Many archived files hold the potential for serious financial consequences should they fall into the wrong hands. A company that fails to respect the integrity of other businesses by not securing files is destined to fail.

With reference to business-critical documents, every business should take these factors into account when setting up security systems for archived documents:

  1. Data privacy laws in the country the business is located and in any countries the business operates in.

A resolution debated and passed in 2014 by the African Union addresses the need for rules and regulations regarding personal data and data transfer. Businesses should familiarise themselves with data laws or else they risk making foolish errors.

  1. Data privacy laws for the industry each business operates in.

For example, the advertising industry was hit particularly badly by the EU’s new data regulation act, dubbed GDPR. Previously, advertising agencies were able to access huge amounts of categorized data about countless individuals but GDPR has restricted this somewhat.

  1. Privacy protection for customers.

Customers are a vitally important part of any business process. Many of the most successful businesses in the world have thrived off a tactic of putting the customer first, every time. A business that fails to protect its customers’ data is asking for an expensive lawsuit and a lot of really damaging public relations.

  1. Privacy protection for your business’ proprietary documents and documents relating to your business’ practices.

Whilst protecting yourself from infringing the laws on data protection and protecting your customers is vitally important, it is also important to be aware of documents important to your own business.

Regardless of how boring they might seem, there are malicious people out there who could cause serious damage to your business if they managed to get hold of your official documents.

Limiting and Monitoring

The best way of keeping your files secure and, staying in line with the regulations and rules described above, is by limiting access to a few trusted employees. Furthermore, for further security, files should be monitored regularly.

For physical files, this means using quality filing cabinets that can be locked. These cabinets should be placed in a room that can also be locked and can be monitored by a trusted employee or by CCTV.

For digital files, you may decide to go for a server. For maximum security, a server that you own and keep on-premises is ideal. Alternatively, there are many secure cloud-based services, but these will always be subject to cyber threats.

You may also possess extremely sensitive documents that require very secure storage. For these documents, it is always advisable to go through a third-party document management company. Secure storage is their service so you can usually be sure that they will do it right.