Author: tech support

Finding a Scanning Solution That Matches Your Budget

If your business relies heavily on paper, you know it can be expensive and time-consuming. Storing files occupies valuable office space, and paper documents always require management:

  • Printing
  • Duplication
  • Filing
  • Retrieval

The good news is, professional document scanning enables your paper documents to be converted to searchable digital images for more cost-effective information storage and management.

Finding a scanning solution that matches your budget can be challenging. Here we break down the available options so you can determine which one best fits your needs:

Backfile scanning

The “paperless” office is a decades-old concept, but we now live in an age when it’s actually possible. Your stored documents of all sizes and types can be converted into fully-readable and easily-accessible digital images in a scanning process called “backfile conversion.”

Naturally, the more paper scanned, the higher your document scanning costs, which makes backfile scanning a potentially costly endeavor. It may be tempting to handle the scanning process in-house, but that can be even more expensive when you factor in:

  • Equipment purchases
  • Staff management costs
  • The hiring of temporary labor

On top of all this, in-house scanning projects are often interrupted by other revenue-generating and core business processes, and picking them back up later can be challenging. Ensuring accuracy and quality during the conversion is another matter. It’s not uncommon for in-house backfile scanning projects to remain incomplete due to lack of experience and expertise.

Outsourcing your scanning to a professional document imaging provider eliminates infrastructure and capital expenses and enables your documents to be scanned efficiently and accurately without hampering staff productivity. The provider you choose can act as your imaging service bureau, handling:

  • Pickup of documents
  • Scanning preparation
  • Indexing
  • Data entry
  • High-volume scanning
  • Quality assurance
  • Exporting data

Backfile scanning, when handled professionally, enables your files to be converted in the most efficient and economical way possible.

Day forward scanning

Going completely paperless may not be within the reach of your budget, and it may not be the most practical solution for your business. Some documents can be scanned as soon as they enter your workflow. A day forward scanning solution allows active documents to be converted into easily-managed images.

With proper training, day forward scanning can be handled by your staff with the use of desktop scanning equipment. After that, it’s important for your images to be properly protected and organized. A professional online document hosting solution enables any digital file format to be securely transferred to a secure data center for safekeeping and proper management.

Scan on demand

Scanning the entire contents of a one-cubic-foot box of records costs approximately $70. However, the same box can be stored for 10 years for around $36. So it’s more cost-effective to store rarely-accessed paper documents rather than imaging and converting them.

If you have limited office space in which to store your records, a scan on demand service enables your documents to be stored economically in a commercial records center and scanned only if and when you need them. For example, if you need a file that’s stored off-site, a request is submitted to the records center. Within a few hours, the file is imaged and electronically delivered to you—even faster than the physical file can be delivered to you. Scan on demand offers these additional benefits:

  • Reduced file location and retrieval time
  • Anytime records availability
  • Secure document delivery to any location you specify

This money-saving solution enables you to only convert as they are needed to support your business processes.

Document scanning helps ensure timely access to your information, reduces office storage constraints, and improved security. When determining which scanning option best fits your budget, it pays to seek the advice of a local, trusted document scanning solution provider.

Richards & Richards provides document scanning solutions for business throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Important Processes for Destroying Confidential Information

Destroying confidential information is not an option—it’s a requirement. In addition to the obligation you have to protect the privacy of your employees and clients, you’re also responsible for following state and federal privacy protection laws. Having a secure process for destroying your confidential information saves your business time and money and reduces privacy breach risks.

Identification

The first step in destroying confidential information is identifying which documents no longer useful to your organization, or those you are not legally obligated to keep. Retention schedules provide a useful benchmark because they clearly define how long documents should be retained and when they should be destroyed. Documents reaching the end of a required retention period should be destroyed after a final review unless they are currently used in litigation processes.

In addition to saving space and providing enhanced security for your confidential information, a records storage service can help you keep up with retention schedules and allow archival documents to be destroyed on time. The retention destruction process works like this:

  • Destruction dates are determined based on federal, state and local laws and regulations
  • Retention data applicable to each file is entered into an inventory management database
  • You are alerted when your file has reached the end of its retention lifecycle
  • The file is then professionally destroyed for you

Collection

You may have your employees destroying documents with office paper shredders. While this may appear to be the most direct path to secure document destruction, in reality, time-consuming shredding duties often get pushed aside in favor of other important tasks. Within a busy office setting, documents can stack up without being shredded for days, weeks or even months.

