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Consider other tape applications. Tape may become the preferred medium for e-discovery and records retention, digitizing historical information or deep archival. Much of this data may be considered private or "company confidential," and it may also be regulated. If that's the case, do a risk assessment to see if encryption is required.
Get to know the chief information security officer (CISO). In terms of security, check with the CISO to see if the security team has any future plans for centralized encryption key management. If so, you may want to explore internal integration options and query vendors about their key management road maps. Remember that key management may also introduce some extremely tight processes that impact day-to-day operations. As the Boy Scouts say, "Be prepared."
The bottom line
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 are there, but the vast majority are still on the sidelines. ESG recommends a proactive plan toward encryption that includes risk assessment, technology inventory, implementation planning and coordination with the security team. It's better--and cheaper--to be safe than sorry.
This was first published in July 2007