Learn From Other's Mistakes - Encrypt Your Tapes - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Leadership // IT Strategy
Commentary
6/2/2008
11:19 AM
Howard Marks
Howard Marks
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Learn From Other's Mistakes - Encrypt Your Tapes

In the most recent of what seems to be an endless litany of mistakes by people who should know better Bank of New York Mellon has used a third party carrier to transport data tapes from one of their sites to another and as Gomer Pyle would say "surprise, surprise" the courier lost the package. Twice. On February 27th they lost a box of tapes with data on over 4 million customers, on April 29 they lost another tape. In addition to responding with the usual, patently untrue, platitude "Protectin

In the most recent of what seems to be an endless litany of mistakes by people who should know better Bank of New York Mellon has used a third party carrier to transport data tapes from one of their sites to another and as Gomer Pyle would say "surprise, surprise" the courier lost the package. Twice. On February 27th they lost a box of tapes with data on over 4 million customers, on April 29 they lost another tape. In addition to responding with the usual, patently untrue, platitude "Protecting the confidentiality of our clients' information has long been a top priority at The Bank of New York Mellon" the bank is on the hook for 2 years of credit report monitoring and $25,000 in identity theft insurance for the customers placed at risk.Why would an organization like BoNY ship unencrypted tapes in this day and age? After all you can encrypt tapes using any of the major backup programs, hardware encryption appliances from NetApp/Decru on your Fibre Channel SAN or using the built in encryption in today's LTO-4 or high end tape drives from SUN and IBM. Even workgroup backup software like Backup Exec can encrypt your tapes. Surely a big outfit like BoNY can update their backup software to versions released since 2006 to get this valuable feature.

The answer is key management, or more accurately trying to perfect key management. I'm sure there's a multidisciplinary task force at BoNY that's spent the past 3 years working on defining the bank's encryption and key management requirements. Someday they'll even start looking for solutions.

Don't let this happen to you. Encrypting tapes in flight doesn't require complex key management. Encrypt ALL your tapes with the same key. Save the key in SEVERAL places, on USB flash keys if possible, so you can restore when your primary media server needs to be rebuilt.

Figure out how to manage ALL your keys so you can have keys automatically be deleted when tapes expire and use different keys for different types of data later. After all you didn't wait for global key management before you set up a VPN did you?

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
News
COVID-19: Using Data to Map Infections, Hospital Beds, and More
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/25/2020
Commentary
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
Slideshows
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll