered in document information management are the following.

  1. Documents required to be preserved by law
  2. Management system documents
  3. Documents pertaining to trade secrets
  4. Documents for verifying accountability
  5. Documents for self-defense

5.1 Documents Required to be Preserved by Law

Document information that is required to be preserved has varying designated preservation periods.

As shown in Table 5-1, there is a wide range of documents that are required to be preserved by law, in addition to documents pertaining to each organization that must be preserved due to the different laws that regulate document management in each industrial sector.

Moreover, careful attention must be directed toward the possibility of new additions to documents to be preserved, as a result of amends to laws, etc.

        Table 5-1 Examples of Documents Required to be Preserved by Law

Business CategoryType of documentName of Law
AccountingBooks and documents pertaining to transactions (price quotations, delivery statements, billing statements, contracts, receipts, etc.)Article 126-(1) Corporation Tax Act
Personnel AffairsImportant documents pertaining to labor affairs; e.g., recruitment, dismissal, accident compensation and wages (work attendance ledger, payroll ledger, etc.)Article 109 Labor Standards Act
General AffairsCopies of the minutes of general shareholders meetings and general assembly meetingsArticle 318-(2) and 318-(3), Companies Act

In addition to the above, there are guidelines and ordinances that have been announced by the Japanese government, etc., that must be complied with while executing various business operations. These guidelines specify the documents that require preservation and the methods for creating and preserving documents designated for mandatory preservation.

5.2 Management System Documents

Management systems established in compliance with ISO 9001 (JIS Q 9001: Quality Management Systems) and others have been adopted by numerous business enterprises, in recognition of its effects in boosting social credibility by acquiring certification under such systems.

Under these management systems, documentation of the management organization, management activities, etc., and preservation of the documented information are mandatory.

5.3 Documents Pertaining to Trade Secrets

Leakage of confidential information requires careful controls, since it may lead to the decline of the business enterprise's competitiveness, erosion of its social reputation as a result of violation of the law or contracts with its business partners, and damage of the relationship of trust with other companies.

Examples of trade secrets are shown in Table 5-2.

        Table 5-2 Types of Trade Secrets

Information Asset CategoryLeading Example of Information in the Category
Information Assets Related to Management StrategiesManagement plan, targets, strategies, new business plans, merger and acquisition plans, etc.
Information Assets Related to CustomersPersonal information of customers, customer needs, etc.
Information Assets Related to Sales and MarketingInformation on sales collaboration partners, sales target information, sales & marketing know-how, purchase price information, supplier information, etc.
Information Assets Related to Technology (Including Manufacturing)Joint research information, information on researchers, materials information, diagrams information, manufacturing technology information, technical know-how, etc.
Information Assets Related to Business Administration (Personal Affairs, Accounting, etc.)Internal system information (IDs & passwords), system configuration information, security information, personal information on employees, personnel evaluation data, etc.
Other Information AssetsInformation assets other than the above

Management Guidelines for Trade Secrets: Procedures for Trade Secret Management, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Aug 2013.

5.4 Documents for Verifying Accountability

Documents that prove that internal controls are functioning and the organization is being managed properly are preserved to verify accountability.

Business enterprises are granted discretion in determining the scope of documents for and pertaining to internal controls and the preservation period for such documents. However, the period is generally set at five years for these documents and applies to related substantiating documents as well.

5.5 Documents for Self-Defense

This type of document does not require preservation by law and is not used under ordinary circumstances. It is preserved to serve as substantiating evidence in case of litigation, to prepare for disasters and other actions in case of any other exigency.

1) Documents pertaining to product liability

The Product Liability Act requires that manufacturers, etc., bear the responsibility for compensation if the life, body or property of others is harmed due to a defect in a delivered product (movable property) that had been manufactured, processed, imported or by a manufacturer, etc., or on which there is a specific indication, regardless of whether the manufacturer, etc., is at fault. Records pertaining to manufacturing processing, shipment and sales of the product, as well as quality control data, must be preserved until the preservation expiry date.

2) Vital records

Information essential for the continuity and survival of the organization when facing an emergency is collectively called vital records. A business continuity plan (BCP) is also related. However, essential information may vary by the type of business and hence requires an independent risk analysis by the business enterprise.

Regular review is important because of the changes that take place in vital records with changes in the line of business and within the business environment.

