Any company interested in enhancing its protection against data breaches and break-ins must do 2 vital things: The company must go paperless, and it must understand the security benefits behind the software that delivers paperless organizational models across the globe—Document Management Software (DMS). While criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods, measures of tracking and preventing these criminals’ ploys are on pace to put the burglars and swindlers behind bars. At the forefront of this security revolution sits document management. In light of its advent, we must look to how the course of criminal history would have panned out differently, had proper document management systems been in place at the time.

10. JP Morgan Chase’s Security Breach 

JP Morgan Chase’s infamous security breach resulted in 76 million compromised households, including 7 million small business’ financial and personal information. With tepid consumer confidence in the digital banking industry as it was, the breach further heightened anxiety. 4 people were arrested for the crime in July 2015, with their inlet to JP Morgan’s data being an unprotected server. This is a server issue that DMS would have prevented, assuming employees had used the technology correctly.

9. Anthem BlueCross BlueShield’s Internal Information Breach

A recent Ponemon study ranked criminal attacks as the leading cause of data breach in the healthcare industry; Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, the nation’s second largest healthcare insurer, is no exception to this phenomenon. Having lost 80 million bits of information, including names, social security numbers, birth dates, and employment information, there wasn’t a company in 2015 in greater need of a crisis PR game plan. 11 conspirators were arrested, and one was an employee of BlueCross BlueShield—making the breach a matter of internal security. If Anthem BlueCross BlueShield’s information infrastructure had used the role-based user permission features of DMS, the breach would never have occurred.

8. The eBay Data Breach

This is perhaps the largest data breach in history: eBay’s data breach. eBay’s plummeting stock price was not the company’s biggest concern—staying afloat was. Thankfully, eBay was smart enough to store vital customers’ identity info in secure and encrypted spaces, separately from the spots that the breach affected. However, this online retailer was forced to publicly announce to 150 million customers that their passwords should be changed as a protective measure, leaving the online bidding market less than thrilled. This hack utilized malware, attempting to lure eBay employees to download the malware unwittingly to their computers and poach customer information. Such malware would not have been able to breach enterprise-grade document management technology.

7. La Mesa Police Department Uses Document Management to Capture Gunman

On the other side of the spectrum, DMS software has proven to be a great asset in more than data protection. Through document management technology, the La Mesa Police Department in Arizona has reduced the city’s crime by 10%; one event in particular illustrates the usefulness of document management. An officer used DMS within his squad car to input information on the culprit’s vehicle into the police department’s system, identifying a gunman—who had just shot and killed a grocery store clerk—as a recidivist in need of lockup. Police arrested the killer within two hours of his fleeing the scene of the crime: the policeman found his address quickly via DMS. In this scenario, DMS had helped La Mesa officers confirm probable cause quickly, while patrolling the streets, directly from their patrol cars. The help of DMS has increased public trust in the department and helped officers respond promptly to critical incidents.

6. Barry Landau: The Paper Purloiner

Barry Landau is perhaps the savviest document burglar of all time, stealing documents as noteworthy as Abraham Lincoln’s 1861 Land Grant. Again, role-based user permissions—assuming these documents were digitized—would have prevented Landau’s thievery. Additionally, DMS’s role-based user permission features would have limited the number of suspects for prosecutors, perhaps landing Landau in prison before he got to other valuable documents.

5. Edward J. Renehan, Jr. 

Renehan’s thievery of documents penned by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln took place within the walls of organizations he owned. That aside, the role-based user permission history of document management software would have been able to provide a pretty simple shortlist of suspects.

4. Charles Merrill Mount

Although he was considered a talented writer and artist in his own right, that didn’t prevent Merrill Mount from stealing famous letters written by eminent politicians and authors of his era. Prosecutors couldn’t prove he had stolen document from the National Archives and the Library of Congress, but they were able to prove his reselling of the letters. Had he truly stolen the letters—which many believe to have been the case, based on circumstantial evidence—and DMS had been in place, the documents’ check-in and check-out histories would have likely narrowed the suspect list to him alone.

3. Bernie Madoff’s Embezzlements 

The SEC and document management services offer strictures that now would make it very difficult for any “paperless” business to conceal investment fraud as furtively as Bernie Madoff. Madoff stole $50 billion USD from his client base, making him one of the most infamous racketeers in history. There is evidence of Madoff’s misconduct dating back to the 1970s (his arrest occurring in 2009). Harry Markopolos sent the SEC a 17-page report stating Madoff’s hedge fund, which at the time was the largest in the world, to be a fraud. The SEC was undeterred, resolving only to ask Madoff if he was a crook—not the best inquiry, especially from a regulating authority. Had DMS been mandatory, Madoff’s racketeering would have been too evident to avoid in the auditing process.

2. Daniel D. Lorello

After spending over three decades working for the State Library of New York, a historian saw one of the library’s documents for sale on eBay. The historian recognized the letter as an artifact belonging to the New York State Library, not to its eBay auctioneer, Lorello. Had DMS had been in place, the document’s check-out history would have caught the culprit long before he got to eBay.

1. Nixon’s Henchmen: The Watergate Debacle

If Document Management Software had been in use by 1972, perhaps nothing more preemptive would have happened in history—particularly if DMS were implemented in the Watergate building in Washington, D.C. Nixon’s reelection campaign attempted to steal classified information from the Watergate building, much of it in the form of paper documents. Nixon’s henchmen campaign would have been hard-pressed to conceive of such an idea had these secret documents been digitized and uploaded to a DMS system. Who knows: Nixon may have gone down in history as a revered president, had document management software been implemented at the Watergate headquarters, keeping him from even entertaining the idea of this infamous break-in.