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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.

Records management risks must be consistently monitored and controlled to ensure the safety of your and your clients' information. The smartest way to reinforce your data security is by 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. Plus, by switching to cloud technology, you can enable your business to grow more rapidly and easily in the new era of work.

Here are three ways that digital archiving will help you minimise records management risks and reap the rewards of a digital workplace.

1. Cloud security

Companies that continue to rely heavily on antiquated file 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 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 electronic 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 make them soft targets.

If your data is stored in digital archives on the cloud, you significantly reduce your risk of a data breach, intentional or otherwise. Access restrictions ensure that only authorised individuals can view, edit or copy files stored on the cloud, 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.

2. Tracking controls

With companies today collecting, storing and processing such immense amounts of data, organising it all has become a challenge that comes with significant records management risks. 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 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 or don't have access to it, you can’t use it, and unusable data is worthless.

However, losing track of where your data is stored poses another more serious problem. In December 2019, the Attorney-General announced that the Australian Government would conduct a review of the Privacy Act 1988, signalling an increased interest in the security of individuals and consumers' information. The review has now closed and the discussion paper is due in 2021. In light of this review, companies will need to consider their records management risks and the consequences of data breaches they may be leaving themselves open to.

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 automatically identify file types. Invoices are therefore identified as such and tagged for quicker retrieval in the 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 privacy regulations to avoid fines and helps build trust with customers, who will be pleased to know that you’re looking after their data effectively.

3. No human error

Finally, there is one universal truth that all businesses must deal with: humans make mistakes. Imagine a company that needs licences in order to operate - for example, a manufacturer that markets its products as ISO certified. These licences 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 licences, contracts or safety guides, your company can expect a fine for non-compliance, as well as potential damage to your reputation and brand. 

Forgetfulness, misreading data, mistyping email addresses and misfiling documents are just some of the mistakes that people can make. Every little error made by your team contributes to slowing down your workflows. 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 can eliminate these errors with a digital archiving system that automates many menial tasks and repetitive processes. Digital archiving enables any piece of information received on paper to be 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 licence 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.

What does this mean for your business? 

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, you could be facing just as many records management risks as with filing cabinets. Luckily there are digital storage 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 ensures 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.

Businesses are handling more documents and data than ever before, and many are struggling to keep up. The answer to this challenge lies in using modern technologies such as Content Services to drive business efficiency and growth. Download the ebook today to learn more.