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Use Tape to Protect Against Modern Threats

Tape is a decades old storage system. But did you know that some organisations still use it in their backup stack? In fact, more are turning to it now with the increasing trends of ransomware attacks or other malware. Find out how you can deploy tape in your backup process to help keep protected.

New technologies should of course be used in your backup process. You can’t entirely do everything on a tape. The cloud, for example, is fantastic in allowing for off-site data that’s accessible from anywhere.

However, tape systems do have a lot of advantages. With the amount of data being produced rising, and regulations getting stricter when it comes to privacy, being able to store huge amounts of data in a small space is vital. Also, with cybercrime on the rise, having a place where you can store your data that’s entirely disconnected from the internet is invaluable.

If you have the ability and the money, you should consider using tape in your backup process. Store it away from your primary data centre and you’ve given yourself an extra layer of protection and redundancy. Of course, when it comes to recovery tape isn’t the quickest method – but you’ll be praying to tape should your network go down or your data centre is infected with malware. It’s better to have something to restore, despite the time, than nothing.

The 3-2-1 backup rule requires three copies of the data, on two media, with one being off-site. Using tape is a nice and easy way to comply with this rule. You don’t have to backup to tape all the time – that’d be too time consuming and probably not worth the effort – but it could be integrated as a secondary method should your primary fail.

You can store the tape off-site, away from your main data source, but tape is also entirely disconnected from the network. The only way your data can be compromised is if it physically gets stolen. That’s unlikely, since the majority of attacks come through the network. Even if you do get infected on the network, tape can come to recovery. Also, while cloud and network costs can increase over the years, tape storage is a relatively fixed cost.

Tape isn’t a static technology, either. The amount of data we need to store nowadays is massive and tape is ready to handle that. The linear tape open technology (LTO Ultrium) hopes to offer half a petabyte of compressed capacity in the future, as detailed on their roadmap. That’s an enormous amount of storage that would be very costly on other media.

As you can see, tape still has its benefits: cost, capacity and offline. You might want to consider deploying it for backup, especially if you think your organisation is poorly protected against cybercrime. Not only will tape offer you the redundancy of an extra backup, but it will also offer you the peace of mind of knowing that it’s offline and disconnected from outside threats.


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