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Tips for backup compliance reporting and why it matters

Backup compliance reporting is crucial to keep data safe and keep organizations compliant with data regulations. Learn more about its importance and how to ensure compliance.

Backup compliance reporting for data backups has become a necessary and important function of data protection teams in today's compliance-driven world.

Compliance reporting can help to avoid a data breach or a data loss incident from occurring by uncovering protection gaps and areas where the organization might not be following best practices. A regulatory audit that finds noncompliance can lead to expensive fines, reputational damage and damage to customer trust.

Data backups are at the heart of privacy regulations, such as HIPAA, CCPA and GDPR. Privacy regulations define how organizations must manage and protect the privacy and integrity of user data. Regulations are growing in number and in their strictness.

What should backup compliance reporting include?

Make sure to be transparent about following regulations and investigating areas where there may be a suspected violation. Insights into backup performance and failed backups help organizations see if they are capable of meeting required recovery points. To help with troubleshooting, group backup failures by category, and uncover instances of consecutive backup failures.

The compliance reporting tool should also provide insight into data retention policies, such as for data archiving and deletion. Privacy regulations typically stipulate how long users must retain data, as well as how they store and handle it. For example, GDPR has geographical limitations on data storage location. IT professionals should keep in mind if they need reporting on data masking, especially if user data is being reused for other business purposes.

Another important feature of a compliance reporting tool is to include details on testing of failover and failback for DR. Have good backups at the required recovery points, and have proof that applications can be recovered and then failed back over successfully within the required time frame.

Automation and templates are important tools for keeping backup data in compliance and demonstrating compliance. Organizations should craft templates for automation processes of DR testing and application-level failovers. They should also document and manage the following:

  • retention times
  • where data is stored
  • what data is replicated
  • where data is replicated to

Backup teams not only feel the pressure of overseeing the treatment of personal data, data protection policy implementations and business continuity, they are also responsible for proving compliance. Streamline compliance reporting to reduce the time spent on monitoring to enable backup teams to focus on tasks more relevant to their jobs. This can help as new regulations emerge and as regulation provisions and requirements evolve over time.

Backup compliance reporting can be crucial in saving the organization from data loss, downtime, expensive fees and hits to brand credibility. Compliance monitoring and reporting are tedious and time-consuming, so IT should consider automation and templates to streamline daily processes.

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