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World Backup Day – Over Retaining and the Case for Defensible Disposal

Blog   |   March 31, 2020

Today we celebrate World Backup Day. The origins of this made-up IT holiday are fuzzy, but the concept is clear. World Backup Day is a reminder to those outside the IT sphere to perform data backups to minimize document loss after an inevitable crash. How many times have I lost contacts, texts, and precious photo and video memories on my personal laptop or smartphone because I didn’t perform a proper backup? Too many to count. IT departments, on the other hand, understand the importance of backups and run them on a regular basis to protect, maintain, and ensure the future use of business-critical files. Records and Information Management practitioners, however, view World Backup Day as an instigator and reinforcer of bad over-retention habits.

Why is over-retaining a “bad” habit? The scenarios are endless, but let’s take a look at our top five:

  1. Legal Holds become complicated and expensive. All data retained is subject to legal hold and eDiscovery. The more data you store, the more data you must preserve, collect, review, and produce in the event of litigation.
  2. Your network is a hacker paradise. Volumes upon volumes of information can be saved in shared drives, Office 365, email, email attachments, instant messaging apps, legacy file systems, and more, increasing the “surface area” for a cyber attacker to hijack sensitive data.
  3. Vital assets become buried secret treasure. Boatloads of information assets are hiding somewhere in your information infrastructure – but where? Over-retaining files increase the time and energy spent searching for documents that should be at the fingertips (related to our next point).
  4. ROT, ROT, and more ROT. Employees spend effort and energy searching for the latest, correct, and complete version of a document, wasting a most precious, all-important resource: time.
  5. Increased (and unnecessary) storage expenditures. Case in point: “Although storage costs per terabyte are decreasing a few percentage points, any cost savings are dwarfed by company information footprints doubling every year or two, and with storage costs between $5–$10 million per year, per petabyte, storage costs are now huge for companies with big information footprints.”
    (From Business Law Today: https://businesslawtoday.org/2018/06/destruction-information-difficult-essential-case-defensible-disposal/)

As you can see, over-retaining files can create several problems for your organization; this is the main reason you’re giving your records manager a headache each time you save, keep, or backup files unnecessarily for long periods of time. The only cure for this affliction is Defensible Disposal, and we’re presenting our case for it in our webinar with MC Bernstein Data.

Join us on Wednesday, April 22 at 11 AM EDT as we delve into the over-retention cure. Register for Addressing the Critical Challenge of Defensible Disposal to learn more.

In the meantime, as you celebrate World Backup Day, remember all the Records and Information Managers: Backup only the files which have not reached their retention periods, and that are essential for business continuity.

Katie Tall
Marketing Manager (and former Records Practitioner) – Nyxeia, Inc.

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