8 reasons why record maintenance is important for data security
Record maintenance is not just important for keeping a neat and tidy desk, it is also vital for data security.
Keeping paper documents secure
Utilising secure storage is vital for data protection. If you have large volumes of archived paper documentation you may consider using secure off-site storage. These facilities are monitored 24 hours and provide a risk-free way of storing large amounts of paper. Alternatively, as a small business, having a lockable fire-proof filing cabinet that is regularly maintained is sufficient for security.
Important for GDPR compliance
One of the major reasons that record maintenance is so important is for compliance with the data protection rules (GDPR). Documenting your data processing activities is now a legal requirement and one that needs to be regularly monitored and updated.
Clean desk policy
Not only for good housekeeping, a clean desk also reveals to other staff and visitors that documentation is stored responsibly, and that steps have been taken to combat a potential data breach. Leaving any documents and notes in plain sight could put data at risk. Ensure everyone at your workplace is trained on how to manage their desk, where to file and where to shred a document that needs to be destroyed.
Processing, data sharing and retention
You could be required to share data with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) if requested. As such, your record keeping needs to be in good order. Easily locating each medium of data, be it digital or paper, demonstrates an efficient and responsible way of working.
Handling Personal Data
Everyone has the right to request the erasure of their personal data, or to know what types of data is held about them. Chances are your company holds personal data in some form, be it electronically filed or in hard copy. Many companies also store data off site. Ask yourself, would you be able to easily locate every different type of file if it was requested?
Saving time and money
Being able to easily locate a data in many different forms is not only important for data compliance but will also save time and money. This time saving is terms of how long it takes staff to locate a document, process, supply or delete it. Trying to locate a misfiled document is both frustrating and time wasting so ensure there is an efficient system for filing all data.
Data retention and disposal
Part of your data protection policy should include a programme of auditing what data can be retained or disposed of. In respects of paper documentation, one way to handle this is by using a professional shredding company to handle confidential documents. Whether you have a continuous requirement or a simple one-off clear out then you can trust a shredding company to maintain your data integrity. Shredding companies can also offer hard drive shredding, uniform shredding, IT and mobile phone shredding. It is also essential to provide recorded evidence of the data processes that your company follows as well as records of data privacy processes.
If your organisation is still unsure how data is processed, then why not carry out an information audit or data mapping exercise? This will identify gaps in your data flows that could leave data at risk of theft or breach.
If you would like help with record maintenance, then contact the professionals at The Shredding Alliance for a shredding quote.