The importance of a comprehensive and secure document management system cannot be emphasized enough. Regardless of the industry, from real estate to health care, it’s vital that companies utilizing electronic client data are able to rely on a system that offers maximum security. While a dependable e-filing system can be a costly endeavor, it’s certainly not an area where corners should be cut.
As the number of organizations depending on electronic files increases, so, too, have the data breaches. The Ponemon Institute, a security research faction, announced that the number of reported breaches in the medical field is up 32 percent from 2010. The total industry cost of such ineffective security? An estimated $6.5 billion.
Recent news stories have detailed such frightful accounts, citing specific incidents in which companies that have failed to utilize consistent software have, unfortunately, fallen prey to computer-savvy criminals. Not surprisingly, the ensuing situations are often grave, costing hundreds of thousands in legal fees and fines, and requiring countless hours on the part of crisis communication experts who attempt damage control.
The NY Times published an article regarding such a situation last week, detailing the nightmare that Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative endured after an employee’s laptop was stolen out of his personal vehicle. The computer contained unsecured health records for nearly 14,000 patients. Naturally, each record contained a considerable amount of private client information, making them ideal for identity theft. Hundreds of work hours later, the total cost of the breach was considerably less than first estimated and than that which other companies in similar situations have faced, a mere $288,000.
Similarly, Sutter Health of Sacramento, CA, experienced a significant breach when their headquarters were broken into in mid-October of this year and a desktop was stolen. The computer provided the thief with access to more than 4 million unprotected patient records. There are currently two class-action lawsuits pending, in which prosecutors are seeking far more in damages than what eHealth faced.
While we’ve outlined many reasons in the past why companies cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities offered by a document management system, these stories blatantly point out why companies cannot afford to employ inconsistent or less-than-maximum security software. This is unquestionably an instance in which going the extra mile will most certainly pay off.