It was reported last year that a hospital in the United States had lost track of up to 4 unencrypted backups tapes that were holding patient information. This equated to information about 12,600 people unaccounted for and possibly at risk.

While this news story comes out of the USA, it highlights a growing concern for the rest of the world.

Not only was this data not backed up digitally, it was now at risk of falling into the wrong hands and being used for nefarious means with thousands of patient health records, personal information and social security numbers being compromised.

This growing concern being highlighted, is the misconception that tapes are cheaper and still a good technology.

Sometimes it’s hard to change backup strategies, but it’s time to move on from an outdated technology and ensure you and your businesses data and customer records are secure.

If you are still unsure, here is some information to encourage you to make a switch

  • Encryption: new backup technologies use should be using advanced encryption technologies to keep your data secure at all times. This encryption should be in place both in transmit and in storage, with all data is fully encrypted using AES 256 and SSL key-based encryption. AES 256 is certified by the NSA as the encryption used for all Top Secret government data.
  • Tapes require human interaction: Swapping tapes and taking them offsite for safekeeping means there is too much room for human error. Considering that’s one of the main threats of downtime, it seems like a bad idea.
  • Reduced frequency of backups: Customarily, tapes are backed up once a night, when you’re outside of regular business hours. Considering many of our customer’s schedule backups every half hour, you may be setting yourself up for problems if you only do a nightly tape backup.
  • Timeliness: Good luck getting your business back up in 6 seconds (like with hybrid cloud technology through Future Logic). Tape restore can take hours, days or even weeks when it comes to recovery time.

While tapes may be cheap up front, it’s hardly cheaper in the long run. When you factor in the human interaction, storage, and other variables, the cost can quickly add up. Not to mention a potential PR nightmare!

Risks of unencrypted backups

 

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