Is all Data Created Equally?


June 12, 2016

Storing and Protecting Confidential Information

It is easy to assume that all data carries the same value – security and data protection is certainly crucial regardless of your industry.  At the end of the day, however, not all data is created equal. What exactly does that mean?

Business Data

Well, if you’re in an industry such as healthcare, confidentiality and security measures are going to be very high up on your list of priorities. Not only are you charged with protecting sensitive patient information, but regulations such as HIPAA can result in hefty penalties if you fail to meet standards.

Now, compare that to a business where employees are creating printed marketing material: stored information is still crucial, but not all the same level. If a design leaks, no one will be happy, but it wouldn’t have the same effects as, for example, a breach of client payment information.

We know that making sense of this isn’t always simple. According to Ipsos Reid, 35% of business owners don’t understand the protocols for storing and using confidential data – or, even, what information should be stored.

Determining the value of data doesn’t have to be a struggle. 

Data Laws

There are a multitude of federal laws in the U.S designed to govern the categorization, handling, and disposal of confidential information. For example, HIPAA protects patients’ health information, Federal Rules of Evidence pertain to lawyer’s conduct in and out of court, and Gramm Leach Bliley applies to the financial sector.

Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to hefty financial penalties, a tarnished reputation with clients and the public, or even jail time. Compliance standards provide some easy answers to compliance queries – as long as you’re abiding by the regulations set for your industry, you should be fine.

Still, data is vast, and businesses produce huge volumes of it. Naturally, compliance standards for any given industry don’t provide a complete framework for data security.

Issues with Email

Client communications can present a “gray area” of sorts, especially when it comes to Email and voicemail. They present the greatest challenge, as they are voluminous and, like everything else in this area, do not all carry the same weight.

The government does provide some guidance, including federal regulations that state businesses cannot delete or overwrite Emails that litigators might call for. The open-ended nature of that law raises a few questions, including:

  • Which Emails should you keep? How should you archive old Email? How do you deal with attachments and keep from losing them?
  • How do you classify Emails so they automatically associate to other records on the same subject?
  • Do Emails comply with legislative requirements regarding confidentiality? What about Emails accessed on a mobile device?

Cloud-based storage systems provide virtually unlimited storage capacity, which makes comprehensive storage an attainable possibility for most businesses.

Protecting Data with Your Own Strategies

At the end of the day, protection of your critical information requires strategic planning that is unique to your own operations. Integris works with you to ensure that you understand the distinct compliance standards set in place for your industry – and we also work hard to make sure that your own unique needs are being met.

Our team offers a wide range of solutions and support to ensure that your data needs are always being met, so you’re able to work with peace of mind knowing that you won’t face downtime, hefty fines or reputational damage.

Get in touch with Integris to discuss the right data storage methods for your distinct needs. Contact our team of IT professionals at [email protected] or (888) 330-8808

We're Integris. We're always working to empower people through technology.

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