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An Overview of Data Retention Policy Considerations

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Organizations of all types send and receive swaths of data on a daily basis, but not all of the data is discarded immediately. Far from it. Data retention is the process of storing specific types of data for defined periods. The policies that dictate an organization’s data retention practices can vary from internal legal guidelines to government policies like HIPAA, the GDPR, and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Due to the varying sizes and types of data that often need to be retained, you should be very precise when creating the data retention policies themselves to avoid non-compliance, data clutter, and the wasting of IT resources.

Effective and efficient data retention policies rely on the following best practices while utilizing the right data backup tools.

Preliminary Data Retention Policy Considerations

When developing data retention policies, consider:

Compliance – Determining what data is subject to compliance regulations is paramount and requires a thorough examination of any applicable laws. Organizations also typically have their own internal compliance regulations for audits as well.
What data to retain – Which types of non-mandated data should you retain internally for your own purposes? This can range from basic files like documents and emails to database records.

Basic Steps for Creating a Data Retention Policy

Every organization is different and will have its own needs that must be addressed when implementing new data retention policies. That said, the following can be considered a basic outline for the policy creation:

  • Define the types of data being retained (see above)
  • Categorize and arrange data by lifecycle
  • Determine how many versions should be stored
  • Identify the necessary frequency of data backups
  • Determine a lifecycle policy for each dataset
  • Remove unneeded files
  • Inspect and execute the backup retention policy and evaluate the results

Data Retention Policy Best Practices

Following best practices for data retention can improve everything from compliance reliability to cost savings. Some general best practices include:

  • Be aware of how any industry regulations may affect retention policies
  • Review data recovery and restoration scenarios (like Recovery Time Objective and Recovery Point Objective)
  • Ensure incremental backups remain at a manageable size
  • Keep the last backup copy easily accessible
  • Consider cloud storage costs over the long term
  • Schedule automatic backups when bandwidth availability is at its peak

Simplify Data Retention Policy Compliance and Management With Clumio

Data retention policy best practices and proper planning will only get you so far—the tools you use for data backup and recovery are equally important. Clumio is a secure, cloud-native, backup-as-a-service solution that delivers automatic data backup and protection while providing clarity into your organization’s data retention policies and several innovative features that ensure simplified, streamlined compliance management.

Clear Policy Visibility and Easy Management

Clumio’s intuitive user interface includes a dashboard that displays a single view of all assets and resources. Amazon Web Services (AWS) accounts are automatically discovered and indexed, and uniform policies can be applied to new assets as they are added. Instant push alerts are sent out any time compliance may be at risk.

Uncompromising Data Protection

Data retention should also involve top-tier security for backup copies. Clumio creates instant data backups and stores them in an encrypted, air-gapped environment outside of the primary account to safeguard copies from being compromised by threats like ransomware, ensuring you will always have a valid backup copy on hand.

Simplify your data retention policy compliance with the industry’s leading innovator for AWS cloud backup. Experience the full scope of Clumio’s features in person by scheduling a demo today. We’ll show you how your organization’s data and compliance status can be fully protected in less than 15 minutes, without the need to install new infrastructure or software or undertake any pre-planning beforehand.

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