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Protecting your Business Documents from Disaster

Corporate data exists in multiple formats, from traditional paper files – to digital documents stored in the cloud – to electronic information stored on media storage devices. However, with the explosion of technology and the resulting storage options comes an ever present, myriad array of risks to your business data, ranging from physical theft to seemingly increasing occurrences of natural disaster. As a business owner it’s your responsibility to acknowledge these threats to your business information. In short, no matter in which format your information resides, whether it be electronic, digital, or hardcopy, you have a responsibility to protect it, because after all, your data is arguably your most important business asset.

It’s your due diligence to protect your business information

This responsibility is not only an ethical one to your organisation and clients, but also a legal and regulatory obligation. More often than not, the latter serves as the key impetus for establishing a disaster recovery and business continuity plan for most businesses. It’s no wonder – the financial sanctions and penalties can be an Achilles heel for even the most financially sound organisations. As a result, it pays to incorporate the following strategies into your DR plan:

Eliminating the risks to paper files

With an increased focus on corporate electronic data being compromised, paper documents and files aren’t vulnerable to the risks of hacking, malware and cyber attacks. However, in the event of a fire or flood, your vital business records could easily be permanently destroyed. Unfortunately, many organisations fail to implement the proper solution for protecting and preserving their paper documents and files until they’ve experienced an unfortunate loss.

Acknowledging the risks from both man-made and natural disasters that may potentially compromise your business records is the first step in locating the proper resources you need to implement a plan. As with any key business data, it is important to store documents that must be retained in a secure offsite location. A professional records storage service can enable the following advantages for your business:

  • increased security for confidential documents
  • enhanced long term preservation
  • improved protection from fire and water damage and theft
  • increased auditing capabilities
  • improved records management

Scheduled shredding as a proactive measure

A secure destruction service used in combination with an offsite storage solution can also enhance your disaster recovery plan. In reality, a “disaster” doesn’t always have to entail an enormous and cataclysmic event. Documents that are compromised during the disposal process can have catastrophic affects on your organization including:

  • identity theft of clients and/or staff
  • bad publicity
  • civil or legal suits
  • regulatory fines

Furthermore, a regular destruction plan can eliminate unnecessary storage of files that are past the required retention period.

Data protection for electronic information

Documents that are stored in an electronic format should also be protected. Your business should have a regular backup plan that both minimises data loss and enables the restoration of data in the event of a disaster. Just as paper files should be stored offsite, critical backup devices containing electronic documents and files should also be protected in an offsite facility built specifically for the preservation
of magnetic media. It should contain the following:

  • strict temperature and humidity control
  • inventory tracking
  • fire protection/resistance systems
  • 24/7, 365 security monitoring
  • strictly controlled, authorized access

Archive Document Data Storage provides Records Storage, Secure Destruction, Data Tape Rotation and Disaster Planning services to businesses throughout London, Swindon, and Bath. To find out more about how we can help protect your business documents from disaster, please contact us by phone or fill in the form on the page.

The File Queen: Expert in Record & Information Management, LPM Columnist.

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