Physical Data Storage

Businesses and consumers alike have seen several incidents of a digital data breach in the recent years. Just recently, Equifax experienced a major data hacking that sent the company staggering to pick up the pieces after its wake. Because of this, you might think that keeping physical records of sensitive information is a lot safer.

Envelopes, folders, and paper records can’t be targeted by data hackers, ergo it is safe from a data breach. But is it really safer that way?

In this article, we will break down the top 3 risks of maintaining sensitive information on paper. Let’s explore the dangers of physical record-keeping, whether businesses are better off with the tangible, within-your-reach, and within-your-site records vault.

Problems with Access and Chain of Custody

In keeping physical files, you need to have a strict policy on who gets to have access to it. It might be easier to walk towards the file cabinet and reach out for that confidential, for-your-eyes-only file. It’s easier that way especially if you’re not tech savvy and find the computer a complicated maze that you can’t handle.

But think about it, can you be 100% sure that confidential files remain confidential?

In a bustling company building, there are times that a paper file gets transferred from one person to another. There are times that limited access to sensitive information is not followed at all times. Sometimes, the chain of custody cannot be traced. While keeping data digitally can have its share of disadvantages, at least you can have ways to strictly monitor and limit access to digital files. We can’t say the same with physical data storage.

Exposure to Fire, Water, and Other Elements of Nature

The transition from physical record-keeping to digital safe-keeping can be a lot to take in for some business executives. This isn’t to generalize, but some businesses desperately hold on to the old-school way of keeping sensitive information.

They say that old-school is cool! That is until a fire hits the records room, or a flood hits the entire establishment where all the confidential files are hidden, or God forbid, earthquake strikes—the list just goes on!

Unlike digital or electronic data keeping, physical data keeping poses a risk for permanent loss.  Thanks to the advancements in digital technology, once the data is stored in the cloud, you can secure multiple copies just in case the physical electronic device such as a computer gets burned in a fire, you can still have access to your backup copies.

Unexpected disasters, natural or man-made, can have an irrevocable damage on sensitive data stored on paper. It can be destroyed within minutes or even seconds and you have no chance to save them without the possibility of risking human safety.

Physical Loss and Damage

A coffee spill can cost you terrible data loss. Okay, we might be exaggerating here, but there is a remote possibility that an important and already filled-up client form can be damaged just by accidentally spilling coffee over that thin piece of paper. It’s not just small, clumsy accidents that can cause damage or deterioration to paper, but also insects and other elements.

Digital data storage is not exempted from data corruption, but the difference is that there are ways to recover those files. You can have backup copies too. With physical data, once a big damage is done on paper files, there are slim to none chances of recovering it.

It can be difficult to recover a lost or misplaced folder or paper file. Sensitive data on paper can be lost during transport, not to mention that it can be a logistics nightmare to securely transport sensitive information.

If you don’t have proper security inside your storage facility, employees with malicious intentions can also sneak out files easily since there is no password protection in a piece of paper. Aside from that, break-ins can be detrimental to security. Thieves can just break the locks of your file cabinet or the door to your records room. In just a snap, they can take off with a folder containing sensitive information in their hands.

Keeping Up With The Times

Storing data might be a choice between convenience and the choice to modernize. Physical data storage as well as digital data storage both has its pros and cons. Times are changing and so should the way businesses run its day to day transactions.

Physical storage is becoming unrealistic now that everything is geared towards digitalization. As much as you would like to escape technology, you can’t absolutely free yourself from internal threats that exist even with physical storage. Physical data storage is not totally a bad idea. However, when it comes to sensitive information, storing them only in a piece of paper can be risky.

Storing data and sensitive business information in the cloud is very convenient. It has risks, though they come in the form of hackers. However, this shouldn’t stop you from making the best choice for data storage.

Make the choice and choose a cloud storage service with a convenient, secure, well designed, and strategically implemented system such as MaskItUp.


If you like to know more about MaskItUp, please feel free to contact us

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