Additionally, vital records must be stored in an accessible location not only in electronic format but also as hard copies, in view of the possibility that computers may become unusable in an emergency.

Note: For further details, see JIIMA Record and Document Management Guidelines for Crisis Control.

3) Documents pertaining to the preservation of skills, knowledge of retirees and knowledge management

To preserve and carry on the manufacturing skills of veteran technical workers that had been depended on due to their personal expertise and intuition, it is urgently necessary to convert tacit knowledge (intuitive knowledge, personal insight and experience-based know-how) to format knowledge (objective and rational knowledge that can be expressed with words or body of text, numerical equations, diagrams, photos, videos, etc.) and preserve it as records.

4) Documents related to patents

In some cases, trade secrets (see 5.3) are kept confidential as know-how rather than disclosing it for patent application. Although this may keep production methods, etc., away from the eyes of competitors, there is the possibility of a competitor developing technology independently and filing for patent(s) on the technology. Even after a patent application by a competitor, the right of prior use (under Article 79 of the Patent Act) can be claimed, so long as the business making use of the invention has either started up or preparations are underway to do so. To substantiate this, technology-related documents (research notes, technological results reports, design diagrams and product specifications), business-related documents (business plans, documents certifying business startup decisions, estimates, delivery invoices, work logs at the manufacturing plant and product catalogues) and others must be preserved as evidence.

6. Document Information Control

The following controls make possible the unified implementation of document information management.

6.1 Record Creation Standards

Policy and standards are established in advance regarding which records are to be created or acquired and how long they are to be preserved.

The process of evaluating business standards according to these standards is called appraisal. In addition to gaining an understanding of the nature of the business operations, statutory requirements, the state of resource preparation and the technological environment, the decision is made on which documents are to be created (or destroyed) and how they are to be managed, in response to the risk assessment results.

An appraisal is to be conducted in the following cases.

  1. At the startup of a new organization.
  2. Upon the loss or acquisition of a business operation or activity.
  3. With any change in business methods or needs, change in the regulatory environment, introduction of a new system or a system upgrade.
  4. Upon any change in awareness toward risks and priorities.

6.2 Preservation Period

In face of the steadily growing volume of document information, data that is no longer heavily used and/or left untouched not only builds up dormant physical resources but also raises the risks caused by long-term, wasteful storage. For this reason, it is necessary to define an appropriate preservation period and dispose of unnecessary data at regular intervals. Standards on preservation are needed to prevent document information from accumulating, but at the same time prevent the disposal of data that is necessary.

Generally, the preservation period for documents and document information in business enterprises and government organizations is set forth by law and the document management regulations by each business enterprise. The schedule for document presentation and disposal is managed in compliance with the regulations (called retention management).

Examples of the retention periods for statutory preservation documents are shown in Table 6-1.

        Table 6-1 Examples of Document Retention Periods Designated by Law

Type of DocumentPreservation PeriodLaw
General shareholders meeting minutes and commercial ledgers10 yearsCompanies Act
Ledgers such as daybooks and general ledgers, inventory control charts, balance sheets, profit and loss statements, purchase order sheets, quotation sheets and copies of contracts7 yearsIncome Tax Act and Corporation Tax Act
Application forms for asset-formation tax-exempt savings programs and application forms for exemptions5 yearsIncome Tax Act
Documents pertaining to persons insured by unemployment insurance4 yearsEmployment Insurance Act
Workers’ register and documents pertaining to recruitment, discharge and retirement3 yearsLabor Standards Act
Notices confirming eligibility of persons insured by health insurance2 yearsHealth Insurance Act

Note: Although ledger-related documents are required to be preserved for seven years under the Corporation Tax Act, the period has been extended to 10 years under the tax scheme amendment of 2016 for documents for the fiscal term during which the retained losses are reported.

Regarding documents for which the preservation period is not stipulated by law, the period must be decided voluntarily by the organization under its own business regulations.

6.3 Classification System

A document classification system is employed as a means of connecting document information with its creation context (see 2.3) and it enables the following.

  • The application of rules on authorized access and approval regarding business applications and relevant document information.
  • The execution of appropriate disposition rules.
  • The migration of document information on specific business functions or activities to a new environment, such as in the event of a corporate reorganization.

The business classification system should preferably be based on a business function or activity rather than the organizational structure, in order to maintain versatility in the event of organizational change.

