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Storage Security Policies: What You Need to Know

written by: Lashan Clarke•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 8/30/2010

This article will describe some key elements to consider when drafting a storage security policy. It will look at how process management and user effort can affect the security of data storage.

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    Introduction To Storage Security Policies

    If it is your responsibility to create a storage policy, there are quite a number of particulars you should know in order to create a policy that is effective, but will also protect company and client information. The storage policy created should encompass the whole process of how the data or information is to be obtained, retained, and eventually stored. The main component for any security policy is looking at the needs of the company and compiling a suitable storage policy based on this.

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    Software & Hardware Needs

    One of the first components to creating a storage security policy would be to decide what is needed to store the data. Having the right storage unit in place will allow more information to be stored when companies need it. This will translate into having hardware that is able to sufficiently store the data quickly and efficiently.

    Therefore, not only should a storage security policy outline how the data is stored, but also the type of hardware and software that is used to store it. Companies can choose from a variety of affordable brands or spend more money on “top of the line” products.

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    Factor In Human Error

    It is also important to remember when drafting a storage security policy is the human element. A security storage policy is not effective if it time-consuming and has numerous steps to achieve a result. Therefore, human error is a big factor in looking in security of data storage as humans will become less efficient as the number of tasks to complete increases.

    This is important as in the past, it is estimated that at least 70% of the cases of compromised data has been as a result of human error, and often by managers and employees working for the company. Most likely security breaches of data and information will seldom occur when the data is being obtained, but instead while the data is being stored or transmitted, and this is also a crucial time for human error to occur.

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    Task and Process Management

    Another component that is important when crafting a storage security policy is the various steps necessary to obtain the data, store it, and then retrieve it. The storage policy should include an outline of the steps to be taken in storage.

    This area is crucial because it will be necessary to look at the law and guidelines in your area in regards to the process of storing data. Legal help would also be necessary when writing the storage policy to prevent a lawsuit if data is illegally accessed.

    By doing so, it will create a more uniform way for managers and staff. This will enable a more secure storage based on the guidelines set out by the governing body. More than anything, the storage policy should also mention the way in which the data will be encrypted during storage and transmission.

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    Concluding Remarks

    Keep in mind that data can be accessed by hackers during the data storage phase, whereas human error can be both during storage and transmission. Therefore, all storage security policies should adhere to the current data retention laws with process management being “user-friendly” to ensure less human error.