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Why There Is No Excuse for Missing Data Tapes

by on June 16, 2011

A recent story about data tapes gone missing at insurance and pension firm Phoenix Ireland makes me wonder why we’re allowing history to repeat itself. Phoenix Ireland recently had to notify 62,000 customers and prospects that it has lost a tape containing their names, addresses, bank account numbers and sort codes. While the firm believes the tape is somewhere on company premises and that the chance of an outsider being able to access the information is low, the fact remains that the company has put these 62,000 individuals at risk.

Unfortunately, this story sounds all too familiar. In 2005, Time Warner lost backup tapes with sensitive employee information. The Bank of New York Mellon lost backup tapes not once, but twice in 2008, potentially exposing the data of 4.5 million people. The list goes on and on.

We know how to avoid lost tapes and all of their costs, from direct remediation expenses to damaged reputations. The case of the missing tapes has already been solved, yet some companies still insist on learning the hard way.

Fortunately, the rest of us can learn from their mistakes and avoid lost tapes and all of their consequences the easy way.  It starts with basic tape management best practices, like encryption, backup testing and validation, and secure transfer procedures. It continues with tape management solutions, like our Vertices and VaultLedger products, that let you track, move and protect media from any source or platform, easily pass audits, manage retentions and movements, and track destruction for all tapes in your organization.

It’s been said that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” When it comes to data tapes going MIA, there’s just no excuse for letting history continue to repeat itself.

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