The collection of any material to be destroyed should be efficient and secure to avoid potential exposure of confidential information. Paper shredding machines require that staples, paperclips, sticky notes and file folders be removed, and files must be broken into shreddable stacks. But when you use professional shred collection containers, whole files can be quickly dropped inside without being disassembled.

If the storage of old, no-longer-needed documents is eating up your valuable office space, a one-time file purge shredding service may be the answer. This service enables collection containers to be delivered to your office, where your staff can drop files for collection and shredding. If you’d like to keep up with your shredding so that document storage never becomes an issue, a scheduled shredding service with collection containers placed throughout your building is the best way to go.

Verification

When using in-house staff to shred your documents, it is very difficult—if not impossible—to verify that information has been destroyed in a timely, secure, and thorough manner. In order to ensure privacy protection for your clients and compliance with privacy laws and regulations, your document destruction process should include verification of destruction.

A professional NAID AAA shredding service incorporates verifiable security standards throughout the destruction process through the following processes:

  • Trained, screened and uniformed staff
  • Strict chain of custody procedures are followed during handling and shredding of documents
  • GPS-tracked vehicles are used to transport shredded material
  • A Certificate of Destruction issued at the end of the destruction process provides you with proof that all documents were destroyed in accordance to the highest privacy protection standards

Your corporate information destruction process should be secure, consistent and easily for your employees to follow. Assess the efficiency of your current system and identify any potential risks that may lead to compromised documents. You may find that a professional shredding service with established procedures and specialized staff can strengthen your privacy protection strategy.

Richards & Richards provides document shredding solutions to business throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

5 Ways Professional Shredding Benefits Your Business

Paper shredding is a must for protecting sensitive business information, client records, and employee files. Privacy protection should be at the top of your list when looking for a reputable professional shredding provider. But ensuring your records are destroyed securely isn’t the only thing a professional shredding service can offer your business. In addition to reducing liability and increasing productivity, outsourcing your document shredding also protects your business reputation, contributes to a healthier planet, and saves your organization money.

Enabling productivity

Relying on your office shredder is better than tossing documents in the trash. But it still takes time to feed paper through your shredding machine. Shredding a single file takes several minutes with all of the steps involved, which can include:

  • removing paper clips and staples
  • straightening sheets of paper
  • cleaning up paper particles
  • disposing of shredded paper
  • oiling shredder blades

When you shred your documents in-house, you end up paying your employees to feed a shredder rather than generate revenue for your business.

A professional shredding service enables your staff to be more productive with their time. Collection containers are placed within your office allowing no-longer-needed documents to be discarded quickly and securely. The entire destruction process is handled for you, enabling enhanced productivity for your staff.

Saving money

Maintaining an internal shredding program for your company is expensive. Your costs include:

  • purchasing shredders
  • buying disposal bags
  • performing maintenance
  • replacing inoperable equipment
  • utility expenses

Outsourcing your shredding saves money for your business. Locked collection containers take the place of your electricity-hogging shredding machines. They are emptied for you on a scheduled basis, preventing unauthorized access to your confidential information.

Reducing liability

You can’t ignore your legal obligation to maintain privacy standards for your information. Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA) regulate and enforce standards for maintaining information privacy during the disposal process.

A NAID AAA certified shredding service ensures that the destruction of your documents complies with the privacy protection standards outlined in these laws. A Certificate of Destruction further reduces potential liability risks for your business by providing proof of date, time and method of destruction.

Safeguarding your reputation

Your business reputation is one of your most valuable assets. If your documents aren’t properly destroyed, they may fall into the wrong hands—compromising the trust of your clients, employees and potentially your whole community. It doesn’t take long for a privacy breach to become a news headline.

Professional shredding protects your business reputation by providing reliable and secure destruction of your documents. Screened, uniformed professionals destroy your information following strict chain of custody procedures, the destruction process is recorded, and locked, GPS-tracked vehicles are used to transport your paper records to a secure shredding plant.

Ensuring recycling

You know that recycling your paper contributes to a healthier environment. But after shredding records with an office shredder, it’s too risky to set them aside for recycling. Bags of shredded material are often stolen by criminals hoping to gain access to confidential information.

A professional paper shredding service incorporates recycling into the destruction process without compromising confidentiality. Both shredding and recycling take place within a closed building protected by security procedures and technology. The professional shredding process ensures documented custody throughout the collection, destruction, paper baling and recycling process.

