In today’s dynamic business environment, records management has undergone a significant transformation. Remote work and digital files are commonplace, and the importance of efficient records management and retention extends past physical records and files. With this movement, it’s imperative that organisations implement secure document retention and destruction policies. At DeepStore, we understand the importance of these policies and are dedicated to helping you maintain compliance. In this blog, we explore the significance of record retention and destruction, and ensuring document security.

Why retain documents and files?

Record retention for an extended period is a strategic practice that serves several important purposes. It is primarily required for legal purposes, as detailed by GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) and The Data Protection Act. These guidelines state that your organisation must keep certain documents safe, catalogued and retrievable until the specified dates have transpired.

Documents specified in these regulations include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical information
  • Invoices
  • Employment contracts

Whilst storing records indefinitely can lead to clutter in your workspace, destroying records before the required retention period can ruin a business’s reputation and lead to financial penalties. Maintaining GDPR compliance is paramount, as is understanding that retention dates have been set for a reason. Furthermore, maintaining a well-organised system for the retention of documents and files enables the establishment of a robust audit trail. A clear audit trail serves as a clear record of actions taken, aiding in the mitigation of disputes, complaints, or discrepancies. Easy accessibility to data further enhances operational efficiency, thereby maintaining overall productivity.

A comprehensive document retention policy is essential to support this, encompassing physical and electronic data, which is crucial to uphold compliance with GDPR guidelines.

What is a document retention policy?

A document retention policy serves as a fundamental framework for organisations to effectively manage the lifecycle of their documents, from creation to secure destruction. It is designed to help companies maintain compliance with data protection regulations, including the Data Protection Act, which is the UK’s enforcement of GDPR. The document retention policy details the specific types of documents to retain, how long for, and who is responsible for their maintenance.

Maintaining privacy and sensitive information is essential, and compliance with these regulations is paramount in doing this. An effective document retention policy emphasises the continued importance of the organisation and accessibility of records. This ensures information is readily available when needed, streamlining business operations. To successfully implement a document retention policy and securely manage their records, organisations must establish effective infrastructure, often in the form of a document management system. This infrastructure should be centralised, and easy to search, retrieve, and update.

How do I secure my data in remote work?

In recent years, the rise of remote working practices has brought new levels of flexibility and convenience. However, with this comes the responsibility of safeguarding sensitive information and maintaining data security online. As previously mentioned, a clear document retention policy is essential, but it is paramount that it effectively accounts for remote working practices.

Whilst your team works remotely, consider storing your records offsite to increase the security and protection of your sensitive information. Utilising a secure storage solution, such as DeepStore, goes beyond safeguarding documents against loss or deterioration caused by weather, natural disaster, or human error. It also enhances accessibility. With DeepStore’s digital services, your team can efficiently manage and track assets from home, safe in the knowledge that they are protected by industry-leading digital security systems. This platform facilitates secure document sharing within your company, restricting access to authorised team members only. The proactive approach helps to protect your organisation from:

  • Data breaches
  • Legal liabilities
  • Unauthorised access

Benefits of our digital services include:

  • Improved operational efficiency through effective document management
  • Streamlined information sharing and access
  • Accuracy, consistency and standardisation
  • Destruction dates against stored items for easy tracking
  • Quick and easy access via a best-in-class compliant scan-back service
  • Stable and managed platform

Secure document destruction

When the retention dates of your records have lapsed, their secure destruction is imperative. The Data Protection Act states that confidential information must be disposed of correctly. The most effective method for destroying vital documents is through shredding. This process ensures records are destroyed confidentially and guarantees the continued protection of your data. This helps you to maintain trust, a good reputation, and nurture long-standing relationships, whilst removing opportunities for data breaches.

Moreover, destroying unnecessary data and records can significantly enhance cost-efficiency. Secure document destruction helps to save money on storage expenses and frees up valuable office space, creating room for more important information.

Leading document management services

At DeepStore, we’re proud to offer a leading document management service, offering comprehensive solutions to help our clients efficiently manage their records and remain compliant. With our facility in London and the distinct advantage of a naturally ultra-secure facility nestled within a rock salt mine, our services allow organisations across the UK to outsource the storage and management of their archives, documentation and records with confidence.

Our secure storage services provide unparalleled protection for your records so you can focus on maximising space and efficiency in your workplace and growing your business. With our scan-on-demand solution, digital documents can be viewed through a secure online portal. The O’Neil database, our industry-leading records management software, facilitates remote access so that you can accurately manage your assets. Furthermore, the software records and tracks retention dates, ensuring compliance and peace of mind. This approach reduces touchpoints for physical documents, improves security and efficiency, and minimises further deterioration.

We proactively provide clients with a detailed destruction list outlining the records which are due for destruction. This enables our clients to either extend their destruction dates or sign to authorise the secure shredding of their records. Comprehensive security protocols are implemented to ensure the safe destruction of sensitive records. DeepStore also provides certification following destruction, offering a complete and secure records management solution.

To learn more about DeepStore and how we can help you ensure document security, get in touch today. To contact our friendly team, call us at 0345 056 5759 or fill out our simple online enquiry form, and we’ll be in touch.