The Many Business Risks of Bad Document Management
Modern businesses tend to be fairly well-versed in the ins and outs of device management, planning out the life cycle of IT assets before they even purchase new equipment. Part of this includes digital data management to ensure the security of confidential data.
However, your South Dakota business may not assign the same level of importance to managing documents, even if they contain the same data as digital files that have strict user permissions and protections like firewalls and encryption, for example. This can set your company up for serious consequences, should documents fall into the wrong hands. What kinds of risks does your business face from poor document management?
One of the most common potential problem areas related to improper document management is inefficiency. When you lack policies and procedures related to hard copies, they could end up floating around the office and getting lost, so when people need them, they’re nowhere to be found.
This can significantly impact productivity as workers waste valuable time chasing down needed data, compromising work flow and costing you money. In addition, it’s an invitation for data loss, and if you lose older records that haven’t yet been scanned into digital format, you may never recover that data.
Another major risk factor when you don’t properly manage documents is that they could fall into the wrong hands, along with the confidential data they contain. You have myriad security measures in place to protect your digital data, including permissions for who can access it. So why would you allow that same data to lie around on employee desks or languish in open shredding bins, where anyone could snatch it?
Your paper records should have the same protections as digital data, with restrictions on who can access what and how records are filed. In addition, it’s wise to enact policies designed to keep data safe from the time it’s printed until it’s shredded, including clean desk and shred all policies, as well as locking bins in your office that stop removal of documents once they have been placed inside.
Data Breach and Identity Theft
Internal theft is only one side of the coin. If you have bad document management practices, you also have to worry about the threat of external theft. If documents containing sensitive data are accidentally tossed in the trash, any industrious, dumpster-diving thief could lay hands on them.
Even if you shred in-house and toss the confetti in the trash, there are sophisticated technologies that can reconstitute all but the smallest paper fragments. In this case, your best bet is to partner with a certified mobile shredding service that helps to keep your documents secure even beyond destruction.
With locking bins for in-office use and regularly scheduled pickups to shred documents on-site while you watch, you won’t have to entrust shredding duties to employees, saving you time and money, and you won’t have to worry about internal theft. From there, paper remains will be hauled away for secure recycling, eliminating the threat of external theft, as well.