Corporations should not rely on outdated technology such as tape backups to store sensitive customer data, said Barracuda Networks.
The caution was issued in light of a recent announcement by a financial institution that several of its magnetic tapes containing backup data were lost in transit during routine operations. The bank further stated there was no evidence the information had been compromised and it was taking the necessary measures to protect its customers.
“We still see some organisations opting to use tapes for backup as they seem slightly cheaper,” said James Forbes-May, vice president, APAC Sales, Barracuda. “In the long run, the cost multiplies when we factor in the need for physical storage, rotation, transportation, and the weakest link, human interaction. In the event of a loss, the company may lose its credibility and customers’ trust.
“There is just too much room for human error in a tape-based backup strategy which requires human interaction at every step of the process,” he said.
Magnetic tapes need to be changed out, transported offsite to a storage facility and rotated often. If data need to be recovered, the tapes must be retrieved, loaded, and then restored through a tedious process with no guarantee that the restore will work.
“Organisations can reduce the risk of data loss and avoid compromising customer privacy by implementing more current data protection methods such as disk-based on-premise backup that replicates data to an offsite location such as a remote office, public cloud or private cloud,” Forbes-May said.
“It is crucial that organisations with sensitive customer data use solutions that can enable backup and offsite data replication to be automated and encrypted, to minimise human interaction and percentage of error while helping to ensure rapid recovery in the event of a ransomware attack,” he said.
“Companies must take all steps to ensure their customers’ privacy is never compromised. It is essential that consumers can rely on the credibility of an organisation, especially in the financial sector,” he said.