Storing records with an offsite records storage vendor can provide many benefits. Whether you wish to save money, free-up valuable office space, improve the environment, transfer risk, or keep things organized, you are often much better off.
We are going to walk through five reasons to store records offsite in the 21st century. As you will find, most offsite record storage companies have updated with the times.
Saving money is always on everyone’s mind. Organizations today must manage their expenses to stay viable. Paying to store physical records in offices is expensive. The space used for records could be used to provide a window, conference room, extra workstation, etc. The possibilities are endless.
Chances are, your organization pays a high price per square foot or maybe continues to purchase expensive filing cabinets. Storing boxes of records and information assets with secure offsite record storage facilities is much less expensive than office space;
Having an offsite record storage facility manage your records transfers or shares the risk of managing the records with the offsite vendor. In the event something occurs, the offsite record storage company has or should have insurance to cover the expense of record loss or a breach. It is important that IG professionals work with their Legal department to ensure vendor indemnification verbiage is included in the contract to protect the company in case of damage to records while in the vendor’s possession or in the event of a breach.
In most cases storing your records with an offsite records storage vendor provides enhanced security for your information versus storing the records onsite at your company. Many companies do not have the proper security, e.g. access control, chain of custody that can prevent unauthorized access of company information.
Most offsite record storage companies require an authorized administrator(s) from your company to be assigned to the account. Typically the administrator will provide authorization to the vendor as to which company employees can place orders for transactions such as retrievals, refiles, reports and supplies.
Offsite records storage facilities typically include a system to help you track and manage your physical record inventory. Records that are stored onsite often reside in offices, closets, and file cabinets without a central indexing system.
A centralized indexing system helps the organization find what they are looking for sooner, and provide other benefits such as tracking retention, destruction, and other criteria related to the records. Having records stored offsite with a centralized indexing system helps the organization keep track of what they have, versus relying on the memories of employees who may or may not be employed by the organization long-term.
The privacy landscape has evolved significantly in the 21st century. It is essential that all organizations know what information they collect and ensure they are protecting information, specifically personally identifiable information (PII), confidential intellectual property (IP) and HIPAA-related information. .
By using a system provided by a reputable offsite record storage company, organizations can enter and manage the destruction of records with a few clicks. Most offsite record storage companies provide secure shredding services, in some cases, NAID certified shredding, which is recommended, to ensure the paper records are gone when shredded. A certificate of destruction is provided. You may not always be notified or or obtain verification when an employee destroys a document, but you will when a reputable offsite record storage and shredding company does. Especially if they are NAID certified.
Offsite records storage companies typically have much better protection than most offices. Their employees are background checked, and access is restricted to record storage areas. Visitors have to sign in, are verified, and at times escorted if necessary.
Surveillance systems, GPS tracking, RFID, and cameras are used to monitor employees and records at all times. Some businesses don’t have the additional resources to provide the security needed to protect records, and often, one layer of security isn’t enough.
A comprehensive security program is not foreign to reputable and mature offsite record storage companies. PRISM International offers the Privacy+ certification program that is similar to the NAID certification for shredding. The Privacy+ program includes SSAE and SOC audits from a third party who ensure the offsite record storage companies are compliant.