New legal and
regulatory requirements have put pressure on businesses to pay attention
to their records management practices. With guidelines coming from
the SEC requiring that “…electronic media must: preserve
the records exclusively in a non-rewriteable, non-erasable format…”
and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which outlines stiffer penalties, including
fines and even jail time for improper records retention and management,
public and private entities are being forced to re-examine the methods
in which their electronic files are handled and stored.
AMR Research predicts that Fortune 1000 companies will spend $2.5
billion on IT infrastructure to meet current SEC guidelines.
Storage and Management of Electronic Records", a
white paper published by Cohasset Associates, identified four areas
in which an electronic file’s integrity can be challenged
in an audit or investigation.
- A storage medium or subsystem that is inherently or potentially
- The risk of records being lost or altered when the storage solution
or media required frequent migrations resulting from technology
degradation or obsolescence over the course of a long retention
- Little or no documented evidence (audit trail or chain of custody)
of the events that have occurred over the record’s lifecycle
- Insufficient protection of the record from alteration or deletion
in the processes, procedures, systems, storage solutions or storage
In summary, companies need to implement a reliable storage solution
to ensure their overall business integrity and reputation. Current
methodologies employed to try and satisfy this requirement, such
as magnetic tape and hard disk drives, are largely unsuccessful
due to lower overall shelf life and inability to offer a viable
write once, read many (WORM) recording option.