Data Backup: A Matter of Both Necessity and Regulations

The most obvious reason for any small business to contract with a provider for data backup and recovery is to ensure that mission-critical information remains available for ongoing use.  This is far from the only reason to arrange in advance for data recovery services, however.  In recent years, the US federal government has created or augmented a number of regulatory hurdles that even SMBs sometimes have to surmount.  Many of these concern data security.

Legislative mandates, while important considerations, often stand alongside other rules that are imposed by non-governmental entities such as the Payment Card Industry.  When all such rules and regulations are considered together, even a CIO with considerable experience in disaster recovery scenarios may readily conclude that the best solution for data protection is to contract with a firm that can provide a seamless set of IT solutions including online backup paired with robust data loss prevention safeguards.

A sampling of applicable regulations

Not all laws apply equally to every SMB, but some of them certainly can, depending on the financial organization of the firm and other salient factors.  The Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires the accurate preservation of data related to financial reports issued by a company and actually holds financial officers of a company responsible for inaccurate reporting.  This act applied to companies that are publicly traded, a distinction that will exclude some but by no means all SMBs.

Any company that deals with patient information must comply with the detailed data security requirements of the Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the federal law that is often referred to as “Obamacare.”  These requirements involve specific provisions regarding securing and making available online medical records information for patients.  Many small businesses will have to navigate these requirements – a medical practice of only a few doctors will need to be able to meet these mandates, for example.

Any merchant that accepts a major credit card such as Visa, Discover, American Express, or MasterCard must meet the Data Security Standard issued by the Payment Card Industry.  Failure to successfully comply with all particulars of the standard can mean that the merchant is cut off from accepting such cards – a circumstance that can spell potential doom for any SMB.

As the cited regulations demonstrate, data recovery and security are not issues that an SMB can afford to take lightly – but neither are they usually related to the core competencies in which a particular small business excels.  The best solution for SMBs is to contract with a firm that can help them arrange for computer safety when it comes to their important data resources.

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