Data Backup & Recovery Blog

Backup to Tape—Why Risk It?

Posted by Layna Shuppert on August 12, 2011

Data backup tapes go back a long, long, long time...Costly to transport, vulnerable to loss, and often unencrypted, tapes are increasingly becoming a relic in the data backup world. Those who have been using backup tapes for years may swear by their reliability, but if they were to experience a disaster, they might learn their true cost.

In an article published by Bank Systems and Technology, the vice president of IT for a Mississippi-headquartered credit union noted that for many companies affected by Hurricane Katrina, “about 24% of their tapes were unusable when they got to their disaster recovery centers.”

Furthermore, a report in SearchSecurity cites that 20% of nightly backups fail to capture all data, and 40% of IT managers were able to recover data from a tape when they needed it. 

Moreover, consider the list of companies that have had tapes stolen or simply lost:

2011 – Phoenix Ireland, 62,000 records lost

2010 – NY Health and Hospitals Corp., 1.7 million records stolen

2009 – Zurich Insurance, 51,000 records lost

2008 – GE Money, 650,000 records lost

2008 – Bank of NY Mellon, 4.5 million records lost

And if you think you’ll never lose a backup tape, what about a simple restore? What would 8-, 12-, 48- hours of downtime cost your business? Why risk it?

Topics: data loss, data breach, tape backup

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