The Biggest Records Management Risks and How to Prevent Them

Risk assessment is an integral part of building a solid and effective records management plan. You have to consider the threats that can lead to a variety of privacy, regulatory and productivity issues. Here is our guide to the biggest records management risks and how to prevent them:

Over-Reliance on In-House Storage

In-house file storage may seem convenient, but files go missing all too often. Someone may pull documents from a file cabinet and forget to return them, disrupting workflow and impacting service to your customers. Other in-house file storage risks are more malicious. Dishonest employees with easy access to documents may seek opportunities to steal sensitive client records and financial data.

You can decrease these security risks by investing in a records storage and management service. Your records are stored in a commercial record center equipped with advanced theft prevention and detection systems. Fencing around the building’s perimeter features barbed wire and code-accessed, monitored gates. Internal and external surveillance cameras track all access and activity. Barcode tracking and online ordering capability means you always have quick and easy access to your records. Files can be delivered to your office or sent digitally by Scan on Demand in as little as an hour.

Ignoring Final Disposition Dates

Organizations are often unsure how to handle the final disposition of records. Expired, unneeded documents may be tucked away for months or years, contrary to legal and industry-mandated disposition requirements. It’s a bad habit that puts your customers’ privacy at risk.

Your records should be systematically disposed of when they reach their final disposition dates. A NAID AAA Certified scheduled shredding service ensures your documents are shredded on time and according to legal requirements. Security containers are strategically placed throughout your office to provide for easy, secure disposal of confidential documents. Whole files—including folders, staples, paperclips, sticky notes, and more—can be swiftly dropped into a collection container.

Depending on the volume of information your business disposes of, security containers can be collected on a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Your documents are then shredded, and a Certificate of Destruction issued at the end of the destruction process to provide your organization with proof of destruction.

Storing Backup Media On-Site

When you store your backup media on-site at your office, you risk irrevocable data loss in the event of a natural disaster or other unforeseen catastrophe. Disaster recovery experts recommend regularly backing up to multiple tapes and storing them off-site. A media vault provides the optimal environment for the security and long-term preservation of backup media, offering:

  • Magnetic shielding
  • Environmental control sensors
  • Fire protection and suppression
  • Ceramic heat insulation
  • Round-the-clock video surveillance

Your critical backup should be able to be located and retrieved 24/7/365 to support your data recovery initiatives.

As you review your company’s records management efforts, keep these risks in mind and implement the strategies we’ve discussed here to avoid a preventable disaster.

Richards & Richards offers records and information management services for businesses throughout Nashville. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.