5 Document Storage Guidelines to Follow

As if you didn’t have enough challenges with just running your business, you also have to be concerned with ensuring consumer information is protected from data loss disasters. Reviewing these five document storage guidelines will help you manage and organize your documents efficiently and securely.

Be Organized

Documents come in many forms and need to be stored in an organized manner for easy and quick retrieval. It is important to have a clear and defined system of procedures in place to ensure that that all department staff are operating together. Your procedures should:

  • Define which paper documents should be scanned and retained.
  • Be consistent with file naming to allow for ease of searchability.
  • Indicate which information requires backing up.

Be Current

Regularly evaluate your procedures and stay up on what’s current in document storage. Your industry may also dictate what regulations you are accountable to. For instance, the financial, military, federal and medical fields are governed by additional regulations. These regulations are designed to protect both the business and its owners.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is an example of legal requirements the medical industry must comply with. Staying current with regulations will help your business avoid any disruption to business or legal repercussions.

Be Protected

Storing data in one place is incredibly risky. You could lose your only copy of that data to a computer crash, power failure, virus/malware, accidental deletion, human error, water, fire, server damage, physical theft, or cyber theft.

A common approach to keeping your data safe is the 3-2-1 backup rule, which states:

  1. Keep at least three copies of your data
  2. Store two backup copies on different storage media and keep one of those copies offsite

Incorporating this as standard storage will greatly increase your level of protection.

Be Redundant

Having a backup process for static data is simple, but companies add, delete and change data on a regular basis. Implementing one of three redundancy backup systems increases the safety of the stored data:

  1. Full backup. Everything that is important is copied to backup.
  2. Incremental backup. Only the files that have changed since the last incremental backup are copied.
  3. Differential backup. Only the files that have changed since the last full backup are copied.

Some businesses also implement an automated backup system so data is regularly and frequently backed up without requiring a human to initiate the process.

Be Recoverable

Any of the previously-mentioned disasters can occur at any time, creating potential havoc for your business. Even if you have the best methods in place for storing data, you also need a plan of action should a disaster occur. A data loss prevention and disaster recovery plan will help you quickly recover data and get back in business following any scenario.

A disaster recovery plan should include:

  • Steps for recovering compromised or lost data.
  • Steps for how to respond in any scenario (e.g., when and how to notify customers).
  • A list of organizations and personal contacts to provide a remedy.
  • A full annual document storage system evaluation.

Being ready and safe will give confidence to you, your staff, and your customers that the data is secure no matter what may happen. Seeking support with document storage can be beneficial to staying focused on your business, keeping costs down and ensuring data is secure.

ADS is a full-service provider of records management and storage services in the Atlanta and Northwest Georgia region. They welcome your call at 877-527-5237 or your questions by completing the form on this page.

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TESTIMONIALS

My staff and I had the pleasure of participating in an ADS Consulting Shredding & Storage Workshop in April 2011.As a new business, it was critical for us to get off to a good start. The workshop provided us with useful information and practical applications that helped us do that. The ‘hands on’ training experience we received in a successful, working document destruction and storage business environment was invaluable.Renee and her staff were very personable and helpful and continue to be valuable business partners to this day.I highly recommend the ADS Workshop to both new and existing businesses

Rob Giannini, C.O.O.Commonwealth ...