Data is collected and used in such a variety of ways that it’s very difficult for any law or industry regulation to fully encompass what and how you should backup – even when there’s expectation around data security, they can never account for your company’s exact circumstances.
In previous articles we’ve touched on the importance of backing up and what your business should be looking for from any backup product – we’ll now look at some of the wider legal implications you and your business could face if you fail to adequately backup your data.
If you’ve signed a contract or agreement that says you will deliver an amount of work in a certain time frame then a loss of data can severely impact your ability to do so. What would failing to deliver in line with a contact do to your business? What would it do to the customer to whom your services or products are being delivered?
It is not uncommon for service level agreements and contracts to have penalty clauses, meaning your business could be subject to a reduced level of compensation for work done – or even leave you paying damages if missing a target leads to adverse financial implications for your customer.
Backing up will almost always prevent the kind of data loss that leaves you unable to deliver your product or service – meaning the ability to work to deadlines and contractual obligations always sits in your hands.
It’s not just customers who are impacted by loss of data. Where your systems hold personnel data that is not backed up – you’re inviting the complex and swift impact of employment law.
Losing employee data can lead to non-payment of wages to employees – which can in turn lead to financial implications for those individuals. Whether or not your staff have signed formal contracts matters very little, the act of having previously paid them means a ‘deemed’ contract has been created – which you stand to break if you lose crucial data.
Perhaps you could collect this data again? But it will be no mean feat – and your business will suffer in other areas as you scrabble to replace information that could have been saved with a simple backup.
Employers who fail to pay their staff are immediately exposed to any financial penalties levied on the individual for missed loan, mortgage, overdraft or bill payments – numbers that can quickly add up over a full workforce.
In May 2018, any UK business who handles sensitive data becomes subject to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation – otherwise known as GDPR. This new regulation expands significantly on previous Data Protection Act laws – and requires that a business is able to demonstrate methods of data security, retrieval and deletion – even before such a process is operationally required.
These are just some of the measures that the EU deem appropriate when considering how companies now collect and use data – and if you’re unable to demonstrate adequate measures (including backing up where appropriate) then you’ll face fines larger than anything seen before.
2016 saw penalities of nearly £2million levied against companies of all sizes who had failed to protect customer data properly – if you retrospectively apply GDPR’s new levels of financial punishment to 2016, that number would have been an astronomical £160million.
If backing up doesn’t make financial sense now – it will when the Information Commissioner’s Office starts implementing fines for those who don’t comply…
If you fail to backup, you’re taking huge risks with your ability to deliver your business, your employees rights and, very soon, EU law – and that’s not to mention what happens to your reputation should any legal action take place.
If you’re worried about the exposure you could face because of non-existent or inadequate backups, talking to VectorCloud is a sensible first step in ensuring you’re protected. We don’t just look at the process of backing up – we consider your company’s unique requirements – and use our extensive experience to make sure your business is protected.
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