Tapes full of data backups is perhaps what your companies IT team prepares for sudden accidents and eventualities that may destroy all or most of the primary data and leave you in the lurch.
But what would happen if all that backed up data – the hours of manpower, and money you put into it, all falls prey to the same calamity that affected you in the first place? When you’ve lost all your data and also most of your backups, it could even lead to bankruptcy.
Therefore when taking backups and storing them, it is equally possibly more important to pay attention to their safe-keeping…
What could pose a threat to your data backups?
Data breaches and data theft could pose a threat to your data backups, but the proper security measures can make you less vulnerable. However, there are obviously the natural calamities that you can have no control over:
- Fires and heat
- Floods and damp
However, there needn’t always be a calamity. Paper and magnetic media are, to a certain extent, volatile and they can get destroyed or de-stabilised because of factors much less than a natural calamity. For example:
- Water leakage in the facility
- Too much humidity
- Dust and other suspended particulate matter in the air in the storage facility
- Too much heat can also affect the tapes
- And finally, being magnetic media, tapes are particularly vulnerable to electromagnetic waves.
And let’s face it, merely putting your tapes in plastic airtight packets or placing them in cool, air conditioned environments isn’t enough. The question that arises then is – how to go about the process of storing backups so that you can protect them from the elements?
How do you protect your company’s crucial data backups?
As grave as the situation is, there are ways around it:
- Don’t keep your backups on-site – that way they are no longer vulnerable to the same threats that affect your primary data
- Store your data not in a room, but in a protected vault
- It is advisable to keep your vaults (or use vaults belonging to data storage and protection firms) at locations that are geographically not too close to your facility. This ensures that chances of your vaults being subject to the same calamity are minimal
- While the vaults are far enough away, your data is still important and sensitive, so remote monitoring facilities should be in place to alert you of any change in the atmosphere of the vault
- Another strategy to use is to keep more than one copy of the backups, and store them in secure vaults at different locations
- During the transportation of tapes to the offsite vaults, all security measures should be in place.
- It is also important to ensure that all your backups and tapes are easily accessible if and when the data needs to be retrieved
- And finally you do not want to spend extra money maintaining tapes of data that is already obsolete and out of use. So make sure there’s a proper retention plan in place and all tapes that aren’t needed anymore are securely destroyed.
With a proper plan in place, you can of course ensure that your offsite tape storage is safe from the elements. However, you can also consider tying up with a secure offsite tape storage partner who will take care of your entire plan and without you having to spend a large amount of money on executing all the tasks yourself.