An outsourced shredding solution ensures your confidential information is protected at all times. Once you delve deeper into each of the benefits of professional document destruction, you’ll want it for your business.

Richards & Richards provides outsourced document shredding solutions to business throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

3 Factors to Consider Before Scanning your Documents

You may be considering a document scanning solution to reduce your company’s dependence on paper. Paper reduction is a big trend within the business world and is a smart decision for many organizations looking to boost efficiency and productivity.

In order to ensure it provides the most benefit to your business, first consider these three factors:

1. Cost

A professional document scanning solution helps you save money over time. Initially, however, there are upfront costs because of the number of steps required to convert hardcopy records to electronic images:

  • Sorting and organization
  • Preparation and coding
  • Document scanning
  • Document Indexing
  • Image transfer

Quality control procedures ensure all information is accurately captured throughout the scanning process. All of these procedures contribute to your document scanning costs. Determine which records to digitize by evaluating your accessibility and retention needs. Those will be good indicators of which records to scan, and by scanning only the most needed ones, you’ll keep your costs in check.

2. Accessibility

You should be able to easily locate and access your digital information, otherwise you’re in the same place you were with your paper records—taking too much time to find the information you need. Prior to scanning, decide where your digital files will be stored and who will need access. Will they be stored locally on a server, on a portable storage device, or in the cloud? Will you be using an electronic document management system? Regardless of the storage location, it’s important to ensure that your files can be:

  • Integrated with business applications
  • Processed quickly
  • Properly routed and tracked
  • Easily searched for

As a rule of thumb, frequently accessed files should take priority in your scanning project. Inactive, archival documents can be inexpensively stored off-site and quickly retrieved and imaged with a Scan on Demand solution for fast accessibility.

3. Retention requirements

Your information, whether it is in paper format or digital format, has to be kept and tracked in accordance with legal requirements. Therefore, any retention data associated with your paper records should also be transferred to digital copies.

Proper indexing and coding during the document scanning process is vital so retention guidelines can be followed after the scanning. And Optical Character Recognition (OCR), the conversion of printed text into machine-encoded text, allows retention information to be easily pinpointed through keyword searches.

Moving forward with confidence

Document scanning is an effective solution for reducing paper dependence in your company. Incorporate an assessment of cost, accessibility and retention compliance into the scope of your imaging project to ensure your imaging project enhances productivity for your business.

Richards & Richards provides document scanning and online document hosting solutions to businesses throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

You’ve Scanned Your Records. Now What?

Document scanning reduces your dependence on paper and streamlines business processes, but searching through an inventory of electronic files can be just as time-consuming as thumbing through a file cabinet. Are your digital documents categorized and labeled to allow easy searching as well as meeting document retention requirements? A document management system offers a solution for ensuring the security, accessibility and integration of your electronic files.

Maintaining security

Paper documents are often mismanaged, which compromises your financial and client data. Problems occur when paperwork is misfiled, files are stored in unlocked cabinets and offices, and essential documents are improperly archived and tracked. The good news is, going paperless allows you to improve the security of your business information.

Document scanning enables information to be stored in a digital format, reducing the chances that someone can gain physical access to confidential documents. But cybercrime is also a reality your business has to face. So, any centralized repository for storing your digital documents should offer:

  • hardened data center protection
  • encrypted file hosting
  • regulatory compliant security

Improving accessibility

Document scanning enables information to be shared more efficiently within your business. For instance, if your paper records have been properly indexed during the scanning process, they can be added to your enterprise document management system.

Online document hosting, which goes hand-in-hand with document scanning, enables your electronic files to be easily located and accessed, and files can be securely retrieved, emailed and faxed from a computer, laptop or mobile device. In addition, highly specific keyword searches can be used to locate specific data within documents and multiple users can access one document at the same time. Online document hosting also offers monitored and auditable information access.

Digital document integration

You’ll want to make sure your digital documents integrate with your current business processes. During scanning process, quality control measures should be taken to ensure all documents are accurately captured. Your digital information will need to be properly merged into your preferred document management database to support your workflow needs. Integration with Open Database Connectivity business applications should also be maintained so that your digital data will be accessible across your enterprise. If you are storing an active or archive inventory of paper files offsite, a Scan on Demand service helps make sure that when you need those files, they are converted to a format consistent with your electronic document management needs.

