The difference between backups and archiving

A backup is the activity of encrypting and copying operational files or databases so that they will be preserved in case equipment failure or any other catastrophe requires their restoration to operational systems. The more frequent the backup, the closer it resembles the operational data. Access to the restored data is usually only via the operational systems. Regular, verified backups should be a vital component of your data protection programme.

Data archives are intended as a repository for data that needs to be stored, usually for long periods, to be accessed as and when required for specific needs. Access to the data might not necessarily be via normal operational processes. It cannot be assumed that archived data is always kept current with operational systems; in many instances, archived data represent a snapshot in time.

The GDPR recognises archiving as a lawful basis for processing personal data, provided that the appropriate safeguards exist - such as pseudonymisation.

The content herein is provided for your convenience and does not constitute legal advice.
Compliance Technology Solutions B.V. 2018

Russell is the author of this solution article.

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