Archiving helps biz comply with data protection laws

Archiving helps biz comply with data protection laws

Summary: Automated data archiving system helps companies protect themselves against lawsuits and comply with upcoming data protection legislations, Symantec exec says, but Asian companies hesitant to jump onboard.

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Companies will need to invest in an automated data archiving system, if they have not already, in order to cope with the growing data generated as well as data protection laws enacted by countries such as Singapore, urges a Symantec executive.

Allison Walton, an attorney at Symantec's e-Discovery business arm, said in an interview with ZDNet Asia on Monday that many organizations in Asia-Pacific are hesitant to spend on a data archiving system as they continue to store their data on disks and tapes, which are "cheaper".

However, as the amount of data increases and should there be the need to conduct internal investigations, companies will have to spend even more money--more than that of implementing an automated data archiving system--to restore and hire attorneys to review the data, she remarked.

"There needs to be a paradigm shift in the way companies handle data," Walton said. "Organizing information is a responsibility, not a choice."

This responsibility becomes more pressing in light of laws being enacted to protect consumers' information from misuse by businesses. The Symantec executive noted that such an automated data archiving system will enable compliance and litigation document retention policies to coexist with record management, which would help them stay on the right side of Singapore's proposed data protection bill.

Elaborating, she said companies will be able to use the system for document retention and put it through the in-built lifecycle management to delete the stored data at the approximate timeframe.

It will also help companies organize and reduce the storage of information, which would improve accessibility and discoverability of the data when it is needed, she added. For instance, a hospital that has patient records can use the archiving system to "fish" the required data out in the event of a lawsuit, and help in its legal defense, the attorney pointed out.

In other words, the automated archiving system is like the company's "prize vault", Walton surmised.

Data explosion, globalization other drivers
The Symantec executive went on to note that the growing amount of data and globalization of businesses are also driving the need for such archives within companies.

Asian companies, for example, are becoming more globalized, she noted, citing a report by the Asian Development Bank stating that 50 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) will come from Asia-Pacific in 2050. This will subject these organizations to different litigations and an effective archiving system will enable them to have the necessary information on hand to "protect themselves", Walton stated.

Such lawsuits will gradually become more common in other major economies such as U.K. and Australia, as well as emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia and China, she predicted, which makes the implementation of the system even more relevant to businesses today.

Topics: Networking, Apps, Data Management, Legal, Privacy, Security, Software, IT Employment

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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