Security and Risk Management: Protecting Your Assets
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Managing information records for business prosperity
Business owners and managers today are well aware that their companies must handle massive amounts of data at an ever increasing pace. As a result, “security and compliance have become major issues for our clients,” says Chris Harris, general manager of Access Information Management, the only records information management (RIM) company in Hawaii exclusively dedicated to RIM solutions.
“Information is the lifeblood of any organization and should have the proper resources and budget set aside to protect it,” explains Harris. “Unfortunately, Hawaii’s different industries have not taken these issues seriously with regards to protecting their information.” With over 15 years experience in the industry, Harris also emphasizes the importance of having a process in place that allows information to be readily accessible to stay competitive.
Most businesses know preserving and protecting business records makes good business sense, but fewer businesses grasp the necessary steps and procedures for implementing a formal records and document destruction program, which is equally important as deciding what to retain, he adds.
“Furthermore, all of the logistics of storing and managing documents and files, securing physical space for them, ensuring easy accessibility, and managing retention and destruction schedules must take place within the framework of legal and regulatory compliance,” says Harris. Inadvertent disclosures of confidential customer information can result in expensive lawsuits and penalties for violating federal statutes that can threaten a company’s very survival.
Access offers customers the assurances of meeting high industry standards through complementary national certifications. It is the longest lasting NAID (National Association for Information Destruction) certified company and recently became Hawaii’s only PRISM Privacy Plus-certified records management company to meet safeguarding standards of client information in paper and electronic records.
Offering statewide services to a variety of companies from small businesses to large corporations, Access aims “to partner with organizations, providing a single chain of custody throughout the life cycle of their critical business documents,” says Harris. In addition to records storage and document shredding, the company offers climate-controlled media vaulting, imaging and electronic records hosting. Access enables businesses to meet regulatory compliance and supports accessibility needs for audits and general business operations that require confidentiality and security.
Business owners and managers should be aware that the “single chain of custody” of information has become a bench mark in the RIM industry, says Harris. “With one chain of custody through all our service lines, Access can provide standardization on every island.”
Technology, says Harris, is transforming the RIM industry. Access has made significant tech investments, including WiFi handheld scanners and GPS systems in all of its delivery vehicles that enable more effective tracking and operational efficiency. It has also expanded its Scan-on-Demand services to provide file scanning with secure Web-based access as an alternative to physical document delivery.
As the state’s largest recycler of office paper, recycling some 500 tons monthly, “we are doing our part to be a green company,” says Harris. It now has a new fleet of more fuel-efficient delivery vehicles and its Maui facility is powered by a PV solar energy system. Neighbor Island businesses on Maui and the Big Island can also expect upcoming expansion of Access’ facilities on those islands.
“We are seeing changes in greater expectations of compliance with federal statutes and holding more vendors responsible for breaches of unauthorized access to sensitive information,” says Harris. At the same time, he believes opportunities will continue to grow in the sharing of information in the global marketplace.
“APEC made it obvious that Hawaii has an opportunity to share our wealth of knowledge in different industries and to become a catalyst between emerging markets in the East and West,” says Harris. “In order for that to happen, information needs to be readily available to be shared and protected.”
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