What do you need to do to secure file cabinets?

Learning how to secure your filing cabinets will keep your essential information safe. This matters because a leak can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

How do you secure file cabinets?

On top of the damage to your business reputation, HIPAA fines cost around $25,000 per violation per category for security breaches. At the minimum, you can expect to pay $100 for each violation, but the damage to your business can be far worse. This is why you should take action to secure file cabinets. Let’s take a look at how to secure your future business practice.

Don’t Trust the Filing Cabinet Locks

Filing cabinet locks suffer two crucial weaknesses. First, the materials used to construct filing cabinets lack adequate security measures, and the layout of the internal locking mechanism is simple.

Second is the thickness of the cabinets. Most filing cabinets will have a thickness of between 0.6 mm to 0.7 mm. Obviously, the thicker the filing cabinet, the better your security, but beware of manufacturers that falsely report the thickness. Due to this, you will want to buy a thicker filing cabinet from the start, and you will want to install a better lock.

typically performs this service to guarantee your security. Think of it as an investment in your future. Don’t install it yourself if you want security because you may install it wrong and make it easier for criminals.

Add a File Bar

In some cases, you will hear them referred to as file rails. You want to use this with a high-security lock to secure file cabinets. Many businesses love them because of the extra layers of security that it adds. You solve security issues on two fronts. First, it reduces the risk of the manufacturer’s locks, and second, you can layer your security better.

Strict Key Management Policies

Enforce a strict key management policy to reduce your risk that the key would fall into the wrong hands. In some cases, your weakest link stems from those who open the locks, not from those who would break into them. Tight management policies will restrict access and keep track of who has what. In this way, you can figure out what went wrong if someone breaks into your filing cabinets. Make sure to keep clear and organized records of where the keys went. You will want to keep a spare in a secure place to ensure access to files whenever needed.

Rekey the Locks Occasionally

Businesses should especially rekey the locks if they had to fire an employee since you never know if they made a duplicate key. Rekeying the locks isn’t the same as replacing them altogether, but it often makes sense to hire a commercial locksmith to perform this service every once in a while. Rekeying the locks will also cost less than replacing them. Many apartments will rekey the locks after a tenant moves out, replacing them altogether unless they want to take advantage of new security upgrades, which is when installing a new lock makes more sense.


You can buy some great filing cabinet locks that will protect your business from harm, but I wouldn’t trust the manufacturer’s locks on this. You will almost always secure file cabinets with a simple upgrade of the locks.

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