Inactive data doesn’t receive as much care and attention as it should. Just because you’re not using it every day, that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. Cybercriminals would love to get their hands on your information, and poorly protected data is like low-hanging fruit – if the wrong person sees it, it’s gone.
The smartest way to reinforce your data security is investing in the latest technology, such as Content Services. These digital solutions are designed to add extra layers of defence that work to keep danger at bay. By restricting access, tracking user activity and removing the potential for human error, you can significantly reduce risk and keep your business running as it should.
Companies that continue to rely heavily on antiquated data storage methods are running unnecessary risks. It’s incredibly difficult to keep paper documents from falling into the wrong hands. All it takes is for one employee to remove a confidential file from the archive, such as a contract or invoice, and leave it on their desk while they go to the bathroom. Private information could then be seen by literally anybody walking past, including non-authorised colleagues, cleaners, or even visiting clients.
It’s true that some companies take steps to prevent this from happening, by either launching campaigns about security best practices or converting their paper archives to digital files on company servers. But neither of these are effective solutions. What’s more, many small companies mistakenly assume that their size means no cybercriminal would bother attacking them. In fact, the opposite is true, as smaller companies generally have lower security budgets which makes them soft targets.
If your data is stored in digital archives on the cloud, you don’t have to worry about data breaches, intentional or otherwise. Access restrictions ensure that only authorised individuals can view, edit or copy files stored in digital archives, and authorisation can be granted or denied instantly by managers with permission controls. The advanced security features of Content Services with digital archiving make this solution considerably more secure than storing data in filing cabinets or on your own servers.
With companies today collecting, storing and processing such immense amounts of data, organising it all has become quite a challenge. In the past, a filing cabinet with all your files arranged in alphabetical order would have worked fine. But in the digital era, relying on paper is too inefficient. Physical documents are unsuitable for the modern business environment as they’re too easy to misfile, lose or damage. If you don’t know where your data is, you can’t use it, and unusable data is worthless.
However, losing track of where your data is stored poses another more serious problem. On 25 May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in Europe to encourage more companies to take data security seriously. This new law gives citizens the right to know what personal data companies possess, and they can even request that it be deleted. Good news for customers, bad news for businesses with poor data organisation and management. Tracking down a specific file among piles of paper is virtually impossible, and company servers can be just as chaotic. Failure to comply with these new laws results in heavy fines.
Content Services can provide a simple, user-friendly solution to this problem. Paper files can be scanned and converted into digital copies automatically, with technology powerful enough to identify file type. Invoices are therefore identified as such and tagged for quicker retrieval in future. Your digital files are organised intelligently, by date, client name or other relevant information. If a customer wants to know what information you have on them, you can search your digital archive using a few keywords and resolve their query instantly. This ensures compliance with EU regulations to avoid fines and helps build trust with customers, who will be pleased to know that you’re looking after their data effectively.
Finally, there is one universal truth that all businesses must deal with: Humans make mistakes. Nobody’s perfect, but a simple case of human error could have severe consequences. Imagine a company that needs licenses in order to operate, for example a manufacturer that markets its products as ISO certified. These licenses need to be renewed regularly in order to retain validity, but without a clearly defined system, busy employees can easily forget to do so. This could go unnoticed for any length of time, until the firm is audited. If auditors stumble across expired licenses, contracts or safety guides, your company can expect a fine for non-compliance as well as potential damage to your reputation and brand.
Forgetfulness is just one of the many defects that people have. Other seemingly innocent mistakes include misreading data, mistyping email addresses and misfiling documents. Every little error made by your team contributes to slowing down your workflow. Inputting the wrong data into your system effectively renders it useless, while sending emails to the wrong person could be dangerous if any confidential information falls into the wrong hands. Misfiling things in the filing cabinet is just as problematic. If a file isn’t where it’s supposed to be, how can you be sure that it hasn’t been lost, stolen or destroyed?
Fortunately, companies no longer have to rely on humans for every task. Thanks to digital archiving with automated processes, mishandling data is a distant memory. Any information received on paper is scanned automatically into the system, cutting out the potential for human error at the start of the data lifecycle. Indexing tags are added intuitively to make everything easier to find in future, while notifications can be programmed to ensure that nothing is forgotten. If any file requires attention, for example a license that needs renewing, the appropriate person is sent a reminder ahead of time. That way, you have nothing to fear from audits, because all of your company data will be in order.
Inactive data is no less important than any other business data, and it therefore requires the same level of protection. In the modern business world, storing information on paper is simply not viable, and moving it to company servers does not always resolve the problem. If your servers are inadequately secured or poorly organised, they can be just as problematic as filing cabinets. But luckily there are digital solutions available, such as Content Services, which harness the power of the cloud to provide extra layers of protection.
With access restrictions, only authorised employees can view or modify company files, and the risk of cyberattacks is kept to a minimum. In terms of potential non-compliance issues, user tracking features ensure that every modification is recorded. On top of this, indexing tags and notifications cancel out one of the biggest problems faced by businesses: human error. Your files will always be where you expect them to be, instantly retrievable using keywords to search, and you will be reminded to deal with any file requiring attention before it becomes an issue.