Backups are crucial to meeting your compliance obligations to protect and retain data, but the technology itself can't ensure compliance. You need strong communication between your IT team, your compliance team, and your business units to ensure that compliance obligations are satisfied.
Communication Between Technology and Compliance
It's your compliance team that pays attention to the multiple, unrelated regulations that apply to your business and consolidates the rules into policy for your business. That policy is what tells the backup administrators which files need to be backed up and how long they need to be kept. Without good communication between teams, backup admins likely won't understand the data and the regulations well enough to ensure they're properly protected.
Bring the Business Into the Compliance Communication Chain
Even having strong communication between the compliance team and IT isn't enough to guarantee compliance with all the rules. You need 3-way communication between the business team, the technology team, and the compliance team to identify all the data sources that are covered by each regulation. Without this discussion, the combination of cloud, shadow IT, and regulatory schemes such as the upcoming European Union's General Data Protection Regulation can be a dangerous mix—one that's potentially expensive, as well, as failure to protect data can result in significant fines.
Use Technology to Achieve Compliance
Once all parties have identified the data that's covered by the regulations and understands the relevant protection and retention requirements, IT can start implementing an effective compliance strategy. You shouldn't rely on ad-hoc scripts but rather should use modern backup technology like Veeam Backup & Replication or Veritas NetBackup. Also consider using other tools from Veritas, like Data Insight and Enterprise Vault, to identify other data that may be subject to compliance, monitor access to protected data, and manage data retention policies.
Communication Must Be Ongoing
Communication shouldn’t end after the initial review and implementation. Both business and technology teams need to be informed when the compliance rules change, and the compliance team needs to be informed when the business or tech teams create new data stores that need to meet regulatory requirements.
Even when there's no new data, changes in how that data is stored and accessed, like shifting it to the cloud, mean the three teams need to have conversations to understand how that change affects the company's compliance strategy. There should also be periodic reviews of data protection and security when new malware places data at risk.
Don't Let Compliance Distract from Business
It often seems that meeting compliance requirements is a distraction from focusing on business, but meeting compliance requirements can actually enhance your ability to win business. Given how widespread and well-known data breaches are, being able to demonstrate a serious commitment to data protection can give your company a competitive advantage.
You can also reduce the impact of compliance programs on your business focus by working with a technology vendor that's expert in the tools that provide data protection and security. dcVAST is a partner with both Veritas and Veeam, offering services that implement and oversee the backups and data management strategies that lead to compliance. Contact us to bring dcVAST into your compliance conversation.