Category Archives: Data Retention

Why data retention is vital for businesses in the financial services sector

The financial services industry is highly regulated, and businesses within this sector need to meet strict compliance requirements—managing unstructured content like contracts, bank statements, insurance policy documents, and investment certificates. These days, most transactions are processed electronically. If data wasn’t retained, and there weren’t records of transactions and approvals, there would be chaos in the courts, the exchanges, and anywhere there are financial transactions.

Data retention allows for workflow automation, which not only creates business process efficiency, it provides an audit trail that processes were followed to meet compliance requirements. High standards of encryption and robust firewall technology safeguard your reputation, and your clients’ privacy.

Here are four proof points that financial service providers need to make data retention a top priority:

Regulatory compliance

For insurance brokerages, investment firms, accounting firms and bank branches, the practice of managing electronic documents is subject to a number of compliance requirements. Files with credit card information associated with them need to managed with policies, technology and practices as required by the Payment Card Industry council’s PCI-DSS standards.

Other standards include those that scrutinize the security controls implemented by the service provider that stores your information, such as ISO/IEC 27001 and SSAE 16. Contracting data management services from a service provider with these certifications mitigates risk of data loss, and goes a long way to satisfying audit requirements. Other relevant financial services compliance requirements you should use as data storage services evaluation criteria include:

   •     Sarbanes Oxley (SOX)
   •     Gramm-Leach-Blilley Act (GLBA)
   •     US-EU Safe Harbor Framework
   •     EU data protection acts

The more your firm can mitigate responsibility for data retention, compliance and security to a proven, certified service provider for your data at rest and data in motion, the greater your peace of mind.

Litigation readiness

When a financial services provider such as a credit union or one of their clients is involved in a court case, the ability to quickly gather all of the relevant evidentiary files is important. Searching multiple PCs, shared drives or filing cabinets at the last minute is risky, and can end up costing you or your customer dearly. Functions like PC backup, remote/branch office backup, and file sync ensure that files are stored in a unified repository, and can be retrieved when needed.

The ability to manage access rights on documents, and to prevent them from being edited can be crucial when it comes time to “lock down” a set of documents during court proceedings.

Discoverability

Businesses and consumers complete lots of contracts for their day-to-day banking, investment, and insurance needs. Storing these documents for the lifecycle of the relationship is critical. That includes documents that were once paper as well as those that were created electronically. Storing all of these files together, profiling them with effective metadata and filing them in a structured foldering system, and using a robust search capability makes them easy to find when needed.

The monthly cost of a cloud-based data storage service can easily pay for itself by ensuring files don’t go missing and can be retrieved with ease, and are only available to those who have a strong business reason for access.

Business continuity, backup and recovery

Document storage apps mitigate risk of losing files from fire, flood, or hardware failure. Who hasn’t spilled coffee on their laptop and then had their heart leap in their chest, wondering about the recoverability of their files? For investment advisors or accountants, the ability to quickly change devices and immediately have access to their files from their smartphone, laptop or tablet increases their productivity and morale. In this age of cloud file storage, customers and investors expect your firm to have/provide access to their policies, portfolios, and other data—without interruption.

Local data backups that use traditional tape drives or portables storage can be time-consuming and prone to failure. Cloud backups with virtual drives process much faster, are simpler to do, and they shift the responsibility of maintaining your files to skilled technicians. Automated backups of PCs, servers, and remote office systems reduces your IT team’s workload.

Looking for a secure, reliable, and proven data retention solution for your business in the financial services sector? Check out MozyEnterprise or MozyPro service plans. Or check out our customer testimonials from Dreambuilder Investments and Advance Insurance if you need more proof.