Anybody who’s been paying attention to the news knows that data breaches have become increasingly common. Data thefts have affected large companies like Target as well as smaller companies around the world.
The frequency of such breaches highlights that data security should be a priority for every enterprise regardless of its size. Even if you’re not bound by HIPAA or FACTA regulations, you should be thinking about what you can do to keep your data safe.
At Gilmore Services, we work closely with our clients to improve their data security. With that in mind, here are 4 ways to make data security a priority in your organization.
#1: Take Inventory of Your Data
The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already, is to make a complete inventory of the data you have stored. Your inventory should make note of:
- The data you have, including types of data and dates
- Storage locations, including physical files, electronic files, on and off-site storage, etc.
- The people who have access to your data
- Regulations that apply to your data
Making a complete inventory will help you take the next steps. It’s easy to lose track of what you have and if you don’t know, you might easily miss important deadlines.
#2: Create a Plan to Keep Your Data Secure
It’s common for organizations to assume their data is safe because they keep it in a locked room or create backups. However, there are some real risks associated with DIY storage.
Securing your data means:
- Understanding what you must store and how long you’re required to store it
- Destroying data according to regulatory requirements
- Maintaining a reliable system of backups
- Limiting employee and non-employee access to sensitive data
Your clients trust you to keep their data secure. It’s important to have a system in place that minimizes the chances of a breach.
#3: Create a Shredding Schedule
Your company may be required to destroy data in accordance with regulations. For example, medical and health information is governed by HIPAA, while consumer credit card information is protected by FACTA regulations.
You should create a shredding schedule based on regulatory and legal requirements. The data you store must be properly labeled and scheduled for shredding. Our secure pickup and file transportation will ensure that your records are never left unattended before they are shredded.
Keep in mind that even electronic data must be destroyed. Paper can be shredded, but at Gilmore Services we also provide hard drive shredding and data destruction services using Department of Defense-approved protocols.
#4: Partner with a Document Management Security Specialist
Perhaps the best thing you can do is to partner with a document management company that has a deep understanding of data security and can help you navigate both regulatory requirements and general security issues related to your data.
For example, at Gilmore Services, we work very closely with our clients to help them catalog the data they have. Our Business Records Management service gives client online access to request their data through our customer portal.
We’ll work with you to coordinate pickup of physical records and to create a data destruction schedule that ensures you’ll always comply with the regulations that apply to your business.
Proper storage and management of data is the key to data security. Instead of attempting to manage your documents internally, the best solution is to partner with a company that can catalog, store, and destroy your data.
To learn more about Gilmore Services’ record management and data destruction services, please click here.