Data Protection Act(DPA) Compliance and Paper Records

data-protection-act-paper-recordsData protection is an issue that affects all companies regardless of size. Over recent years the incidences of hacking, data breaches and data theft have increased at an alarming rate.

All organisations in the UK must comply with the Data Protection Act(DPA) and any organisation in breach will face a serious penalty. In 2014, BPAS – The British Pregnancy Advice Service suffered a malicious attack on their website. Personal details of 9,900 people were stolen and the hacker threatened to publish them online. The hacker received a 32 month prison sentence and BPAS was fined £200,000 for a serious breach of the Data Protection Act. Needless to say – such a large fine could have easily been avoided. This wasn’t a record fine, but it certainly was most unwelcome and was towards the upper edge of fines levied by the ICO in recent years.

Data protection breaches don’t just come from website attacks though. One of the most common breaches comes from paper records either being stolen or lost. Just think how many pieces of paper there are in the average office? How many folders are left out on desks or in unlocked cupboards over night. Who has access to these paper records? Who takes them home, leaves them in the car or on the train unwatched? All of these are serious concerns for any organisation and in particular for the CIO.

There are a number of simple steps you can take to avoid risking a fine, and ORS Group can help by securing the paper in your office through:


  • Implementing DocuWare – an electronic document management system. Your data has fail-safe security and full auditing features. The risk of a data breach is removed.
  • Scanning your documents – we can scan all your documents and save them 100% securely either into DocuWare or securely hosted online. This removes the risk of paper records being lost or stolen and ultimately falling into the wrong hands.
  • Audit and securely shred your selected paper archives – we will happily scan your archive but why scan and store documents that can be safely and securely destroyed? We look to remove costs not add them. We can perform an audit on your boxes in storage and work with you to securely destroy the paper records that have no place in an archive any more. Most organisations in the UK have a relationship with a box storage company, but many of these organisations have a poor grasp on what they have in storage and whether it really needs to be stored any more. Monthly storage invoices are often just signed off without care, but they soon add up and ORS Group can help you significantly reduce these.

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