You cannot afford to fall short on your organization’s information management practices with the increasing amount of regulations. Information is the cornerstone of every corporate asset and important for business. Data breaches are a major threat to a variety of businesses.

For example, the healthcare industry suffered from major losses due to data breaches in 2016. As a result, around 16,471,765 healthcare records corrupted last year. As of February 2017, there have already been 329 breaches reported in the same industry. More recently, the retailer Kmart reported a data breach negatively impacting 735 of its locations in the United States. In addition, the incident involved malware targeting Kmart’s point-of-sale (POS) systems.

Cases like these demonstrate how serious lapses in information management protections can be for your organization. One of the biggest challenges for businesses comes down to affordability. We recommend looking for a vendor who can fit your needs if you do not have enough resources to have secure data protection on-site. When finding a vendor who can help you navigate the intricacies of data management and storage practices, you should have a set of criteria to evaluate a potential partner’s compatibility with the needs of your organization.

Bottom line, you need to think about the following factors before making an informed decision on the matter. We have organized these factors into five key points.

1.) Have an awareness of the current information governance laws

Every vendor you look at should have a deep understanding of laws as applied to data management and security standards. Strong data with solid backup policies applies to all organizations that handle and store information and data including retail, legal services, banking and healthcare services. Therefore, the vendor you choose should also follow specific codes and regulations. They also need to have a team of qualified individuals who can conduct intensive record-keeping in every stage of the information lifecycle.

2.) Successfully provide staff with education and training on the latest technology

Like in the IT world and with programming, the technology, best practices, and regulations are malleable and change with the times. What might have been relevant even two years ago may be completely outdated now. You need to get an understanding of how a potential vendor trains its workers and updates them on the latest chain of custody policies. Every aspect of data management and information security is critical, and lacking in education and training could lead to exorbitant costs when a breach in data occurs.

3.) Always utilize the latest security practices and techniques

There is a labor-intensive aspect to information management which requires a lot of physical investment upfront. For example, your physical storage facility needs to have alarms and burglar detection technology installed to protect your information assets further. As additional protection against natural disasters, the facility should use fire alarm systems and early smoke detection. A qualified vendor will recognize the importance of physical protections and make it a necessity to have the latest safety and security systems installed.

4.) Provide a strong description of information management policies and execution

Before agreeing to a vendor’s services, the vendor should be clear about how they will keep your data and information safe and secure. Next, the vendor should also clearly explain their pricing model and the frequency of the audits completed, as well as any notification about the retention guidelines and destruction processes. If these processes are consistent and predictable, you may have found a suitable partner for your organization.

5.) Have enough technological capital to meet your information management necessities

Never rely on a vendor not looking at the latest trends in information management. If the vendor does not utilize Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) audits or have management systems which can update in real time, they are probably not a vendor you want to invest your time with. The risk of a data breach is not worth relying on old, antiquated systems technology.

Finding a reliable vendor who will comply with information governance standards should be a high priority. Preventing your organization from falling prey to security breaches as some of the companies discussed in this article makes the vendor discovery process worthwhile. Trust ARKIVE to help you protect the most valuable corporate assets and do not overlook the importance of proper data management.