A final tip

After your document scanning project has been completed and your digital files have been stored so that they can be properly managed, you may be tempted to destroy any hardcopy files that have been converted. Before doing so, be sure to verify your legal and regulatory document retention obligations. Also, it’s crucial to create information redundancy in order to support your data recovery objectives.

Richards & Richards provides document scanning and online document hosting solutions to businesses throughout Nashville. For more information please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Inside a Commercial Shredding Operation

What happens after your confidential documents are collected for destruction? Where do they go? How does the shredding process take place? Is it secure? In this article, we answer these questions and more by providing you with an inside look at a commercial shredding operation.

Collecting confidential documents

A professional shredding service should offer end-to-end protection for your business information at all times. Security begins with the use of shredding collection containers which are locked and placed within your office. Collection containers are designed to make it easy to drop whole files inside while restricting unauthorized access—essentially providing a secure holding area for discarded records which contain sensitive corporate and personal information. Collection containers come in either a 32-gallon capacity executive console style or a 96-gallon capacity security container style.

Handling and transport

First, depending on the amount of to-be-shredded files you anticipate collecting in a given time period, a customized shredding container collection schedule is put in place. Then, all material to be shredded is collected by a screened, uniformed document shredding technician. Executive consoles are unlocked by the technician, the full bag removed, secured and scanned for chain of custody tracking purposes. The full bag is then placed inside a 96 gallon security container and locked inside for transport to the secured vehicle. In the case of 96 gallon security containers, an empty bin is wheeled in and the full is scanned for chain of custody and then transported to the secured vehicle.

From the time a document is deposited into the collection container until all shredded material is recycled, all risks of unauthorized access should be eliminated. Distinctly different from an on-site mobile shredding service, a plant-based shredding service reduces the risk of documents being left unattended while waiting to be shredded. The destruction process does not take place in a highly visible area such as a business parking lot, and strict chain of custody procedures are followed at all times. The vehicle used to transport your documents to the shredding plant is equipped with the following security features, which the technician has been trained to use properly at all times:

  • Locks
  • Alarm system
  • GPS tracking

The shredding facility and process

The commercial paper shredding plant where your documents are destroyed is a highly secure facility. A gated access fence protects the building and property from intrusion. The entire operation features the following:

  • Monitored security cameras
  • Intrusion sensors
  • Audited access technology

In addition to the security measures mentioned above, an additional 17 audit points must be met for a shredding plant to become—and remain—National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) AAA Certified.

At the secure shredding plant, your documents are unloaded inside the facility in order to avoid being blown away by the wind. All records are then shredded into thin strips with industrial shredding equipment. A recording of the shredding process is stored for 90 days. Media assets are placed through specialized shredders to be sure they are destroyed to industry standards and hard drives are individually tracked via serial number before they are placed through a shredder designed to make all information on the drive irrecoverable.

Final steps

After your documents have been shredded, they are baled for transfer directly to a paper pulp recycling facility. Your paper is never sent to a middle man broker before reaching the paper pulp facility. This way chain of custody is maintained until the ink is removed from the paper. Once the entire process has been finalized, you receive a notarized Certificate of Destruction. This document can be used as verification of your legal and regulatory compliance.

Richards & Richards provides secure paper, media and hard drive shredding solutions to businesses throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Streamlining Your File Management Processes and Costs

Do you spend as much time looking for documents as you do actually utilizing them? Does your business struggle to keep up with an increasing amount of information? Has a misplaced document caused a customer to take their business elsewhere? Are your employees frustrated with the time it takes to sort, file and index your records? It sounds like you may have a file (mis)management problem.

Get rid of duplicate copies

When files are mismanaged, documents can be unnecessarily duplicated, which increases your storage and administrative overhead. Scheduling periodic purges helps to cull your office records inventory and cut these costs. With a one-time shredding service, documents can be securely destroyed without impacting employee workflow. Secure shredding receptacles are delivered at your convenience and collected when you’ve filled them. A Certificate of Destruction is provided to you as verification for audit requirements.

Prevent records from piling up

After a one-time purge shredding service, many companies switch to a scheduled shred service. Again, secure shredding receptacles are used to collect sensitive documents for destruction. A scheduled shred service eliminates unnecessary buildup of expired files by providing a solution far more expedient than the use of office shredders. Because dropping whole files in a shred bin is so quick and easy, confidential records are more likely to be disposed of in a timely manner, increasing privacy protection for your business.

