An organisation that is using data archiving software should give value to result oriented practises while designing policies for data archiving. No doubt, compliance plays an important role when policies are formed. It is the requirement that forces to conform to the rules and regulations. However, the rules and regulations may depend on the nature of business:
– In Specification or Standards — when a particular standard is adhered to, like Payment Card Industry (PCI) or International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) protection standards;
– In Regulatory — when the need is linked with specific type of compliance, such as HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley;
– In Legal — when the need is linked with specific data for investigation purposes or e-discovery.
Financial or medical industries are regulated more specifically than a small franchise in other service areas, which for instance, needs to follow PCI standards. However, such a franchise — or any business for that matter — must have some policies in place for legal and e-discovery.
Three basic considerations must be defined in order to determine how certain data should be archived and/or when the data should expire:
– Type of data – how important that data is for the organisation;
– Time period required for data protection – how long should the data be kept active;
– When archived data should be deleted.
In fact, compliance is the basis of data storage. Archives contain only a few relevant files for BDR. It is ridiculous to save short-term records as drafts or logs. If you have decided on what type of data is needed to be backed up, the next task is to check the required time period for keeping the protected data. For instance, IRS demands to keep documents related to tax protected for at least 7 years.
When a specific data is no more needed, it is time to remove the archived data. Most do not even bother to delete data as cloud backup is cheaper and is simpler solution for maximum data protection. Due to business continuity and compliance management, data is considered as valuable commodity. Data can be stolen to damage the reputation of a company; therefore, companies must keep backup of all files and documents, whether needed or not. This is one of the reasons why businesses have huge bulk of data stored in the cloud.
Though holding valuable data as backup helps during recovery process, but keeping expired data might cause many legal problems for companies. Federal regulations demand specific type of data to be retained if a company is charged for any wrong doing. Litigation experts claim that keeping unnecessary data beyond the required date may cause more problems for companies. More resources will be required to sift through the data. Furthermore, more data means, more chances of vulnerability. Companies must design and follow a policy for destruction of irrelevant data to avoid legal consequences.
Current legislation that demands proper procedures, as well as policies, also needs to have formal record of all data destruction and retention policies. Moreover, such policies are used as record to court that certain data no longer exist.
It is time to think about compliance as no organisation even desires to be charged for not following the law. When right compliance kit and compliance management is selected, companies can avoid legal issues.