Every business requires an efficient document storage solution – big and small companies alike. Even a small business will amass a huge amount of documents and managing them can become a real headache if you don’t have a good solution in place. From contracts and HR records to business plans and other documents – you need an easy and efficient way to store and retrieve your paperwork.
However, despite the need for a good system, document storage can still be an issue for many businesses. How do you choose a solution that works for everybody and keeps your data secure, and what are the best options for an SME?
Do You Need a Physical or Cloud Storage Solution?
We would encourage you to use a cloud storage solution. Physical storage is suitable for old documents and archives, which may need to be retained for a set period of time, but for documents still in use, an online solution would be the better option for several reasons:
- Easy retrieval – when your documents are stored online, it’s much easier than rummaging through filing cabinets or old archive boxes! Of course, you still need to have an organised way of indexing your documents in the cloud, but it’s significantly easier than physical storage.
- Bandwidth and version control – cloud storage enables you to link to a document, rather than send a copy. This helps save bandwidth, and is a good way to ensure that the latest version of your documents are being used.
- Accessibility – as long as you have an internet connection you will be able to view, download and edit your documents. This is a great advantage, but can also be a hinderance when you don’t have access to the internet. Ensure your internet connectivity is working as well as it could be.
- Better value – cloud storage is a cheaper solution than physical storage. Most online solutions, depending on the space you need, are not that costly. A cloud solution not only saves you money, but saves time too. No more wasted hours digging through masses of paperwork!
Is Cloud Storage Safe?
With the growth of cloud storage solutions in recent years and everybody singing the clouds praise, there have also been questions raised around security. Lots of business information is confidential or sensitive. Employee records or business plans, for instance. You definitely wouldn’t want this information getting into the wrong hands.
So how secure are your documents?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple yes or no answer to this question. The answer depends on which provider you choose to look after your documents and how you manage security.
When choosing a cloud storage solution, always carefully consider the hosting company – do they have the necessary accreditations and security? Always choose a well-known and reputable provider, who has expertise in this area.
And don’t forget, there are things you can do at your end to ensure you are minimising the risk of a security breach too; simple things, such as choosing strong passwords and having controlled access. You can read further tips on cloud safety here.
How to Look After Customer Data
Every business will collect information from clients. This can range from the basic name and email, to more sensitive information such as credit card and bank details. It is your responsibility to ensure that this information is safe and secure.
As discussed in a previous post, the rules around collecting and storing data are set to change with GDPR, but what can you do right now to ensure your customer data is secure?
Follow these steps to ensure your customer’s information is as secure as it can be:
- Ensure that your anti-virus and firewall protection up-to-date.
- Educate staff about your data security policy, which means locking computers when not in use and not opening suspicious email links.
- Restrict access to only those that absolutely need to use or view the data.
- Choose a reliable safe cloud platform in the first place.
- Make data encryption when in storage a core requirement from your storage provider. This includes when data is being transferred.
- Ensure software on laptops, phones or tablets is updated to the latest version.
You should also take steps to give your customers peace of mind that you are looking after their data, by obtaining certification such as Cyber Essentials. Having this certification shows your customers that you have taken precautions against cyber risks.
Still Need Help?
Bandicoot offer a range of IT services and solutions, including designing and implementing cloud storage solutions for SME’s. We also offer advice and practical help on keeping your business and client data safe, so whatever your issues are, we can help your business overcome them.
We are happy to advise you on your existing document storage or help implement a new solution, whatever you need. We can also assist with additional security certification, such as Cyber Essentials.
Get in Touch
We’d love to talk to you about your cloud and security requirements. Call 01282 506 616, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill in the contact form details on our website and we’ll quickly get back to you.