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Computer Systems Backup Policy

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

  • (Approved by the Chancellor, September 15, 2003)


This policy on computer systems backups is based on Security Backup Files as Public Records in North Carolina: Guidelines for the Recycling, Destruction, Erasure, and Re-use of Security Backup Files published by the Archives and Records Section of the N.C. Division of Historical Resources.


The University of North Carolina at Greensboro requires that computer systems maintained by Information Technology Services be backed up periodically and that the backup media is stored in a secure off-site location. The purpose of the systems backup is to provide a means to: (1) restore the integrity of the computer systems in the event of a hardware/software failure or physical disaster, and (2) provide a measure of protection against human error or the inadvertent deletion of important files. The systems backups will consist of regular full and incremental backups. Although security backup files are public records according to G.S. 121-2(8) and 132-1, systems backups are not intended to serve as an archival copy or to meet records retention requirements.

Systems backups will be performed on a regular schedule as determined by the Information Technology Services Systems & Networks group. Backups will be stored in a secure off-site location based on the schedule listed below.


This policy provides guidelines for establishing backup procedures. Exceptions to the standard procedure are permitted when justified. All exceptions must be fully documented. The standard procedure for systems backup is as follows:

  1. A full systems backup will be performed weekly. Weekly backups will be saved for a full month.
  2. The last weekly backup of the month will be saved as a monthly backup. The other weekly backup media will be recycled for other uses or destroyed.
  3. Monthly backups will be saved for one year, at which time the media will be recycled or destroyed.
  4. Incremental backups will be performed daily. Incremental backups will be retained for two weeks, at which time the media will be recycled or destroyed.
  5. All backups will be stored in a secure, off-site location. Proper environment controls, temperature, humidity and fire protection, shall be maintained at the storage location.
  6. All backup media that is not re-usable shall be thoroughly destroyed in an approved manner. Backup media that is used for other purposes shall be thoroughly erased.
  7. Periodic tests of the backups will be performed to determine if files can be restored.