Electronic security often seems to receive negative press, but are paper records really more secure? Alan Wright cuts through the hype and compares the measurable benefits.
A news item coming out of Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut brought attention to a very important issue in modern business - the unsecured nature of public paper records. Over 800 patient files were compromised after paper files were stolen from the car of a physician on December 27, 2013.
The vulnerability of paper records, and especially records that are frequently brought along, dropped off, and traded, is one of many reasons why most businesses are switching to online records only. Consumer or patient files often contain sensitive information including Social Security Numbers, bank accounts, birthdays and addresses - all very crucial information for a criminal.
Online record keeping and CRM software offers distinct advantages over paper records, and one of the most important issues is that of security. Online software allows for secure database storage of consumer files, associates and vendors. Furthermore, with advanced CRM software (such as iMagic Inventory) managers can also customize logins and passwords for each user, creating a hierarchy of qualified personnel with varying levels of access to private information. The iMagic inventory system can even assign sections of the system to different sets of employees.
Naturally, keeping records on a laptop or desktop PC is safer than leaving paper files in an open vehicle. An online program can be locked, as can the operating system, so that even a stolen laptop wouldn't be as a high security risk if login protection was enabled. Entire databases, store merchandise, financial information, and other data can also be exported or imported, allowing for secure mobility.
There is also a remote sales option for the software, meaning that traveling managers and employees can access the central system securely, whether through a Virtual Private Network or for MS SQL Server.
Security issues can be very costly, and can involve even involve regulatory penalties, downtime of an online site, and fraud losses. Perhaps even worse, scandals of compromised data can negatively affect customer confidence in the company.
While this era is often thought of as "paperless" the facts show that many businesses still use paper documents, either in filing, or at least legal contracts. The dangers of throwing away confidential information is such a serious threat that most states now have regulations protecting consumer privacy, and penalize businesses for throwing records away, or keeping them in public sight and vulnerable to theft.
No wonder that software programs like iMagic Inventory, which automate all processes, are becoming popular since they eliminate the need for paper files. Inventory software even makes the mobility of these file systems easy. You can generate paper copies for reports, meetings, and customer transactions if you have need, but all sales, merchandise and managerial reports are saved in the system and can be assessed at any time.
As the modern business world continues to phase out old paper record systems, companies that do not take heed of this trend are left to deal with storage and compliance issues, and the increased risk of theft or fraud.
If you or someone you know is still clinging to paper records, then it's time talk about making the important switch. Choosing inventory organizational software is a step in the right direction, and is moving towards technology and farther away from the possibility of human error.
These are the standards that could save a company. You don't have to switch over to an entire network of expensive system updates. Rather, you can use a competitive system like iMagic Inventory and one affordable license to centralize and automate your files, never again risking an information leak.