Is data security a barrier to your contract operations transformation journey?

Published Date:
June 22, 2023

Quick intro to data security

Over the last few decades the reliance on digital communications and documentation has made it crucial for businesses to implement robust measures on their preferred technologies to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of business information. And now we're seeing a new wave of disruptive technology in the form of Artificial Intelligence (AI) transform how business operations are carried out.

According to a new McKinsey Global Survey of executives, their companies have accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years. And the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years.

When it comes to Contract Management, the problem of data security only compounds on legal teams, contract managers and business teams given how much reliance the business process has on manual processes, email, shared folders, local drives, messaging tools etc. And given that contracts are managed by every function in a company, the topic of data security of contracts should also be a company-wide effort.

In this blog, we'll explore the fundamentals of contract management security and provide some technology best practices for improving the Contract Management Process.


The importance of a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution to manage contract operations

Business contracts carry the most sensitive information of your company and become the Single Source of Truth (SSOT) of all business transactions carried out at your company. Whether that's sales, purchasing, employee salary data or confidential information, they reside on your business contracts.

And in simple words, a Contract Lifecycle Management Solution (CLM) is to Legal teams what a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Solution is to Sales Teams. So having a centralised platform to manage the most critical documents of the company is justified. Cottrill Research has some compelling statistics that support the logic for a contract management solution:

  • 60-80% of business contracts are governed by contracts
  • 18% of selling cycle is consumed by the contract administration
  • 20% higher conversion rate when using a CLM
  • 2.5% higher annual customer renewal rates

... and so on

Advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) are also revolutionising the way organisations manage their contracts workflow. Leveraging AI in contract management has proven to be successful in areas such as contract review, negotiation, tracking, and analysis.

A Harvard Business Review finds that AI can help in mitigating inefficient contracting processes which typically causes firms to lose between 5% to 40% of value on a given deal, depending on circumstances.

So while the business case to invest in a CLM is sound, this should never be at the cost of compromising data security.


Key considerations for privacy and data security for Contract Management

While the general principles of privacy and security for a technology product still applies, here are some key considerations specific to a Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution.

What third-party integrations does the CLM product have:

Integrations to other applications offer businesses the flexibility of moving their data in a streamlined manner. So while this is good for productivity, it could be tricky for security. For example, setting up AI infrastructure generally is one of the most difficult tasks in deploying AI systems. The easiest workaround for this is to use third party vendors like OpenAI (the creators of ChatGPT). In this case, the data (read contracts) flows outside of the CLM to the third party vendor and the AI insights are received back. While convenient, this leaks sensitive data like personally identifiable information (PII) and confidential business data, leading to security concerns. So ensure that you understand the entry and exit points of your sensitive data when using a CLM with AI.


What are the data encryption standards on the CLM:

The secure storage of an organisation's legal contracts is of paramount importance. The standards for data encryption should include an end to end encryption of data while in transit as well as at rest (read as when stored). If the technology solution uses AI, this adds a layer of complexity. Since AI systems need data to train the models, most CLMs tend to utilise customer data to train their AI systems, potentially exposing sensitive information and creating data leakage risks. It is crucial to choose a CLM platform that enforces robust encryption protocols and ensures that customer data is not used to train the AI models employed by the platform.


What are the protocols for data retention and deletion:

CLM platforms may have varying policies regarding data retention and deletion. Organisations must ensure that the platform adheres to legal and regulatory requirements regarding data retention periods. Additionally, mechanisms for securely deleting data should be in place, with guarantees that the CLM platform will not use deleted data for purposes such as training or evaluating their AI systems.


What options are available for user-defined access controls

Data breaches often occur due to inadequate authentication mechanisms. To mitigate such risks, it is crucial to choose a CLM platform which enforces rigorous security protocols, including role-based access controls (RBAC), multi-factor authentication (MFA), and appropriate user permission levels. These measures help prevent unauthorised access and data breaches.


How Scribe Zero addresses Privacy and Security in its CLM

Scribe Zero is committed to building secure CLM platform by implementing robust security measures:

Data Encryption

Scribe Zero places highest priority on protecting customer data throughout its lifecycle. All customer data, including legacy contracts and newly created contracts within its platform and stored on the customer contract repository, undergo robust end-to-end encryption

  • in transit (using TLS 1.3) and
  • at rest (through AES-256).

By encrypting customer data, Scribe Zero effectively safeguards sensitive information from being accessed or manipulated by unauthorised parties. Furthermore, this encryption approach prevents the customer's data from being utilised to train AI models, eliminating any potential data leakage or unauthorised use of confidential information within the platform.

In-House AI Development

Scribe Zero takes pride in developing all AI systems in-house, without relying on third-party vendors for training or inference. By keeping all AI-related activities within its own infrastructure, Scribe Zero ensures that customer data remains exclusively within its hardware. This approach significantly reduces the risk of data leakage to external entities or unauthorised access by third parties.

Penetration Testing

Scribe Zero performs annual penetration and half yearly vulnerability testing


Apart from the Google Sign-In, users in Singapore have the option of using their  SingPass to Sign-Up and Sign-In ensuring additional security based on verified identity credentials.

User Role Management

Scribe Zero offers its customers the ability to categorise their users by roles and restrict access as needed within the CLM platform.

Two-Factor Authentication

Scribe Zero utilises two-factor authentication, providing an additional layer of security that neutralises risks associated with compromised passwords. This significantly reduces the likelihood of unauthorised access to customer accounts and enhances overall system security.

Enforcing such robust security protocols makes Scribe Zero 100% secure, protecting you from any kind of data breaches.


About Scribe Zero

Scribe Zero is a digital contract lifecycle management (CLM) platform which helps organisations with all aspects of digital contracting. We are harnessing the power of machine learning and AI to secure and enhance our customers' experiences. Our CLM platform helps customers to improve their speed of contracting without compromising on their compliance requirements. Whether that's a Sales agreement, an employment contract, a licensing agreement or an NDA, the Scribe Zero CLM has been built to improve collaboration, extract critical insights from documents and route tasks to the right people at the right time.