- Why Sharetru?
- Learning Center
"Data Retention" is a term that's used in many different industries and settings, but it essentially boils down to this: how long do you keep your files? Which is an important question! It's an important question because it affects the efficiency of your business and compliance with industry regulations. If you don't know how long to keep your files, you're also likely not tracking them properly.
That means lost opportunities for growth. As well as potential fines for non-compliance with regulations like HIPAA, GLBA, or Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX).
In this post, we'll cover some basic questions about data retention policies including why they're important, best practices for data how to determine the length of time required for your company's file retention policy, and best practices for implementing one successfully. After reading this guide you'll never have trouble answering again "how long should I keep my data?"
Data retention is the act of storing data for a period of time.
The data retention period refers to the length of time that an organization retains its customers’ personal information (such as names, addresses and phone numbers).
Data retention is a legal requirement in many jurisdictions including Europe, Australia and North America. The length of time you must retain data is dependent on the compliance and regulations you are trying to meet and your location (state/country) requires.
Data Retention Laws are based on one or more of three pillars: Data Protection Laws; Privacy Laws; Consumer Protection Laws.
The reason to develop a file retention policy is simple: to comply with government regulations and industry standards, protect your company from litigation and security breaches, and preserve corporate data.
The first step in creating a data retention policy is to determine your overall data retention period. This can be done by determining the type of data you have, and what level of risk is associated with that type of data. For example, if the information is considered sensitive (such as credit card numbers or social security numbers), then it’s likely that you will need to keep this information for a longer period than other types of information.
Risk-based approaches are becoming increasingly common, especially in industries where there are extensive regulatory requirements such as healthcare, Aerospace & Defense (A&D), and financial services. These industries must adhere to strict regulations regarding how long they should retain customer records before destroying them according to specific standards set forth by regulators like HIPAA or SOX (Sarbanes Oxley).
Once you know what kind of business operation you run and who your customers are–it becomes easier to determine how long certain types of data need to be kept around for both legal reasons and business reasons.
Data retention policies should be compliant with industry regulations, but the length of time your business keeps data depends on your needs.
Keep in mind that keeping your data for too long can be harmful to your business. The longer you keep it, the more likely it is to contain sensitive information about individuals or groups—who may then choose not to do business with you.
Additionally, storing large amounts of data also takes up storage space and requires more time and money spent managing the information when needed.
Many industries have their own data retention requirements, ranging from the healthcare industry's HIPAA to the financial services industry's GLBA, FISMA, and more. One of the most important things to remember is that there are many different regulations governing how long you need to keep your records, so it's crucial that you consult with your lawyer or compliance officer before discarding any documents or files that may be required by law.
The best way to ensure compliance with these regulations is to implement a data retention policy that clearly outlines all of the requirements for your business. This will help ensure that you're following the rules and can mitigate any potential legal risks down the road.
For example, if you work in healthcare or financial services and your organization is subject to HIPAA or GLBA regulations, then you need to keep certain records for a minimum of six years. If you don't know what type of industry-specific data retention requirements might apply to your business, then it's best to consult with an attorney who specializes in IT security law so that they can help determine what your specific obligations are. Here's a few of the most common compliances FTP Today's clients must solve for and their retention policy:
When it comes to data retention policies, there are a lot of factors to consider. The most important thing is you create a policy that works for your business and review it regularly so that it’s still relevant today and tomorrow.
Each individual business is responsible for setting the appropriate file retention rules. Whether they are using the Sharetru platform for compliant data retention, or any other. It's also important to double check your backup policies for long term archiving meet your compliance requirements.
Sharetru's secure file transfer platform has automated file retention rules per folder that allow you to easily delineate the retention policy across different folders. This ensures you can hold different types of data, and to remove the “delete” capability from users so you’re relying on your system settings. You can now eliminate user error—the chief cause of non-compliance! If you would like to use Sharetru for archival storage, get in touch with us today!
Learner, Researcher, Customer-focused, and the Chief Revenue Officer & VP of Sales for Sharetru. Brendon has successfully navigated multiple industries and has infrastructure certifications in GCP and AWS. He started his career in Oil & Gas business development and successfully transitioned to Rackspace as a Mid to...
Get industry-leading thought leadership content to stay informed, delivered to your inbox.