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Vol. 6 No. 5 July 2007

Hot Spots: The inevitability of tape encryption

You can't duck it any longer; it's time to encrypt your backup tapes. When I joined the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) approximately four years ago, we had a burning suspicion that the storage layer of the technology stack wasn't very secure. Our day-to-day conversations with IT professionals reinforced this hypothesis, but that wasn't enough. Early in 2004, we embarked on a quantitative research project to compare our thoughts to real user data. Chalk one up for data and statistical analysis; this time we weren't just reading our own headlines, we were spot on. ESG concluded that while the entire storage infrastructure was extremely vulnerable, one of the most ominous weaknesses was tape encryption. When enterprises (i.e., organizations with 1,000 or more employees) were asked if they encrypted backup data, only 7% respond-ed "Yes, always." A startling 60% of storage professionals said "No." This meant that the preponderance of data on tape was being carted to some offsite storage facility in cleartext, a proverbial accident ...

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Features in this issue

  • HDS reigns over enterprise arrays ... again

    The third annual Diogenes Labs-Storage magazine Quality Award for enterprise arrays saw some changes among the vendors, but a familiar theme prevailed as Hitachi Data Systems copped top honors for the third time.

  • EMC aims for "ease of use" at EMC World

    by  Rich Friedman

  • Tools to fine-tune your backups

    Backup and recovery applications typically include reporting capabilities, but they're often rudimentary and provide only basic information on the success or failure of data protection operations. Data protection and recovery management (DPRM) products, an emerging class of monitoring and planning tools, fill in the gaps where traditional backup apps fall short. DPRM tools provide advanced capacity reporting, predict usage patterns and allow performance tuning, troubleshooting and cost management. Here's how to pick the best product for your shop.

  • Can iSCSI crack the enterprise?

    by  Stephen Foskett

    iSCSI storage systems are showing up in medium-sized businesses, but storage managers at large enterprise shops have been reluctant to embrace them. This is largely because Fibre Channel (FC) is so firmly entrenched in bigger companies. But iSCSI offers some unique benefits that may appeal to shops with FC-only environments.

  • Snapshot: iSCSI storage

    Users speak out about iSCSI

Columns in this issue

  • Editorial: People and power

  • Best Practices: The ultimate archiving challenge

    Given current practices, it's questionable whether electronic information created and stored today will be usable 10 years or 15 years from now. The steps we take now will greatly affect the magnitude of the problem facing us (or our successors) in the future.

  • Storage Bin: Boring is good

    by  Steve Duplessie

    They may not be the sexy new technologies of the moment, but boring "vision" tools that provide insight and report on storage infrastructure are as necessary to your environment as ensuring that the system you run is getting power from the wall.

  • Hot Spots: The inevitability of tape encryption

    by  Jon Oltsik

    In the near future, encryption technologies will closely mirror the old "death and taxes" cliché as one of those things that are inevitable. Approximately 25% of enterprises have gotten the encryption message, but the vast majority are still on the sidelines.

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