Getting your backup by Natasha Rawley, Archive Document Data Storage

This article was also featured as a column in the May 2016 issue of LPM. To read the issue in full, download LPM.

Regular backup of your digital information is only half of a data protection strategy; the other half is keeping your backup media organised and secure. Here are several important tips for storing and managing your media assets.

Invest in data type rotation

The biggest threats to your backup media are theft, mismanagement and disaster. A data tape rotation service minimises these risks by offering professional offsite storage and management of your media assets.

Tapes, hard drives and solid state media are stored in a purpose-built data vault equipped with the following technology:

  • heat and fire-resistant paneling
  • temperature and humidity regulation systems
  • gas-based fire suppression
  • security monitoring and entry control systems.

Specialised tape management and barcode technology is used to monitor the movement of each media asset, ensuring a continuous chain of custody while your media is rotated. During an emergency, your data tapes can be delivered quickly to your designated emergency hot site.

Stay diligent after backup

Even though professional data tape rotation ensures your backup media is preserved, protected and easily accessible, you have a role to play in keeping your media assets safe. After backup, there are several more steps you should take to prepare your media assets for transfer to a media vault.

As soon as your backups finish, eject your tapes from your hard drive. Apply barcodes to your media – this step enables the tape to be tracked during rotation and throughout its retention lifecycle. Your tapes should never be stored flat or stacked on top of one another – doing so can damage the internal components or demagnetise your media. Your data tape rotation partner can provide you with specialised transport cases that keep your tapes organised and protected while they await pickup.

Your tapes can be individually, vertically stored inside the case. Foam padding protects your media from shock during transfer to a media vault. Make sure that your transport cases are stored in a secure, climate-controlled environment while awaiting pickup by your data tape rotation partner.

Replace delete with destroy

Every media asset has a finite lifespan, and like physical documents, digital data should adhere to information retention guidelines. Deleting data from your media should never be used as a final disposition solution. Even after you erase data from a digital device, a ‘ghost’ of that data is left behind and can be retrieved by criminals with the right knowledge.

Fortunately, a secure destruction service offers safe, physical destruction of your media assets and redundant IT equipment, including:

  • data tapes
  • portable hard drives
  • mobile devices
  • computers, laptops and tablets.

Your media assets are shredded into tiny particles, making it impossible to retrieve confidential data. The resulting electronic waste is disposed of in accordance with the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive and you are provided with a ‘certificate of destruction’ for your records.

Secure storage and efficient management of your media assets is essential to a corporate data protection strategy. Use these tips to help you achieve that goal. 

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