For brevity sake let's address Educational institutions, and their need to keep student records for the duration of a student's education. Some information, such as college transcripts, may be held for many years. Data is not only for record keeping, but with the information that schools now have on students lives and their studies, it can inform them on how to improve their educational programs.
However, on the other side of the coin, information like this poses a serious risk. If a social security number is leaked, a person's life can be destroyed in an instant from identity theft, for a company the threat is multiplied. In 2014, Target was the unfortunate victim of a massive cyber attack, nearly 70 million people's personal data and credit card information was stolen. Having the proper technology in place, like an advanced and cyber secure ECM could have thwarted such an attack.
In addition, depending on the legal requirements data must be held for a certain amount of time, after that date it must be destroyed. However, electronic data poses a new challenge and a significant problem if not addressed correctly. Many educational institutions are using Enterprise Content Management Solutions to improve their deletion issues. Duplication is a problem, but An ECM captures and organizes all of a student's information in one central repository.
There are many electronic data storage technologies out there, however, they are not all equal and not necessarily resistant to loss, or worse information being hacked. An ECM has highly encrypted technology, making it impossible for "back door" hackers to steal information.
Also there's always the problem of paper documents and records filed haphazardly. An ECM quality company will pick up and provide on-site archival storage in a vault-like setting, along with destruction services once the information is no longer needed for compliance issues. Archiving documents is more than just simply storing them, it's making sure that the compliance and the retention schedule is adhered to.
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