What Is Data Retention? Why Do I Need It?

If you are in the medical or legal industry, regulations require you to retain data and records for a certain period of time. The data retention process was a little more clear-cut back when it was only files and sheets of papers in brown boxes that you stored in the attic or the basement.

However, in today’s time, almost everything is in digital form, whether it’s stored locally on a file server, external hard drives, or in the cloud.

This data needs to be secure and easily accessible in the event you need to retrieve any of it. Depending on how much data you have, there are many options.

The one thing you do not want to do is buy a cheap hard drive, move your data over to it, and think you’re safe.

If you only have one copy of that data and you move it to a new location, that is your only copy. You want to have your data saved in more than one location or a mirror copy of it saved.

A business might want to consider a local or cloud server with a RAID setup so that there is a copy of your copy. It creates a copy of your data so that, in the event of a hardware failure or data corruption, the data can be restored from the second copy.

The first copy would be returned to the last version, like nothing happened to it.

If you are a larger business and/or deal with medical or financial information, it would be very wise to utilize data encryption for the stored data.

However, every business should create a data retention policy and follow it. Categorize documents and images, then specify how long the data is to be retained.

Make sure all employees and IT professionals with access to company and client data know and adhere to this policy.

The main thing to keep in mind is the type and quality of hardware that is used. It’s great to have a data retention policy in place and follow it exactly, but if your data gets corrupted, stolen, or a hard drive fails, the policy does you no good.

The key to a rock-solid data retention policy starts with having a robust backup solution in place as well.

The backup solution can either be a cloud-based system or an on-site enterprise storage device or server with a proper RAID setup.

Here at Tech Experts, we can assist you with establishing a file server with the correct RAID configuration to ensure that the retained data is safe and secure, with encryption and redundancy built in. Cloud based image backups are also a great way to ensure the safety of your data.

We can also start you on a managed service plan for monitoring and maintenance of that server and your other workstations, laptops, printer, and VoIP phone systems.

Wherever you decide to store your data, make sure that enterprise hardware and security measures are used to ensure that your data will remain intact.