These three terms, in particular, are quite tricky and are not always used correctly. This becomes particularly unpleasant if one term is replaced by the other. The confusion is already pre-programmed! Tt is an especially important aspect within the realm of the security of cash registers, the handling and use of data.
Let us therefore clarify the three most important terms when working within this data context.
Exporting data is the simplest and most basic way of making data available from an application. This is because every POS system (and also all other applications) process the data in their own, proprietary format. And with an export, the existing data can be saved without formatting or with a standard format. The data export is mostly needed to process the existing data in other programmes.
With a view to POS systems, the export of data includes the entirety of all receipts that were recorded in the POS system. This includes all sales, including all products and means of payment, but also all vouchers, deposits and withdrawals, but also all daily, monthly and annual financial statements.
By exporting data from a POS system, it can be imported into another application for further processing. For example, automated processing in an accounting programme or the analysis of merchandise groups and sales figures in Microsoft Excel.
The format of the data export can be:
- csv – Comma Separated Values
- XML – eXtended Markup Language
The security – with regard to a change of the data – is low or non-existent when exporting. This is because any change between export and re-import can take place without leaving any traces. This means that this method of making data available is also declared as insecure by the French tax authorities and is not recognised as a secure method of securing data.
Data protection, also called backup, aims to restore the POS system in the event of a failure. The data backup is usually created with third-party software. Not only the data, but also parts of the POS system or the entire system are backed up.
This is always a snapshot of the system. Furthermore, the data backup cannot be imported into other programmes. To use the backup, the application with which it was created is always necessary. This is because proprietary formats are usually used for a backup.
The aim of a backup is not to save the data in order to be able to use it again later in a forgery-proof manner. A backup has only one goal: to restore the system in case the hardware fails or is damaged.
The perspective on the POS system does show some dangers here. Not with the restoration, but with the data. Since a backup contains the data stock of a past point in time, all data created since then is not included in the back up. This means that when a backup is restored and work is continued with this data, a break in the chain of events can occur.
Therefore, after a hardware failure, it is important to either start with a new data stock or to sufficiently document the break in the chain and the missing cash register data.
The data archive, unlike the previous two types, is not a direct export. Under French legislation, the archive is a restricted view of the data that fixes it. Here, the data is filed unchangeably and the turnover counters are also fixed for the period.
This type is also the only way of filing data recognised by the French legislator.
At the same time as the archive is created, the archived data can also be exported. This often leads to linguistic inaccuracies and both terms are often used as synonyms. But when exporting the data, the same applies as in the first section. Only here an addition is made. By fixing the data, the archive also becomes part of the concatenation. This protects the export data from being changed. But beware, there is an additional requirement here! Chaining alone is not enough. The exported data of the archive must also be stored on an tamper-proof medium. Otherwise, changes can be made arbitrarily.
We see that all three ways of providing data are important and have their place in a POS system. With an export you can process the POS data somewhere else. With a data backup you can secure the software and the operating system of the POS system and restore it in case of an emergency.
But only archiving is a legally recognised and tamper-proof method of retaining data for the prescribed period of 7 years.
If you want to know more about archiving by fiskaltrust, ask our Country Manager about the product fiskaltrust.ArchiveAuditable.