A few decades ago, tape was top-of-the-line data storage. Today, however, we have several options. So how does tape fit into modern security? Believe it or not, tape may still be superior, even to modern methods.
Despite opinions to the contrary, today’s tape technology is making this data storage option more attractive than ever. Now, tapes are easier to handle and store, as well as being simpler to access and back up. The reliability of modern tape drives may exceed even that of high-reliability disk drives.
Tape as a Fail-safe
Tape is not recommended as a primary data storage solution. However, it is ideal for secondary or tertiary backup. Often, tape is used for the archiving of old data. However, where tape really shines is as a last line of defence. Because it is offline and usually off-site, tape is completely inaccessible to cyber criminals. Therefore, businesses looking for a way to recover their data in the event of a catastrophic hacking attack or other significant event will find tape to be an efficient way to do so.
Cost-Effectiveness of Tape
Tape is very attractive in terms of cost. Per gigabyte, tape is far less expensive than any other data storage solution. A library of tapes can increase capacity simply by swapping a full tape for an empty one. As well, the cost to move a large quantity of tapes is far less than the cost to purchase a WAN or internet connection to move data digitally.
Tapes also do not require the cooling or additional electricity that expensive disk arrays do. Also, unlike disk drives which have to run the majority of the time in order to be useful, tape drives only need to run when information is being written or read.
Tape is Supported
It’s true that tape is old technology. However, it’s this fact which makes it a desirable means of storing data. Tape’s many years on the market have allowed it to become well-understood and therefore, well-supported. Software used for other storage solutions typically also supports tape storage.
The proper physical management of tape backups is vital to data security. In addition to storing tape off-site, they also need to be labelled accordingly and carefully tracked. This will allow an audit trail to be created in the event that tapes go missing.
The physical management of tape backups also includes proper procedure when they’ve reached end-of-life or are being reused or resold.
Professional Data Sanitisation
One solution to ensuring that your DLT tapes are free of sensitive information is to explore professional data sanitisation. The team at Absolute IT specialises in all forms of data sanitisation and asset disposal.
If you will be reusing or reselling your tapes, we can ensure complete data erasure with accredited Blancco software. For situations where destruction is required, our shredder can reduce assets to 6mm particulate to ensure no access is possible.
When you know and understand the value of tape backups, and have a solid process in place to erase or destroy them, you can be assured of data safety.