GDPR and Document Backup: Best Practices

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has changed data protection across Europe and beyond. It was implemented to strengthen the rights of data subjects, ensure transparency in personal data processing operations and provide stronger guidelines to organisations working with personal data. GDPR imposes heavy fines on organisations that violate the rights and privacy of individuals, which can also have drastic legal and financial consequences. Therefore, businesses must adhere to the GDPR regulations and safeguard the personal information they process.
The GDPR has brought about a significant shift in how businesses back up and manage their data. Document backup is essential for any organisation, and the GDPR only adds an extra layer of security and regulatory compliance that companies need to consider. In this article, we discuss the best practices for GDPR and document backup.

Understand The GDPR Requirements

Before setting up your document backup process, it is essential to understand the GDPR requirements. GDPR mandates that businesses collect and process clients’ personal data only for legitimate reasons and with full transparency. It also has stipulations regarding data retention, which requires businesses to avoid keeping data beyond its necessity and to delete data upon request.
In terms of document backup, GDPR requires businesses to frequently backup data to a secure location that is separate from the company’s main network. This is to protect against any unforeseen event such as a cyber-attack, technical issues, or natural disasters that might affect the primary network and result in data loss.

Document Backup Best Practices

The following are best practices that businesses should adopt when backing up personal data.

1. Determine Data Backup Requirements

Businesses should determine what data they need to backup and for how long. They should also identify data that must be kept indefinitely and data that can be deleted upon request.

2. Backup Frequently

Backing up data is essential, and businesses should do it regularly, perhaps hourly or daily, depending on their data processing capacity and requirements.

3. Use Encryption

Encrypting data ensures secure storage and transmission of personal data, making it impenetrable to cybercriminals. It is essential to ensure that the backup system uses high-level encryption like AES 256, and that encryption keys are kept securely to prevent unauthorised access to stored data.

4. Backup To A Secure Location

As mentioned earlier, GDPR requires that data is backed up to a separate location that should be capable of withstanding technical or natural disasters. Businesses should back up their data to an offsite location or cloud-based service that offers a higher level of security and disaster recovery options.

5. Test Backup Systems Frequently

Document backup systems should be tested routinely to ensure that they are working efficiently and that data is easily restorable. Testing ensures that backups are working correctly and guarantees minimal disruption to operations, in case the primary system fails.

6. Ensure Backup Systems Are Compliant

Businesses should ensure that their backup systems comply with GDPR requirements. This includes ensuring that backup software is designed with GDPR in mind and that backup service providers adhere to GDPR regulations.

7. Implement Access Control Measures

Access to personal data should be limited, and businesses should implement access control measures to ensure that only authorised personnel have access to backup data. Access control measures reduce the risk of data breaches and ensure compliance with GDPR requirements.


Data backup is a crucial element of GDPR compliance, and businesses should ensure that their backup systems align with GDPR requirements. GDPR regulations are strict, and non-compliance can result in serious legal and financial repercussions. Implementing the best practices presented in this article will help businesses ensure they comply with GDPR regulations and protect the personal data of their clients. With the ever-increasing importance of data protection and privacy, GDPR and document backup have become more critical than ever.

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