The Changing Landscape of Information Management
2020 has changed so much about the way we live and work. So, it should come as no surprise that it has shifted the way information managers have to oversee and protect their data.
The increased reliance on digital information management solutions, quick and easy access to information, and the need for employees to “work from anywhere” has greatly impacted where and how we store, access, and manage information. As we continue to push through the new challenges that have come to the forefront as a result of the pandemic, many information managers are left wondering how they can better optimize their systems for the way we have to work today and into the future.
What safeguards are we putting in place to protect information?
How can we build better safeguards?
What do robust backup systems look like?
Is there an increased risk of data theft?
How do we provide secure data access to our team?
What do we do with information left sitting in our offices while we’re at home? Are we protecting those records while we’re out of the office?
If we need to downsize our space, what are our options for archival file storage?
How do we ensure that our employees are still taking information security seriously?
What shredding practices should we be implementing for our work-from-home teams?
These are just a few of the questions swirling around about how information management is being impacted as we move forward. Here are a few insights, tips, and ways Augusta Data Storage can help, as your business moves towards the future of information management.
Where & How We Access Information
Information managers are now being tasked with the role of managing where and how people across their organization access information. If information was readily available on internal servers or in on-site storage areas, how can people access that information from home? What steps have to be taken to secure those access points?
In addition to accessing the information, it’s important to consider what happens to information once it leaves the security of your internal systems (think emails, prints, scans, saving on portable devices, etc.). Be sure to consider how to protect documents in both their original format and in their transferable or end-user format.
Information managers should pay careful attention to communicating expectations for managing secure documents in various formats and set clear processes for destroying information and records that are no longer needed, especially while employees are working remotely.
Secure Information Storage
Especially if your organization is functioning primarily with remote operations, knowing that information and records stored onsite, at your place of business, are safe and secure is key.
Be sure that your file rooms, server rooms, and any storage closets that might contain backup discs are not only secure but are also being monitored. If employees have access to these spaces to retrieve files, be sure a protocol is in place to track entry and retrieval.
For information routinely accessed digitally, ensure that your devices and entry points are secure, that passwords are strong and routinely updated, and that login credentials are not being shared across multiple users. Ensure you are using layered backup mechanisms for your information, and keep your teams educated on potential security threats that may exist.
Managing User Access to Information
Peter P. Mykytyn of the College of Business and Analytics at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, cited many impacts of the Pandemic on businesses, including how businesses are providing information access to remote workers.
“It’s probably safe to say that organizations have taken to using corporate Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) to safeguard information as best as possible…What may be lost on some managers, perhaps even some IT specialists who are under extreme pressures today, is that VPNs provide security from point A to point B. What may be not understood or known is that VPNs do not protect an employee’s computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet where the actual data itself may reside. Should a hacker access the actual device, all bets are off.”
As an information manager, it’s crucial to think about the entire lifecycle of the information you manage, not just how it exists or travels through your ecosystem, but how you are working to protect that data if and when it leaves your VPNs, secure servers, and data clouds.
Changes are hard. We’re here to help.
If you’re working to develop mechanisms for digital access for your team, Augusta Data Storage specializes in bulk scanning and imaging to help expedite the process. Our process delivers indexed files and creates digital archives of your records to be loaded into your secure platforms for archive, digital access and more. Once converted, we can help store those records or purge hard copies, for increased security, limiting the access to those existing files.
For clients who currently use our secure off-site storage, don’t forget that the Augusta Data Storage client portal offers safe and secure retrieval options for your stored records. If your personnel has recently changed, please contact your account manager for information on updating your company’s access e-forms for retrieval access.
The only constant is change.
As we move forward into 2021, the only thing that is for certain is that change continues to be on the horizon. As information managers, it’s important to routinely assess and update your processes for managing, accessing, and distributing data in a safe and secure manner. We encourage you to make a noted effort to stay up to date on security trends and developing threats and to work alongside your IT support teams and compliance managers to ensure you’re implementing industry best practices across your organization.