Is human error the greatest threat to your vital information?

Posted by TAB on

It doesn’t matter if records are paper or electronic, housed in a filing cabinet or in a cloud, records managers worry about information security—and for good reason.

Many laws and regulations hold organizations responsible for the safety of sensitive information and senior management can face fines and even jail time if they’re found to be negligent in their duty to protect. Compromised records management security also affects an organization’s ability to get through daily operations, to say nothing of lost client confidence.

It’s no surprise then that there’s a lot of discussion around the best way to protect vital and sensitive information, including this question: are paper documents under lock and key less vulnerable to theft or loss than electronic information stored on computers?

Bob Larrivee is a director / industry advisor at the AIIM Professional development Centre and in a blog post on the organization’s web site he outlines his take on the issue:

It is not the system, software, or hardware that misplaces, loses, or steals information, it is the human. People are responsible for these actions and the format [of the information] does not matter. Even in a paper-based world, humans will still misplace, lose, or steal information so the fact the information is digital, should not be the point.

Larrivee sees monitoring and loss prevention strategies as vital to securing information, but he also believes that properly protecting and managing information can’t stop there. The missing link according to Larrivee is targeted user training and he believes it should be extensive, covering:

  • why security is needed
  • the types of technologies that will be used to establish that security
  • how to safely use portable hard drives, USB storage, tablets, smart phones and any other devices employees need to access information

It’s a sound argument, but what do you think—is human error the greatest threat to your information security? Visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter and let us know.

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