I have a friend who has a secret. They’re a little embarrassed. They don’t want it known that when they go for a run their musical motivation of choice is none other than the Aussie classic, John Farnham’s: You’re The Voice. There must be something about those rousing bagpipes that gets them up hills and sees them sprinting home. It’s not a fact they’re particularly proud of, mind you. It’s not something they particularly want known. It’s their own personal little quirk, not to be mocked or used against them.

Imagine your own little quirks. Perhaps your preferences come to mind, your stories, your mistakes, your private details and secret proclivities. For the most part many of us get to enjoy the privilege of knowing which information is our own and getting to keep it that way.

Broadening the scope a little more you may start to consider the information your organisation handles. Perhaps it’s the private details of your employees or clients, maybe it’s the details of transactions or financial histories. Information is important to your organisation and keeping it safe remains to be a priority for most. Stolen information, personal or otherwise, represents one of the biggest threats to any organisation. This is of particular concern if your organisation is subject to state, federal or industry regulations. Even the smallest breach of information can bring about a headache of fines, legal hassles and in certain cases, criminal sanctions. All of these fly straight in the face of your organisation going about its day to day business. Rudely.

Simply put, what you need is secure collection, management, housing and protection of the confidential data of your organisation – both digital and paper-based. At the same time though, you’ll also need a compliant information management system.

Some points to consider when tackling information management

  1. Work on your policies extensively:

First thing’s first: develop an information management policy for your organisation. Even if you already have a policy in place, it’s important to see it updated regularly. When updating, consider:

  • The rapid growth of your business and whether your plan’s effectiveness will be reduced if you move to a new location or fail to address e-files.
  • Attention should be given to the ever-changing data retention practices and security measures in your specific industry.
  • There must be a comprehensive disposal method for all old and unnecessary files.
  • Dispose of your old disk drives even if they have been wiped clean.
  • Don’t forget to address your organisation’s social media related data including Facebook posts, Tweets and blog entries – even the communications stored on mobile phones should be considered.
  1. Know the Law:

Every state has different regulations pertaining to data retention, destruction schedules and security breaches. As these regulations keep changing, it’s important to stay informed so you can organise your data effectively.

  1. Manage Your Plan … With A Manager:

It’s a good idea to have a project manager to supervise your plans and keep things running smoothly. More than that though, it’s also important to arrange a substitute. Designate another employee, an understudy of sorts, who is skilled to the same level so that the management of your data goes on without a hitch, even in the absence of your designated manager.

  1. Become a Master Builder:

Once your policies are developed, make sure you’re both strict and communicative with their implementation:

  • Organise all aspects of the policy
  • Assess the status as well as each aspect of the policy
  • Develop a well-structured strategy
  • Implement the plan very carefully
  • Manage every aspect of the policy and its implementation
  • Audit and keep track of the entire process
  1. Once you’ve started:

When it comes to your data management program the work never ends, especially when the data is confidential or sensitive in any way. Your controls and data protection schedules should be tested regularly and your policies need to be maintained, assessed often and improved where possible.

Whether you’re flossing your teeth, running to an Australian rock classic, painting your house, applying flea treatment behind the dog’s ear or servicing your car, you know the importance of maintenance. The things we value and plan to keep around need regular care and your data management is no different: the work never ends. Reviewing and updating your policies is an important practice to ensure you’re in the best position to manage your confidential data. More than that, have faith in your policies and your people and know they’re working with you towards the same goal: a secure and effective program.

To find out how ZircoDATA can partner with you and develop a plan of attach to manage your company’s valuable data, contact us today on 13 ZIRCO or email at services@zircodata.com.au