Are Electronic Documents Safer Than Traditional Document Storage?
In today’s world, companies are being urged to move away from paper documents and towards electronic files. Many people find themselves wondering: Which is safer, electronic or traditional document storage?
In today’s digital world, companies are being urged to move away from the old school method of traditional paper document keeping and move towards electronic file storage through the process of document scanning. Electronic files pose many benefits for companies, but security concerns make many businesses hesitate to toss their paper records and make the transition. Many people find themselves wondering: Which is safer, electronic or traditional document storage?
Security is a top priority for any company. You want your confidential company information to remain confidential, and it is imperative that your clients’ information is safe and secure as well. If there is a breach in security or information is stolen, it could result in a loss of trust between you and your clients. And with loss of trust comes loss of clientele. Electronic documents are often perceived as unsafe or risky due to the mysterious nature of the internet and cyber-space. However, you will be pleased to know that the safety of electronic document storage is extremely strong.
Your electronic document storage system can remain just as safe, if not safer, that traditional document storage by if you follow proper security methods and procedures (see Is Sensitive Information Safe for Document Scanning?). For example, you can place your electronic files in a secured online repository that is password protected and only grants access to authorized users. You can also add an extra level of security by encrypting your files, where only authorized users can unlock (decrypt) the information. It is much harder to crack secure online repositories and encryption codes than it is to break a lock on a door or steal a file off of a desk when nobody is looking. Computer locks and encryption allow for an added layer of protection that a filing cabinet cannot offer.
It is also more difficult to damage or tamper with electronic files. Paper files can be easily damaged or destroyed in fires, floods, or natural disasters with no way of rectification. If there’s a fire, everything could be lost. Electronic files are stored on backup serves, so even if one sever becomes destroyed, you have a backup of your information and can easily access it. It is easy for anyone to tamper with paper documents by removing pages, adding entries, or erasing information without anybody else noticing. Electronic documents have a digital signature which notifies users when information is tampered with or changed, including a timestamp, so you will know if your documents have been tampered with and have a better chance of catching the culprit.
It is important to ensure that during the document scanning process that you follow certain procedures to ensure the safety of your documents and information. It is important to enforce strict audit trails of the movement of any document, no matter how slight, so that you know exactly who has moved it, what time it was moved, and where it was moved to. It is also important to make sure that this happens in a secured room with security cameras, and that the personnel handling your document scanning are well trained on what to do in case of a security breach. Additionally, it is important to make sure you are operating on a secure, password protected network and that you know who has access to your network.
If you would like to learn about how CTI can help you securely store your electronic files, please feel free to contact us! We would be happy to help meet your needs and answer your questions.