Why Regulatory Compliance Means Data Availability

A magnifying glass casting a shadow over a book

May 3, 2017 Disaster Recovery Blog, High Availability Blog Articles, Regulatory Compliance Blog

Within the past two decades companies have seen a revolution in regulatory compliance standards in the U.S., including the rise of some of the most stringent regulations to date. While almost all regulations specify requirements for financial management and disclosure, they really boil down to the same thing: information availability.


The Change In Regulatory Compliance

Why is information availability the new bottom line for meeting regulatory compliance? Because IT systems are the fabric of today’s business world, for end users, employees, and government officials alike. Having data that is unavailable, whether due to downtime (avoid this with high availability solutions), data loss or corruption (avoid this with disaster recovery solutions) means that regulations like HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Basel II, and many others will be violated.

For customers and employees, a paperless workplace means accessibility and convenience. For others, it’s about being eco-friendly. But regardless of the reason behind it, in the past decade alone companies have seen the fall of paper’s presence in the workplace. This change has brought new and different challenges to meeting compliance. While a decade ago it might have meant locking away important papers in a fireproof vault, today meeting compliance means ensuring that your systems and data are secure and available, 24/7/365.


The Responsibility

Business executives must now make eliminating unplanned and planned downtime, data loss and corruption a top priority, both for financial and legal reasons. This requires doing a thorough assessment of your IT infrastructure to determine the availability needs per system and application.

While some systems might need 24/7/365 availability – not only for compliance reasons, but also for the sake of your revenue and reputation – others are simply less critical. Some systems might even be able to go offline for some time without a violation of compliance or a significant loss of profits. When establishing your high availability solutions, or disaster recovery plan, make sure that they are customized to take these prioritizations (including your recovery point objective and recovery time objective – RPO & RTO) into account.


The Solution

Assess the demands of each major regulation, and how they affect your company (you can find this information on our blog). Then choose a trusted provider who can supply your company with solutions for both disaster recovery (DR) and high availability (HA). After your solutions are implemented, be sure to have them tested at least annually to ensure that it they are up to date.

High availability (HA) solutions keep your business operations available and actionable, an absolute essential for meeting regulatory compliance. With unique solutions like partial failover facilitated by layer 2 communications, your company will even have seamless failover when only one, or a subset of systems fail. On the other hand, disaster recovery solutions ensure that you don’t break compliance when it comes to data loss and record keeping. Other solutions, like WORM tape data storage and a VPN, can ensure the integrity of your data as well. With these solutions implemented, your data will be available, compliant and secure.


For more information on how to keep your data available, actionable and compliant, contact us today at 317-707-3941.


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