Organizations are using their data as fuel for their business processes. If you are in the healthcare, financial, education, or telecommunication sector, then you will have access to sensitive assets.
The amount of data that organizations are storing is increasing with time. Big data will ensure that you can use this data for improving your business decisions. The importance of a robust data retention policy is only increasing with time. There are new data privacy regulations and laws that you need to follow. It can be sometimes tricky to find the data that you need to retain. Also, you need to decide for how long you are going to retain this data.
We are going to talk about the best data retention practices in this article. You can follow these data retention practices for creating a good data retention policy. A good data retention policy will ensure that you are staying compliant.
Definition of a data retention policy:
This policy is documentation that your company can create for determining the data that you don’t need. You can use it for determining the data that you can delete. If the data no longer serves your business, then you can remove it. Sometimes you can delete the data after its data retention period has been met.
Data retention policies will ensure that your business is following federal and local regulations. You can meet the retention schedules by following your data retention policies. This will include retaining your data and records. It will also prompt deleting data once this retention policy is over.
Best Data Retention Practices
Define the purpose or aim of your data retention policy
You should also consider the needs of your organization first. Sometimes you need to implement a data retention policy due to compliance or legal implications. If you need to follow the compliance regulations, then you should define the data in the original form. It is a good idea to check the regulation that you need to follow. Security compliances will have different security rules and regulations.
Sometimes companies want to reduce their storage clutter and cost. Thus, it is a good idea to create an efficient data retention policy. An efficient data retention policy will help you in reducing the storage cost. It will help you in meeting the SLAs or Service level agreements. You should ensure that you are defining the aim of your data retention policy. This will help you in creating an efficient data retention policy.
Identify and classify the data that you are storing
You should know about the data that your organization is storing. It is very important to classify your data. If you are a healthcare organization, then you might be storing PHI like data of birth, SSNs, medical data, patient names, prescription information, and patient history. Similarly, financial organizations are storing sensitive data like payment history, credit scores, card details, and PINs.
Not every data will require the same retention. Most legal frameworks and regulations encourage businesses to classify their data. For example, the SOC 2 compliance requires organizations to categorize their data. This will ensure that companies can actually maintain and identify the confidential data that they are storing.
GDPR compliance is probably the most important compliance. You can’t operate in the EU until you are following this compliance. Companies are required to classify the data that they are storing. GDPR will categorize the data into categories like race, biometric data, health data, political opinions, and ethnic origin. This type of data is subject to extra security protection. Thus, organizations should know about the data that they are storing. They should also label the data as confidential, proprietary, and public.
Know about the legal requirements
Governments are focusing more on data privacy now. Thus, there are new data privacy laws that you need to follow. There are various complex data privacy laws that governments are working on. These data privacy laws are going to become more complex with time. However, all of these data privacy laws will include data retention standards. Organizations need to ensure that they are complying with the regulatory frameworks. You also need to ensure that you are following the data retention schedules.
If you need to comply with the PCI DSS and GDPR compliance, then there might be a conflict between these requirements. Thus, you should follow the best practices for data retention as it will help you in saving this problem. Organizations should work with external or internal regulatory compliance experts for determining the legal requirements first.
Delete data after it is not required
This is a very important practice for data retention. Many organizations don’t delete their data. They think that it is better to store data for a longer period instead of deleting them. However, this is a misconception.
If you are storing data longer than the retention period, then it will lead to these problems:
- It will increase the probability of data or security breaches.
- Place your data at greater risk of getting breached.
- Will increase the burden on your IT security team.
- It will contribute to cluttered software or hardware. Thus, it will become find the data that you need to delete.
If you want to implement a good data retention policy, then you should ensure that you are deleting data after the retention period. You should delete the data that is no longer required.
If you are collecting and storing data, then you should work on creating a data retention policy. These are some tips that will help you in creating a data retention policy. However, you should first check the legal requirements that need to follow. This will be a tough task for SMBs. Thus, you should consider working with a good MSP. Experienced MSPs like Bleuwire can help you in creating an efficient data retention policy. This will help you in following the legal requirements. You can save a lot of money by creating a good data retention policy. If you need more tips regarding data retention policy, then you can contact Bleuwire.