6.4 Access Authority Management

Access authority management is executed to control the level of access authority for files and folders (e.g., read-only or edits enabled) for each accessing party (individual or group).

As the basic rule, access authorization must be granted for the appropriate scope of authority of the operating party. However, attention must also be paid to statutory and contractual provisions. (Figure 6-1)

In addition, the access authorization level requires regular review in response to changes in the statutory regulation environment and in business activities, including personnel replacement, and should be updated and monitored on a daily basis.

6.5 Metadata

Metadata may be called properties or attributes. For document information management to be executed appropriately, each document information is linked with metadata, such as a title, category, keywords, creator, data creation date, preservation expiry date, location of the original data, etc. Metadata is embedded in the document information and is managed independent of the document information for use in search and preservation period management. Normally, basic metadata for document information management is generated in the document creation phase. More information is added when needed in the following phases of processing, preservation and disposition.

7. Implementation of Document Information Management

7.1 Coordination with the Management System

The management system refers to the scheme in which the policies and objectives are established and instructions and control are executed in the organization appropriately in order to achieve the objectives.

The management of document information, such as regulations, manuals and business results, is fundamental to a wide variety of the management systems represented by ISO 9000, ISO 14000 and ISO 27000 as mentioned in 5.2.

Because document information management satisfies the requirements of "documented information" for these management systems, its execution serves as the core of document information management for these systems.

7.2 Risk Management

7.2.1 Risks requiring attention in document information management

Risk management refers to the activities aimed at searching for latent risks and examining into and deciding what should be done, such as considering and putting into place methods to avert such risks and minimize damages. Document information management must take the following risks into account as business risks.

The risks require regular review, taking into consideration changes in the environment.

  1. Information security risks
  2. Compliance risks
  3. Disaster risks
  4. Reputation risks

Note: In contrast to risk management, crisis control refers to the responses to an incident or accident that has already taken place.

Since electronic document information exists on an IT platform and is exchanged via networking, action on information security risks is essential.

Risks related to information assets are classified largely into physical, technological and human threats, as shown in Table 7-1.

      Table 7-1 Examples of Threats

Physical ThreatsBreak-in, destruction, failure, power failure, natural disaster, etc.
Technological ThreatsUnauthorized access, eavesdropping, malware, tampering or deletion, DoS attack, identity theft, etc.
Human ThreatsErroneous operation, removal from premises, misconduct, inappropriate password management, etc.

Examples of compliance risks, on the other hand, are the inappropriate handling or leakage of personal information, loss or damage of statutory preservation documents and the violation of rights. Natural disaster risks include force majeure events such as earthquakes and typhoons and cannot be excluded from consideration. Reputation risks related to corporate business activities must also be taken into account.

7.2.2 Risk prevention measures

To address physical and technological threats, such as loss of document information, etc., measures such as data backup are implemented to avert such risks. Other risks are handled with attention to their respective levels of gravity and the potential costs incurred, with the execution of appropriate measures, including risk acceptance. If a risk cannot be ignored and cannot be addressed with any countermeasure, there is the need for changes in the underlying system.

Table 7-2 shows the threats to electronic documents and examples of preventive measures.

      Table 7-2 Threats to Electronic Documents and Examples of Preventive Measures

ThreatPreventive Measures
Theft or LeakageEncryption; access control; version/history management
Tampering, Alteration or SubstitutionElectronic signature and time stamp; version/history management
DisclaimerElectronic signature
Time and Date DisclaimerTime stamp
Identity TheftElectronic signature
Deletion or LossDocument management; version/history management
LossSearch function
Loss of ReadabilityStandardization of viewer and data format, etc.
Loss of ProvabilityExtended processing with an advanced electronic signature or secure preservation system (including version/history management), etc.

For protection against malware, attention must be paid to the application of program updates as swiftly as possible and when the software program update is distributed.

Since anti-malware software cannot detect all of the threats, caution must be exercised so as not to open files of unknown origin.

Information Security Incidents

An information security incident is an accident or incident that threatens information security and likely to affect business operations. As part of crisis control, documentation for emergency procedures should be made in advance, in order to enable an instantaneous emergency response.

Similarly, natural disasters must be addressed in terms of the protection of vital records as part of the business continuity plan, along with documentation of the emergency procedures in order to enable a swift response, depending on the circumstances.