– Kim Gross, Business Development with American Eagle Systems (www.americaneaglesys.com), says:

Got $3.43 Million to spare?

No? Because that was the average cost to a company in 2009 that suffered a data breach or lost back up tape. The good news is that the overall number of data loss incidents seems to be decreasing, but the careless disposal of tape media has increased significantly. And if you don’t know exactly what back-up media you have and where you have it, the opportunity for mishandling your assets increase. The bottom line is that you can’t manage what you can’t find. But there are tools available to help.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How do you ensure the right tapes go offsite or to your customer locations?
  2. Do you have trouble gathering data and producing comprehensive reports on your tape library inventory to comply with audit and regulatory concerns?
  3. When it is time to destroy your backup tapes, do you have a way of tracking and ensuring the proper media is pulled for destruction?

Data center managers need web-based tools that can track tape media not only back and forth to the vault, but to all locations. The solution should also keep an audit history of all of your media, and give your personnel the tools to not only manage media, but ensure compliance.

Yearly tape audits should also be a priority for your organization. Partnering with an independent third party that can perform most audits in one day, while allowing your normal business operations to continue, will make this process painless. Audits such as these highlight issues such as tape media that is at your facility that shouldn’t be, or tapes that you thought were onsite that are not. In many circumstances, there is media that is found either onsite or at your offsite storage facility that is no longer needed.

Why are you paying for offsite storage on tapes that are past their retention date? When it comes time to destroy your backup media, there are numerous options for both onsite and offsite destruction. You’ll need a partner familiar with the processes, one that can assist in providing detailed reports indicating what was destroyed so that you have a record for your auditors.

Your data is your company’s most important asset. American Eagle Systems can help you manage it.