Perhaps your business or organization has suffered recent document damage – due to a fire, earthquake or flood, for example. Or maybe you have simply decided to back up and digitize hard copies of important documents for future safekeeping. In either case, one very important aspect of document restoration or scanning is security.
Every year, thousands of businesses and individuals suffer from security breaches and various forms of identity theft. Indeed, there are many federal and corporate laws in place to deter such occurrences. In the case of medical or legal information, one’s personal privacy is protected to some extent by the First Amendment of the Constitution. This may grant you certain personal rights and privacies; however, this does not stop people from stealing private information! A corporation may also have its ideas or patents stolen – a very serious crime.
With these concerns in mind, the following is a look at three security issues every organization should decide on before hiring a document restoration service to recover damaged documents.
1. Specialized Needs
Each organization will have different security needs depending on its industry and clientele. For example, a government organization, law firm, or insurance company must by nature place a much higher priority on security than a small local business that is merely looking to recover damaged financial records.
On the other hand, a library or research university may have damaged documents that need to be handled with extra-special care due to their historic value. Hospitals will have different needs during the document restoration process, as health records are not just a private matter but can be crucial in a life-or-death situation when key information is needed.
In short, document restoration begins by discussing with your restoration service provider the specific security needs and concerns of your organization.
2. On-Site or Off-Site Restoration?
Another concern for organizations when it comes to document restoration is whether to conduct the recovery or backup process on site or off site. On-site restoration has its obvious security benefits: You can keep a close eye on the entire restoration process.
However, as long as you partner with a trustworthy restoration provider, there are many advantages to off-site restoration. Handling the recovery of damaged documents in a safe location, away from the traffic and day-to-day operations of your business, can actually help speed up the long-term recovery process. Key documents can be scanned and faxed immediately upon request if needed in the interim.
3. Information Assurance and Personal Security
A third very important concern regarding document restoration is information security and personal identity security. Information security, also referred to as information assurance, often has legal backing, and it is a serious concern for large corporations and firms. Indeed, companies want assurance that sensitive information is not being transferred, copied, or viewed by an unsecure source.
For health care providers – like hospitals and various social care agencies – extra-special attention must be given to personal file security, as patient information can often be stolen and used for identity theft purposes. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, signed and passed by Congress in 1996, contains a section that specifically addresses information security in healthcare and health IT.
Before you decide on a service provider to help you recover your damaged documents, make sure you do some background investigation, and determine ahead of time that the provider meets the security needs of your organization.
[ Photo by: RestrictedData, via CC License ]