When large businesses or corporations suffer a major data breach in their security systems it always makes headline news. However, you never get to hear about the many thousands of small businesses that suffer the same fate and who end up ceasing to trade because of it.
With cyber and physical security being a hot topic these days, it may surprise you to know that small businesses are at greater risk of data breaches than larger organisations who can afford to have the strongest data protection systems in place.
Significant data breaches are commonly linked with large organisations because they are often the target of regular cyber-attacks, but data criminals are now turning their sights towards smaller businesses because they are less likely to have robust protection in place.
According to the 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, published by Verizon, 43% of the 41,686 security incidents across public and private sector organisations in 86 countries, directly affected small businesses.
Data breaches are not all down to hacking
What is rather surprising to learn about the Verizon report is that only 52% of those breaches were a result of hacking! The report showed that 36% of data breaches were down to human error, which can be anything from misuse of data or incorrect handling and disposal of data.
This is quite an eye-opening revelation for small business owners because it exposes the fact that no business is safe from data breaches, no matter what size the company.
Just about every business you can think of will collect, process, manage and store a lot of personal data, whether that be customer's personal and financial details or that of their own personnel. This means that no matter what size your business, as the owner you are responsible for the safeguarding of the data your business holds.
No matter whether it is just one person's data that becomes compromised or all of your customer or employee data, your business has failed to safeguard that information and the price you pay can be immeasurable.
The consequences of a data breach can be very long-lasting
Suffering a data breach, especially a completely avoidable one, can lead to significant financial damage not only for your business but also for the victims of the breach. Once the personal information has gotten into the wrong hands the damage to the victim's financial health and mental well-being can be felt for many years afterwards.
The damage done to your company and your business reputation can often be irreparable, with many small businesses collapsing and going into liquidation as a result.
This is why small business owners of every size should take great care to put in place the most appropriate measures to mitigate the risks of a data breach, whether that be cyber or physical.
Physical data storage measures
There are many challenges to face as a small business owner. One of the most pressing issues is the matter of working space. Your workspace is important because you obviously need it to be able to operate your business effectively.
However, space at work can often be a double-edged sword because in addition to housing the necessary tools and equipment your business needs it is also the ideal place for your filing cabinets, which over time will fill that space.
With many businesses these days operating a lean system where they only buy and use what is absolutely necessary to operate at maximum efficiency, having to fund more workspace will impact the bottom line.
Therefore, it makes sense to look at using an off-site business storage solution such as document archiving your paperwork into archive storage with Restore Records Management.
What is document archiving?
Document archiving refers to the process of placing documents in storage that need to be kept but are no longer in regular use. A relatively simple concept, but many business owners don't appreciate its importance or the implications it can have on their business if they fail to do this properly.
Archiving your old business documents is a crucial records management process that every small business owner and their staff should be familiar with. If you or your employees don't understand how to properly archive your documents then your business can run into problems in the future and be at risk of a data breach.
The information contained in these documents may or may not be of use to your business again in the future, but regardless of this, it should be safely stored away until it reaches the end of its useful life, or its compulsory retention period, whichever is sooner.
Storing your archived data
Concern at not being able to easily access your business information is often the reason that dissuades business owners from archiving their records in off-site document storage facilities. However, just because you may need some paperwork again doesn't mean you have to keep it on your business premises.
It’s not just about archiving your physical documents. More importantly it's about protecting the data they contain. Protecting this data is necessary for legal purposes, to be compliant with data protection regulations. But that doesn’t mean that you wont need access to it at some point in the future.
Restore Records Management secure off-site archive storage facilities can help you stay compliant whilst ensuring that your business data remains readily available and accessible at short notice when required.
Protecting your physical data with archive storage
The idea of placing your archived paper documentation into storage may at first seem like an expensive solution. However, when you consider the costs involved with moving to larger premises with higher rent and business rates simply because you have outgrown your original premises, it can be far more cost-effective for a small business to simply put your archive files into secure off-site document storage.
You also have to think of the scalability of doing this. Using secure off-site archive storage is valuable for a small business owner, especially at a time where the future is uncertain for a lot of UK SMEs. The last thing you want to do is to move to larger and more expensive business premises to provide more space only to see a downturn in the economy.
Scalability of off-site document storage
It is every business owner's dream to grow their company and make it more successful, but with business growth comes more data – data and records that need to be carefully managed and securely stored. Keeping control of this mountain of paperwork can prove problematic for a lot of small businesses, especially where they don't have the available space.
Off-site archive storage provides both scalability and flexibility as it ensures that you only pay for what you need. As your business grows you will have the option of increasing your document storage space with minimal impact on your business – and no need to move to larger premises simply to house your paperwork.
Keeping on top of your paperwork can be made easier as stored files will be tracked to provide a clear view of when documents reach their end of useful life, at which point they can be automatically disposed of securely in accordance with GDPR.
Our team at Restore Records Management understand that despite businesses needing to keep their paperwork for a specific length of time, having access to their old documents is still important.
This is why we operate over 70 secure, purpose-built, document storage warehouses across the country. We have secure storage facilities in many key towns and cities so there is sure to be one close to your business premises.
You can have great peace of mind that your documents will remain safe and protected from data breaches and ID theft, while at the same time being close enough to your office to be easily accessible when you need them.
Why trust Restore Records Management
When you are looking for a trusted document storage service then Restore Records Management should be your first choice. We have the highest reputation and proven track record for information security.
We understand exactly how to look after the confidential data that businesses produce and have been protecting the sensitive data of thousands of UK businesses and organisations in both the public and private sector for many years including over 95% of the top 100 UK legal practises and 85% of FTSE 100 companies.
With the introduction of much tighter data protection requirements in recent years, many small businesses are struggling to keep up to date with their GDPR duties. With the fear of facing much more severe penalties for non-compliance than in previous years, it makes sense to get the help and support you need from a trusted supplier with a proven track record.
Secure archive storage
Restore Records Management offer secure archive storage with coded entry systems and CCTV monitoring so there is no unauthorised entry at our secure depots. This system means that your business documents will never be exposed to the risk of a data breach by anyone trying to gain access to your files while in secure storage.
We also operate GPS-tracked vehicles and use fully security checked and vetted document collection teams that wear our branded uniform and carry official ID. This means that once your documents leave your business premises they are tracked and protected by our team every step of the way on their journey to your closest Restore Records secure storage facility.
Even when we have taken delivery of your sensitive business paperwork, you can be rest assured that we go the extra mile to take good care of your files. We use the latest desiccant technology for maintaining the optimal environmental conditions and humidity control. We even use specialist storage racking that is designed for holding paperwork.
How do I keep track of my documents?
A lot of business owners are worried about putting their documents into archive storage because they believe that they will never set eyes on their files again. However, this is not the case because at Restore Records we use our industry-leading O-Neil’s software for all of our document management processes.
We use the Dovetail software that we tailor to integrate perfectly with your own systems so you can keep track of your documents and manage your files in-house. You will always know exactly where your documents are at all times.
By using Restore Records Management for your secure archive storage you will be given a secure audit trail for all of your paperwork. When your paperwork eventually expires and reaches the end of its useful life, you will be able to prove your chain of custody by having your expired paperwork securely disposed of with Restore through our data shredding services and be issued with an official certificate of destruction.
If you would like to contact us to discuss your archive storage needs we are here to help answer your questions!