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US National Archives and Records Administration Updates Record Retention Rules

The US National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) has updated its General Records Schedule (GRS), which establishes rules for record retention. The update includes new requirements for how long government entities must retain cybersecurity logs and other network data. The updates GRS mandates that federal agencies must keep full capture packet data for at least 72 hours and cybersecurity event logs for 30 months.


  • Both Packet Capture (PCAP) and event logs are important data sources for forensic teams investigating a cyber breach. While some cybersecurity professionals might question maintaining PCAP data for a minimum 72 hours, it’s a reasonable balance between storage requirements and equipping the cyber defender.
  • This only applies to the logs, not the data or content on systems that generated those logs. This means keep logs on centralized logging infrastructure, so you don’t miss retention requirements with lifecycle activities of the systems generating logs. This ties back to directives contained in the May 2021 Cyber Security Executive Order (EO 14028).
  • Enterprises should consider similar retention rules to facilitate both routine management and necessary forensics.


Alex Lim is a certified IT Technical Support Architect with over 15 years of experience in designing, implementing, and troubleshooting complex IT systems and networks. He has worked for leading IT companies, such as Microsoft, IBM, and Cisco, providing technical support and solutions to clients across various industries and sectors. Alex has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the National University of Singapore and a master’s degree in information security from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also the author of several best-selling books on IT technical support, such as The IT Technical Support Handbook and Troubleshooting IT Systems and Networks. Alex lives in Bandar, Johore, Malaysia with his wife and two chilrdren. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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