Don’t become the “Midnight Gardener”

A few years ago a friend of mine said he was afraid of the banks either going out of business, somehow losing the money deposited with them or some nefarious “bad guy” was going to hack into their system and drain his account. So, he was going to use the “Midnight Gardener” to protect his money. You know what that is – buying a metal box, withdrawing all his money from the bank and going out at midnight and burying his money in his backyard so his neighbors didn’t see him doing it. Wow, this may be a candidate for the “flat earth society”.

While some may laugh at the above mentioned example, what is the difference between my friend and those who believe they can better protect their irreplaceable records by storing their physical vital records themselves rather than storing with a reputable offsite storage vendor in a maximum security vault located in a solid granite mountain?

What are their options – well, they can store in their own building / on-site storage (bad idea because they would have their primary and backup copy in the same location and a disaster could destroy both) – They could take them home (bad idea because they would then have a personal liability if something happened to these records that cost their organization time, money and embarrassment) – they could take them to a bank or credit union (bad idea because those organizations are only open about 30% of the hours in a week and if they needed to get these records and the bank or CU were closed, well, you get the idea).

When organizations try and protect their own records, the “human element” sometimes rears its ugly head. Let me explain. I know numerous organizations that were either going to have their IT person take backup records home or to a bank or credit union. Here’s human nature at work – these people got busy, lazy, forgot, went on vacation, got sick and the list goes on and on and their critical records didn’t get taken offsite in a timely manner (if at all) which left their company vulnerable and liable. When they started using our services they said that the best thing about our courier service was that it FORCED their IT people to do their backups on time because they knew our couriers would be by on a set schedule. They did the backups and then they didn’t have to worry about having them taken offsite and to a safe, secure granite mountain vault.

In a perfect world all organizations would have “perfect” employees that they didn’t have to worry about. But, what about the employee that gets passed over for a promotion, doesn’t get a raise, is ridiculed by their boss, etc. One of the most frequent vulnerabilities any organization has is disgruntled employee sabotage. Insiders often have access to critical information and sabotage of company data can be very easy to do. Installation of a “Trojan Virus” which systematically erases data, codes and passwords given to Wiki leaks, and the taking of records off premise are just a few of the methods used in today’s world to compromise data.

By storing a copy of a physical record in a granite mountain vault, these records are securely protected from loss due to disgruntled employee sabotage, fires, earthquakes, floods, hardware and software problems, etc. These sensitive records are stored under the correct temperature and humidity levels, protected by armed personnel and are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The loss of critical records can end up costing organizations thousands of dollars an hour while trying to reconstruct the data (if it can be reconstructed) not to mention the loss of money, confidence and good will to clients and potential clients. Look at the recent damage done to Target from unauthorized access of information by hackers. Also, there have been recent cases almost too numerous to mention about the loss of data from viruses. Storage of a physical record in a granite mountain would eliminate loss from the above mentioned dangers.

So, what method will thinking people use to properly protect their irreplaceable records, the “Midnight Gardener” type of solution or a professionally managed offsite storage program using a solid granite mountain to protect critical records?


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