5 Data Archiving Strategies that Work for Your Business
Milana Jovic

If you've recently considered data storage for your company, the terms data archiving and data backup probably popped up. These are two very different services that may be used in tandem to provide the most complete storage for your essential business information.
Data archiving is the preservation of static data for later retrieval. In contrast, data backup is the preservation of dynamic data as well as a recovery and restoration tool in the case of tampering or loss.
The strategies listed below can help your company's transition to comprehensive data archiving storage go as smoothly as possible.

Make an inventory of your data and decide which data should be preserved

Whereas data backup entails storing all of your company's data, data archiving entails selecting just specific data to be preserved. It is essential to consider the sort of data your organization handles when determining what needs to be saved and when. Any records that would benefit from being discoverable, such as emails, should be archived in a searchable database.
Unfortunately, there is no common rule for choosing which data should be archived; therefore it is vital to develop a strategy with each department of your company, as well as your legal team, to establish what the best course of action would be.
As a general guideline, you should archive any static data. This includes any data that hasn't been altered in several months. Assess the last time your data was reviewed, and then develop a strategy for when that data is appropriate for archive preservation.

Define retention schedules according to compliance regulations

Businesses that manage sensitive client data, such as healthcare providers, attorneys, and real estate brokers, should be aware of industry rules governing data preservation. For example, HIPAA laws compel medical practitioners to keep patient data for a set period of time, which varies by state.
Patients or clients who are no longer active may be the simplest to archive initially. If you're just getting started with an archiving plan, this data segment is an excellent place to start. While their data must be kept for legal reasons, their files are no longer active and do not need to be backed up on a regular basis.

Create a thorough archiving policy

It is advised that you develop an archive policy that contains a defined and comprehensive set of processes and standards to keep everyone working in your firm on the same page. This would include:

  • Data archiving criteria;

  • Mechanisms that enable data archiving;

  • The type of data storage media that is employed;

  • Data storage duration;

  • Rules dictating who has access to archived data and under what conditions.

Creating a strong policy, as stated above, requires engagement from your business's IT department and executives, as well as the involvement of the administrators of the data archiving software company. The objective is to establish a policy that is manageable and enforceable, which will necessitate the approval of your company's legal counsel as well as an annual review and, if necessary, update.

Keep the archive safe from tampering and loss

When selecting a provider to manage your organization's sensitive information, the security of your archived data should be a crucial concern. As previously stated, numerous business regulations mandate that certain data be safeguarded from manipulation and loss.
The critical nature of file data makes it important that file data be protected against loss, deletion, and modification. The strictness of government regulations regarding data protection, however, depends mainly on the industry in question. For example, industry regulations governing data security in the healthcare industry are particularly stringent, and penalties for violation can be quite severe.
In general, however, most industries are governed by some form of regulation that mandates some form of data protection. Failure to comply with such laws can result in fines, lawsuits, and even license revocation.

Choose a data archive product for your business

Many organizations choose to outsource their archiving needs, but as there are a large number of companies providing this service, it can be challenging to determine which company can provide the most effective solution.
Some companies specialize in archiving certain types of data. For example, email archiving solutions are designed to address email archiving needs. If your email records contain large amounts of sensitive data, you might want to consider such a specialized solution. That way, you'll not only ensure that your data is safe from tampering and loss but also stored according to regulations relevant to the particular type of data you're archiving.