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Protecting the Value of your Business Data and More: Why Going Offsite is Critical

Risk Vs Safety in Data Security
It may be hard to quantify the value of your business data, but consider this: One single backup tape or hard drive may hold a wealth of personal information that would certainly fetch a high price on the black market. In the same manner, a single hard drive or tape can contain the essential information your business needs to quickly recover from a catastrophic data loss event. Given the increasing amount of data that can be stored on a single electronic media device—Sony recently developed a backup tape with the capacity to hold 185 TB of data—your business information may be worth more than its weight in gold. As a result, it’s important that you go the extra mile to protect your data.

Assessing vulnerabilities

Your electronic media is also one of your most vulnerable assets. Theft of tapes and hard drives has become more commonplace, making it all the more important to have a plan in place for ensuring their security as soon as a backup has been completed. Unfortunately, in the business world, internal chain of custody procedures for media assets is severely lacking and weak data protection practices are rampant. Backup media is often left on desktops in unsecured office areas. Many companies ask employees to take tapes or hard drives containing vital business data home with them, which is also a risky practice. Organizations may choose to store backup media in a bank safe deposit box, but even that offers only limited access to vital information in the event of a data loss scenario. Lose your data after hours or during a bank holiday, when safe deposit boxes are inaccessible, and your business is out of luck.

Magnetic media is also very susceptible to degradation from environmental variables such as:

  • excessive humidity
  • temperature fluctuations
  • dust and light pollution

If not stored in an environmentally controlled facility, the archival data written to tapes or hard drives is likely to be lost to degradation over time.

Implementing the right offsite solution

Disaster recovery archives recommend that any electronic information critical to your business be stored offsite in order to ensure strong recovery capabilities. In addition to maximizing recovery time objectives (RTOs), a sound offsite data storage solution can also ensure compliance with the following regulations:

  • HIPAA/HITECH
  • FACTA
  • SOX
  • GLB

However, before going offsite it’s important that you fully assess the facility where your backup media will be stored. Important factors to consider include:

A dedicated media vault facility offers the highest level of protection for backup tapes and hard drives. In addition to providing an environment that maximizes the lifespan of your media assets, it also limits the risk of data loss to natural disaster and theft. The data protection company managing your offsite inventory should also practice strict chain of custody procedures and exhibit the highest standards in their privacy protection measures. After all, not only do you need peace of mind knowing your data is safe and secure, but you also need assurance that you can restore vital information at a moment’s notice.

Richards & Richards provides companies throughout Nashville with data protection solutions. For more information please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

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