Despite the fact that an increasing number of organizations have implemented paperless business processes, many businesses still depend on hardcopy records. But it you're not careful, paper documents can be the weakest link in your corporate information security chain. Here are the most common risks to your business documents.
Theft and Unauthorized Access
Even though breaches of corporate digital data tend to make news headlines, sensitive business documents are compromised every day. As a result, the risk of theft and unauthorized access to your documents shouldn't be ignored. Paper records can go missing for weeks and months undetected, especially if they aren't managed properly. Consider using a professional records management service to ensure access to your documents is tightly controlled and monitored.
Poor Storage Environments
A poor storage environment poses a real risk to your business records. Paper is a hardy medium; under the right storage conditions, books and paper documents can be preserved for centuries. Still, too many organizations take the physical condition of their documents for granted. Although an attic or basement may seem like a convenient storage area, the following threats make them less than ideal for preserving and protecting business documents:
- Excessive moisture
- Mold and mildew
- Pests and critters
A better alternative is to store archival business documents in a commercial records centre for long-term preservation. A professional records centre is equipped with the following systems:
- Climate control
- Pest control
- Perimeter security
- 24/7 video surveillance
- Alarm system with monitoring
- Building and storage area access controls
Paper documents are especially vulnerable to physical damage. In an instant, a fire, flood or natural disaster can permanently destroy your entire records inventory. To help avoid disaster, always use a records storage service and store your vital business documents in their records centre to keep them away from your business location. A records centre can provide unparalleled protection from man-made and natural disasters.
Negligent Disposal and Disposition
The risk of failing to destroy your business documents promptly and securely isn't worth taking. You are legally obligated to securely dispose of documents that contain confidential personal information. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) requires all Canadian organizations collecting personal information to destroy it at the end of its legal retention period.
A professionally managed document destruction program prevents the theft of expired paper records and helps keep your business is in compliance with PIPEDA. The right vendor can offer onsite or offsite shredding options to meet your preferences and requirements. Both options make use of locked shred collection containers where you can dispose of files in a second. On a scheduled basis, your containers are collected and the contents are securely shredded. You receive a Certificate of Destruction noting the date and time of destruction to prove your PIPEDA compliance.
All your information needs to be protected, but take this opportunity to pay special attention to the risks your paper documents face, and mitigate them.
Docu-Dépôt provides records storage and document shredding services for businesses in Montréal and throughout Québec. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.
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