How Archiving Supports HIPAA Compliance - Sponsored Whitepaper

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Archiving electronic content – the processes and technologies associated with retaining electronic content for long periods – is a critical best practice that every company should follow. Retaining important content for the appropriate length of time is necessary to satisfy legal obligations to retain business records; to satisfy regulatory requirements to keep certain types of data, sometimes indefinitely; and to permit access to older data in a centralized content repository that will make it easy for IT, end users and others to meet their content requirements. As well, there are other benefits associated with archiving electronic content, including the ability to make email and other application servers more efficient by offloading older content, speeding backup and recovery processes, and improving an organization's disaster preparedness and their ability to maintain the continuity of the business after natural disasters, power outages and the like.

That said, most companies do not archive their electronic content in a coordinated or meaningful way. Osterman Research has found in numerous market research surveys that only about two in five organizations has a true archiving system – one that will index all content that should be retained for long periods, place this content into archival storage where it cannot be modified, and make it available via robust search tools when data must be extracted from the archive. To be sure, almost all companies perform nightly backups of their content stores, many take periodic snapshots of data for purposes of restoring data if necessary, and many use continuous data protection (CDP) systems to protect their data. However, most companies do not truly archive their content.

WHY DON'T MORE COMPANIES ARCHIVE THEIR CONTENT? The objections to archiving tend to revolve around two major themes:

· Archiving preserves “smoking guns” – that content that might reveal poor judgment on the part of corporate decision makers or rogue employees that could harm a company at trial or during a regulatory audit.

· Archiving is simply too expensive, particularly when there are higher priorities for scarce IT dollars or when economic conditions mean that some things just cannot be funded.
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