Monday, February 13, 2006

Don't sweat lost backup tapes

Jon Oltsik at CNet News argues that lost backup tapes really aren't that big of a deal. First of all, they're likely lost and not stolen. Secondly, tapes are fragile and probably won't last long. Third, they are likely part of an incremental set so may not contain all that it could have. Fourth, your average thief will have no clue what to do with it. And finally, the thief likely doesn't have the tools to pilfer the data. In short, Oltsik argues, you'd need a pretty determined, savvy, well-equipped thief to make it something to worry about. Check it out: One less data breach method to fret about: Perspectives CNET News.com.

It may all be true, but if my data's on the tape, I'd rather it was encrypted. Oh, and not lost.

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1 comment:

al vancourt said...

The author makes some good points, however I think that there is an underlying missunderstanding of what it would take to read a tape. The folks responding to the Peoples Bank loss of a tape as an example have implyed that it is a monumental and technically difficult task requiring a mainframe computer to read these tapes.


The actual equipemnt is not that hard to find (about 30 minutes on the internet is what it took me - and included software), a few books on tape format if I get entertained (again about 30 minutes on Amazon).

It will according to the ads cost me about $1,200 to buy the equipment but it is doable, and with a little interest and insentive, possible to do.

Lets not pretend it doesn't matter because it cannot be done on with something I would buy from Bestbuy. Lets work to establish controls within organizations to handle thing more securely.