If one would care to stop, ponder and reflect, he/she will discover that our world is being run by valuable information and data. Be it our personal lives, a commercial operation, or an undertaking of the future, information rules! Period. That being said, enterprises- big & small are the mines of information. From their tax and compliance records to crucial research & development projects, almost all businesses can be rightly labeled as ‘Information & Records’ hotspots. At this point, any rational man would argue about the Security of information stored in digital & traditional formats if it is so valuable. Hence, we decided to compose this article.
Here are the tips and steps for enterprises to improve their Records Management Compliance and secure their invaluable information.
#1. Begin by evaluating the risks
To establish the goals that your records security and compliance must achieve, your company must first evaluate the risks associated with records & information breach. Typically, different departments need to assess the following risks;
- Financial Risk – Your enterprise must map out the risks associated with finances like decision making, budgeting, expenditure, taxes, etc. Ask yourself- Does the breach of information affect your company’s finances in anyway?
- Operational Risk – Here, your team needs to figure out if your critical operations and business process will be affected in case the records or data are sabotaged.
- Intelligence Theft & Espionage – Businesses, especially the ones with a dedicated R&D wing, must be wary of the confidential information and intellectual property. Similarly, this could also lead to identity theft which is altogether a high-level threat for the stakeholders.
- Reputational Risk – Regardless of their size, every enterprise has to hold up an image of integrity and trust that instills a confidence of security among its stakeholders. You must evaluate any risk to your brand name or image that might be caused due to breach of records/information.
#2. Formulate an effective information security strategy
Once you’ve mapped out possible risks, you must draft a records and information security strategy that can be applied across the enterprise. Below are some tips to keep in mind;
- All the employees and staff members must be briefed about the information security compliance and the purpose behind that.
- They must be trained on the security protocols established around record documents and digital files belonging to the company.
- They must also be trained to detect any possible event that may lead to breach of information/records and the apt response to deal with it to contain the situation.
#3. Executing the enterprise information and security strategy
The information security is an umbrella term and constitutes both- Physical records and Digital files. Following are the security aspects that need to be supervised for the strategy to be effective.
Begin by organizing your most sensitive and confidential documents. If they require perusal only by you or other authorized members, lock them in the cabinets. The access to the keys should be restricted.
In case of confidential business files in the digital format, lock them with a password and store them over your internal server/cloud storage.
Install Backup & Security
Physical records are vulnerable to environmental factors and can be damaged in the long run. In fact, they can be destroyed altogether in a mishap involving fire. It is advised that you keep your physical records in an off-site storage or get professionals like Starbic to do so at your site.
Similarly, digital files must have a backup over cloud servers or your internal company servers from where they can be accessed anytime.
Labels & Tags
Whatever the format of your information be (physical document or digital), it is only valuable if it can be retrieved on time. Assigning labels to your records can be super helpful in accessing them for urgent needs. Similarly, tags can be assigned to digital files for seamless retrieval.
Get your Records Management Infrastructure audited regularly to stay ahead in the game of information management.
Adhere to the above mentioned strategies for an effective information security outcome. Also, reach out to us for any professional Records Management needs!