Become less paper dependent

It’s not necessary to get rid of all your paper records, but converting as many as possible to digital files can make your life a lot easier. Digital files offer a number of benefits:

  • less space needed to store paper documents
  • less time spent manually retrieving information
  • data can be accessed and shared remotely

Start with converting your most active business documents to a digital format. The scanning process is faster and more accurate when a professional document scanning service is used. It also allows your digital files to be properly:

  • formatted
  • labeled
  • indexed
  • hosted

Outsource storage and indexing

The less paper you have to manage within your office, the more time you have for revenue growth. Infrequently accessed files can be sent offsite as part of a records storage service, which offers faster access and retrieval of documents than is typical with a manual in-house method. Records can be retrieved and delivered the same day. Files are also properly indexed, labeled and verified in support of internal audit and regulatory compliance requirements.

The benefits of better file management

Good file management has a snowball effect on your business. When documents can be easily found and accessed, your clients and employees are happier. Your risk of non-compliance is reduced, there’s less chance your company will become victim to a privacy breach, and your operating costs can be cut so that your organization becomes more profitable.

Now is the perfect time of year to make better file management a priority. Even if you can’t implement all of the solutions mentioned here, one or two can still make a difference. A year from now, you’ll notice a positive change in your organization.

Richards & Richards provides records and information management solutions to business throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Shredding: Doing it Yourself vs. A Professional Solution

You already understand the importance of privacy protection and your legal responsibility for destroying confidential information. HIPAA, FACTA, SOX and GLB compliance is dependent on your ability to implement and follow a destruction policy. Handling all of your shredding needs in-house may initially seem like an inexpensive option given the affordability of office shredders and the fact that you can have your staff destroy documents. However, these savings may be negated by other factors, which we discuss here.

Time and distraction

Shredding equipment has to be regularly maintained to ensure it is constantly in working order. Some devices require regular oiling of their blades. Paper jams should be regularly cleared and the shredding receptacle frequently emptied. Each step in the process requires time that may distract from other tasks.

In-house shredding also distracts from core operational activities. Paper clips, staples and rubber bands must be removed from files prior to being destroyed. Documents have to be separated into easily shredded stacks. Aside from consuming time, the process is tedious and can frustrating for your staff.

A professional shredding service eliminates the burden and time associated with handling destruction in-house. Documents can be securely disposed of more expediently. And as your information destruction needs grow, you won’t have to purchase additional shredders and or place a heavier burden on your staff.

Consistency and reliability

Lack of time and excessive frustration can also lead to procrastination and neglect in the information disposal process, but professional shredding ensures that your business information is destroyed on a regular basis. Secure collection containers are placed throughout your office and their contents are collected at pre-appointed intervals: daily, weekly or monthly. Inserting a no-longer-needed file into a bin is done in the fraction of the time it takes to use a typical shredder. Because the process is so convenient, your staff is more likely to actually do it.

Added security

It’s common for expired documents to sit in a purgatory-like state before they are actually shredded. Empty boxes, desktops, and other un-secured receptacles are favorite “holding areas” for documents that need to be destroyed. Employees push documents aside until they find enough time to actually shred them. This increases privacy breach risks for your company.

In a professional shredding process where locked shred bins are used, information is securely held until it is destroyed, reducing the risk of unauthorized exposure of confidential personal or business information. NAID AAA Certified plant-based shredding companies undergo an extensive audit process before being endorsed. Additionally, the shredding process is recorded and stored for 90 days.

Protection for the entirety of your information

The right professional shredding service not only enables secure destruction of paper documents, but also computer media and hard drives containing sensitive digital data—without having to outsource an additional destruction solution separately. Each drive and tape received is barcoded and scanned with a serial number that serves as the alternate ID, to verify destruction. A certificate of destruction listing each hard drive by serial number is provided at the end of the destruction process.

Richards & Richards provides secure shredding solutions to business throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Records Management Resolutions for the New Year

Resolutions aren’t just for individuals; businesses also benefit from the opportunity to reassess and reprioritize. Evaluating and revising your records management processes is one of the most impactful things you can do for your organization. In the spirit of the “resolution season,” we’ve outlined a few simple steps that can improve business productivity, strengthen privacy protection, and ensure regulatory compliance.

