It seems like not a week goes by without a story hitting the headlines about sensitive customer data being compromised in one way or another. If it’s not a laptop getting lost it’s a handheld device getting left in a taxi – in fact nowadays you can just pop onto Ebay to buy the bank details of a million or so people . These breaches of security are damaging for the corporations involved and extremely disconcerting for the people whose personal details are compromised, but they also raise serious questions about how companies protect data once it leaves the corporate network.
There are a number of ways for organisations to ensure that they aren’t hitting the headlines many of which revolve around policy as much as technology, but encryption is the most obvious choice (although that doesn’t necessarily mean every IT department is deploying it
). You can deploy encryption at various levels of the network and in various forms – at Spectra we’ve always felt that it should be offered as standard and that customers should just be able to ‘turn it on’. When we talk about making sure our customers’ data is always available, we mean available to them – not to anyone who fancies emptying a few bank accounts!
This story about a tape backup being lost by Zurich in South Africa
not only highlights the importance of encryption on tape but also the global nature of IT – all the individuals affected were UK customers. With Spectra Logic, encryption is a standard feature on all of our libraries, included as part of our BlueScale management software. Customers can add encryption to their backup strategy – with no changes to backup policies and no additional hardware or software. We use the federally approved AES-256 encryption algorithm – considered unbreakable by the US Government, and although it’s up to our customers to decide whether or not to encrypt their data we always advise them to, particularly if they have any kind of offsite storage policy.
The IT industry as a whole often jumps on these news stories to point out why certain technology is needed – but the fact is people evidently still aren’t taking even the most basic of steps to protect their data. As soon as you have any sensitive data leaving your premises, encryption of that data should be used without a second thought.
to read a previously published post on Spectra’s Backup and Recover Blog by Sr. Product Manager Jon Hiles: “Top 10 Reasons to Encrypt your Data”.