CHAPTER 8

Managing Vital E–Records

The most critical information assets an organization has are its vital records. Without them, the organization cannot continue to function. Vital e–records must be secured and backed up with the utmost of care and caution, and plans for business resumption must be in place should a major business disruption damage or destroy vital records.

Defining Vital Records

More specifically, vital records are mission–critical records that are necessary for an organization to continue to operate in the event of disruption or disaster (e.g., fire, flood, hacker attack) and cannot be re–created from any other source. They are the most important records to be protected, and a plan for disaster recovery (DR)/business continuity (BC) must be developed, tested, and implemented in concert with an organization's disaster planning/emergency response team to safeguard these records. A basic information governance (IG) program must include risk assessments and vital records planning to protect and, if necessary, recover vital records.

According to one public source:

Vital records must be protected from destruction because they offer direct evidence of legal status, ownership, accounts receivable, and the particulars of obligations incurred by government agencies [and businesses]. These records are critical because they contain information required to continue functioning during a disaster, or to reestablish operations after a calamity has ended. Vital records are irreplaceable, ...

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