Secure storage for physical files is often overlooked. Instead, we often focus on electronic data, with firewalls, passwords and antivirus software. But data is data, and hard-copy files can be just as vulnerable as digital information. Here are five essential bases to cover for secure storage.

5 Essential Elements of Secure Storage

secure storage

1.       Need to Know Basis

The only people who should have access to sensitive data are those who need to have access to it. Make sure that your staff know to files secured when they’re not in use. This can mean not keeping files on desks when they are not being consulted. You may need to provide lockable drawers and filing cabinets for this express purpose. Also, ensure that you track access to any centralised archive of files, limiting access where appropriate.

2.       CCTV

If the data that you process requires it, it might be a good idea to install CCTV in storage areas for hard copy files. Make sure staff are informed about your organisation’s CCTV policy as there are strict data protection guidelines governing its use. Even having such a system can act as a deterrent to the curious, and make a secure storage area even safer.

3.       Low Traffic Areas

Storing your sensitive files in a part of your building that doesn’t get a lot of footfall is a good idea. It makes it harder for those without authorisation to be in the area, helping reduce the opportunity for people to take files or information. Even if nobody on your team would steam data maliciously, keeping it away from communal areas will stop them stumbling across something by accident.

4.       Good Alarms

The same systems that help secure your tangible assets will help secure your data. A good alarm system will help keep people out. You may not think that burglars would break into your business to steal your data – and this may be true in some industries – but data breaches can occur as a side effect of a robbery. Try to limit the chances of this occurring where possible, and secure storage areas with alarm systems.

5.       Shredding

It is important to have good secure ways to dispose of files once they are finished with. Shredding is one good way to do this. If you want something a little more secure, however, using shredders with lock boxes can help to make it safer.

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