Verify that information is properly classified

A strong records management program ensures that hardcopy and electronic files are properly categorized, and also provides retention schedules to be consistently followed and updated as necessary. This requires input and oversight from each department or division within your organization, since each may have different compliance requirements. Verify that retention periods are correctly applied and consistent with your legal obligations. If you find that your current filing system is out of control and are unable to easily find documents, engage a records management provider who can implement an indexing and verification solution which includes properly labeling, inventory management, and indexing of your records.

Organize and de-clutter paper files

The better your records are organized, the more easily you’ll be able to find the information you need. A filing system needs to be properly labeled to facilitate expedient retrieval, but also needs should protect sensitive information from unauthorized access. Organizing your records according to activity levels can streamline your filing system by enabling inactive and archival records to be sent offsite for storage while affording you more space to store documents integral to your daily business processes. Areas allocated within your office to store active physical files should be locked at all times with continuously monitored access.

Any files that have exceeded retention requirements should be securely disposed of. Prior to your organization and de-cluttering process, engage a paper shredding provider to place secure shred collection receptacles within your office. Doing so will enable sensitive documents to be securely collected and thoroughly destroyed in an expedient manner.

Prioritize disaster recovery

No company is immune to loss of information from a catastrophic event. Disasters strike without warning and with varying degrees of impact to your organization. Properly protecting your vital business information minimizes downtime and increases the chances your company can resume its operation.

Mission-critical documents and files should be stored in a facility that minimizes the risks to paper documents and enables them to be retrieved and delivered at a moment’s notice in support of your disaster recovery requirements. Digital records on storage media should similarly be protected, although in a vault environment that fosters optimal protection and preservation of electronic media.

Records management is an ongoing process, so even if you’ve met or exceeded your resolution, make sure you can sustain it throughout 2015 and beyond. Revisit your program on a regular basis in order to verify it is being followed by your staff. Gather input from key stakeholders to assess effectiveness and revise procedures as necessary.

Richards & Richards provides records management solutions to business throughout Nashville. For more information please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

Protecting and Preserving Your Digital Data

The various media your data is saved on may be the most important devices in your organization. If a file is accidentally deleted or your server suddenly crashes, lost data can quickly be restored from a tape, CD, DVD or hard drive; these effectively serve as a life preserver for your business. Unfortunately, they’re also extremely fragile: over time, any media deteriorates which also leads to data loss. Putting your media on a shelf or in a box tucked away in the corner of your office won’t protect them for very long—in fact, it exposes them to even more risk. Preserving your digital data requires taking an active role in your company’s backup strategy.

Wait…what happened to my data?

You’ve been there at some point. While cleaning out your office desk, you come across a long-forgotten thumb drive. You feel a combination of curiosity and excitement. You plug it into your computer only to find that it doesn’t work. You remember that at some point and time you had files—if only you could remember which ones—stored on the device, but now they’re gone. Obviously, they weren’t that important (you hope) or you wouldn’t have tossed the drive in your drawer, but the experience serves as a valuable lesson.

Data recovery letdown

The same thing can easily happen to the backup tapes and hard drives that contain your mission-critical business data:

  • financial document
  • client contracts
  • personnel records
  • tax files

You might attempt to restore these files only to find out that the data you’re expecting to find has disappeared. Imagine the possible consequences:

  • stalled business operations
  • delayed customer service
  • audit failure
  • unfavorable litigation outcomes

Factors that compromise backup media

Here are some factors that could cause your backup media to come up short in the data recovery process:

  • improper storage
  • improper handling
  • natural disaster
  • theft

Your backup media needs to be on-call and ready to go in a data loss scenario. Unfortunately, improper storage can damage or destroy the readability of your backup media. Maintaining consistent temperature and humidity levels are a must. Temperature should not rise above 68 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity should hover around 40%. Light and dust pollution, as well as magnetic interference, can severely degrade the data stored on your media.

Your office does not offer a strictly monitored and regulated environment for minimizing these factors, and over time, this uncontrolled environment reduces the lifespan of your media. The typical warehouse or self storage facility presents the same issues. Any backup media left on-site at your facility is susceptible to permanent loss from theft and natural disaster. Therefore, immediately after backup, all media should be transferred to a media vault facility.

Since improper handling also damages backup media, all transport and handling should be handled by a screened data protection professional following strict chain of custody procedures. Once stored in a media vault, your backup media is barcoded and tracked within an inventory management database, which allows for swift location and retrieval during a data loss event.

Richards & Richards provides data protection solutions to business throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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