Retrieving crucial documents, storing all that paperwork, and securing confidential information—is your small or midsize business (SMB) prepared with the right records and information management policies to stay compliant?

With an increase in information, a multitude of formats, and a continued rise in regulations, SMBs are creating more content while trying to comply with more rules. As you work to grow your company, your entire team needs to know how to help create, store, and manage information in a secure manner.

Here are three things SMBs tend to miss when it comes to records and information management best practices, and how to get your company back on track.

SMBs are Targets for Cyber Attacks

Many small and midsize businesses might think that they’re too small to be on the radar of cybercriminals. But, according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, criminal groups and other malicious cyber actors target SMBs due to their limited security capabilities. In fact, they’re three times more likely to be targeted than larger companies. Once an attack happens, it can be catastrophic — 60 percent of small businesses permanently close within six months of an attack.

Understanding that your business could be breached is the first step in putting protections and protocols in place.

Every employee needs to know how to securely share information while monitoring who accesses the information, and how. For example, using a secure document management system to share documents with sensitive information, instead of emailing or printing them, ensures only those with permission are able to access that data, enabling your business to achieve compliance and mitigate the risk of a data breach.

SMBs Need Retention Schedules

You may assume your team can easily stay on top of records management because you’re a small business that generates little information, but that’s not realistic. From HR documents to invoices and rental agreements, even small businesses generate a significant number of records. And your team doesn’t have the time to search through hundreds of files to find one specific document.

Additionally, many SMBs hold onto documents indefinitely for fear that they may one day need a file they discarded. This expired information can become a liability if exposed during a data breach or litigation.

Instead, SMBs should implement and follow a retention schedule and properly destroy documents once they’ve met their retention requirements. This helps to control the number of documents being retained, saving space, while ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations. To make it even easier to create and manage a retention schedule, look for software that does the heavy lifting for you.

Team Buy-in is Necessary for Success

No matter how small your team is, everyone needs to buy-in to your company’s records and information management policy for it to be successful. This includes employees at every level of the company, including executives and leadership members.

As a small or midsize business, it may make sense to identify one person—rather than a full committee—who can take responsibility for evaluating and improving your records and information management program. This might include a representative from one specific department within the company or a dedicated records manager who can help you audit your records and build a comprehensive strategy for creating, managing, and securing your information.

All businesses—regardless of size—produce high volumes of information in a variety of formats, both physical and digital. SMBs often have limited resources and need to focus on strategy and growth. Developing strong information management and governance strategies will help your organization focus on key decisions to drive the business forward.

For help taking a strategic approach to your organization’s records and information management practices, download our checklist to serve as a guide, Beyond Storage: A Checklist for Comprehensive Information Management.