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Protecting Electronic Records in the 21st Century

The Federal Government can learn from the private sector where over 25,000 businesses select offsite storage companies who offer Class 125 Media Rated Vault Chambers for their disaster recovery records.

Also, this trend has been recognized by State Government where the State Archives of Indiana, Texas and Washington installed Class 125 Media Storage Vaults.

Currently the Federal Government fails to recognize the much more fragile nature of computer media and electronic records. These media classes require a more cutting edge vault.

NARA instigated, under their leadership of NFPA 232 Protection of Records, a change to the Standard to recognize that a higher level of protection be provided for media. But since that time, the Federal Government has lost focus on the need to require that media storage vaults be designed and installed to protect media. The Department of Energy has been very progressive in requiring protection of digital records in appropriate vaults in nuclear facilities. But this should be a program across all agencies that now or in the future will store electronic records.

Server vaults should also be Class 125 Fire Rated, Listed and Labeled to protect Cloud based data archives.

Hugh Smith - hsmith@firelock.com

Submitted by hsmith 2 years ago

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  1. The idea was posted
    2 years ago

Comments (4)

  1. Agree, especially now with HIPAA/HITECH rules and the continuing loss of backup tapes and media due to just plain stupid security procedures, as well as the improper storage of these media. I know there is a lot of political pressure for less regulations of business, but it has been my experience that without them business will take the path of least resistance and highest cost savings. NARA needs to take the lead for the federal government, then the state governments will follow.

    2 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  2. Mr. Smith is accurate in his comments that in the past, NARA was a strong proponent of NFPA 232, the "Standard for the Protection of Records", going as far as to have a staffer selected as the Committee chair, and vying for the combining of 232A, the "GUIDE for FIRE PROTECTION OF ARCHIVES AND RECORDS CENTERS" into Standard 232.

    Care was taken to ensure there were requirements for record centers, file rooms and vaults described within the content to assist in meeting both corporate and Federal needs. Then NARA abandoned the effort and no longer has a member on the Committee, nor do they reference the Standard in 36CFR any longer.

    All of this is rather unfortunate, because 36CFR provides NO GUIDANCE OR REQUIREMENTS for file rooms or vaults related to size, construction, fire protection or environmental controls.

    2 years ago
    3 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
  3. Mr Smith appears to be promoting his own company. yes there is a need for consistent standards in datatsecurity but this should be competitively tendered and ultimately the records in the hands of the Government

    2 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed
    1. I don't believe this is a promotion of Mr. Smith's company. He has consistently shown that he is concerned about the requirements for records storage, whether or not one uses his company. This is a general idea that NFPA 232 was developed with due diligence and that for whatever reason, NARA has dropped its involvement.

      2 years ago
      0 Agreed
      0 Disagreed