Disaster recovery planning protects your vital records

The average organization can double its stored information in a matter of months. Since new laws require companies to keep this data for an extended period of time, it is up to the company to comply with the regulations and establish an effective system for records management. While log management is extremely important, disaster recovery planning is just as essential. Since the enormous amount of data stored for the average organization can be capital intensive, many companies mistakenly opt to reduce costs by skipping the planning area entirely.

Why Disaster Recovery Planning Is Important
An organization is responsible for protecting and managing all the data it stores. Whether that information is mission-critical or contains private customer data, the company is obligated to store it securely. Planning should not focus only on the data needed for daily operations. Since most customer information and files may contain personal and confidential information, it is equally important to protect all data during a disaster situation, such as a flood, power outage, fire, hurricane, or even an act of terrorism. .

Another common problem for organizations is virtual threats. These can include viruses, network errors, and data breaches that not only stop the business from running, but can also expose important information. Safe disaster recovery planning ensures that data is not lost, deleted, or stolen, and is stored securely and protected from third parties, including identity thieves. If vital records cannot be accessed, a business may never be able to recover.

Disaster Recovery Planning and Federal Regulations
Many federal regulations, such as HIPAA and Check 21, require organizations to use effective disaster recovery planning. Businesses may face fines or not receive federal recovery assistance if they do not have plans in place. Any organization with a plan must ensure that it strictly follows state and federal regulations in order to remain compliant even during a disaster situation.

Why backups are not enough
Backup systems are very complex and are used by many organizations for their disaster recovery planning. While having internal backup systems is important for recovery, it is not as secure or reliable as having a plan for records management. Backup systems should be used to store mission-critical data that can be reinstalled for a business to recover after a disaster. However, what should not be stored in a backup system is customer information or other sensitive personal data that could be intercepted by a third party. Digital backup systems cannot protect paper files from damage caused by water, fire, or even soot. Instead, an organization should include records management within its plan to ensure that paper files are secure and stored off-site, away from potential disaster areas.

Regardless of your industry or the size of your organization, having effective disaster recovery planning in place is critical to the safety and sustainability of your business. Companies that specialize in records management can help store digital files and paper files to ensure that you not only protect your records, but also comply with all state and federal regulations regarding backup.

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