With the advance of data digitization techniques, there are now more reliable options to protect your organization's most valuable asset
Few resources are more valuable and vulnerable than data. It is an organization's connection to the past and the foundation upon which future strategies are built. What's more, data is often a lynch pin in modern litigation, making it a resource that organizations must protect and produce when requested.
Traditionally, managing that all-important data has been a matter of committing it to tape and storing it in a presumably secure location, but potentially subject to spoliation due to degradation. And while this method may have been enough to uphold an organization's retention policy, the advance of digitization techniques and the shrinking cost of data storage has given way to more reliable – and ultimately, more responsible – alternatives.
That's not to say our trust in data tapes has been misguided. Indeed, it's been the only choice for decades. What we know now, however, is that this type of “legacy media” is susceptible to corruption, damage, or loss over time. And even when those tapes are retrieved after years of storage, there's no guarantee that their owner will have the device necessary to read them.
Perhaps a greater risk of relying solely on data tapes is the cost. When and if organizations are obligated to produce information from thousands of tapes, the time it takes to retrieve the data and the cost of doing so on a per-incident basis can be considerable.
As mentioned, however, there is a better way. There now exists the technology and expertise to extract data from old tapes, deduplicate it, digitize it, and archive it on an easily- accessible platform. The outcome of this “defensible disposition” process is a central infrastructure where live,reliable data can be pulled up when it is required. Costs arereduced, information is more secure, and the risk of facing penalties or litigation due to the mishandling of data is significantly reduced.
Naturally, making the transition to a defensible disposition is an investment. Compared to the costs (and time) required to retrieve data from tapes on a case-by-case basis, however, it's one that more and more organizations are content to make. And in an age where data is everything, knowing your most valuable resource is secure, uncorrupted, and easily accessible is knowing you can move forward with fewer risks and greater peace of mind.