Who is storing data?
Many companies, businesses, institutions around the world are legally required to store data. Whereas many others store data because it is incidental to their business needs. We can just look at our daily lives and activities to figure out who might be storing our data.
When you use a credit card for example, the credit card company or the bank participating in the transaction will utilize your name, address, or any other variable used to identify you, to complete the transaction. This information is most likely stored in their databases. Professional service providers like lawyers, doctors, accountants etc. will also have sensitive information pertaining to us stored in their computer database. When you go to your doctor, for example, for a yearly checkup the doctor will have at his disposal your medical history. If you go to your accountant or lawyer they might have stored within their database your prior tax and legal history. The data stored by such professionals is sensitive in nature and cannot be compromised in any way. In the modern world where paper is increasingly becoming antiquated, this data is stored on computers or other digital devices.
There are also laws in place which regulate data preservation. Although the United States does not have one singular overarching law that governs or requires data storage, there are a host of laws which address this topic. One such law which requires data preservation is the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Although this is a labor law it does have some data storage guidelines. Specifically, this law requires employers to maintain records for a period of at least 3 years i.e. records which include things like pay, work schedules etc. Another piece of legislation which requires data storage is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act which requires any accountant who has conducted an audit of an issuer of securities to which section 10A(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 applies, to maintain all audit related workpapers for 5 years.
Since this data is also vital to you as well as the service being provided to you by the professional/company under consideration, any data loss can have extremely adverse consequences. For instance, just imagine a scenario where you go to the bank to withdraw some money, are unable to and are told that the bank has lost all your financial/credit history, or you go to your lawyer and find out that all the pertinent evidence pertaining to your case has been lost. Or perhaps if you are legally required to store data, you will be in non-compliance with any applicable law requiring data storage, and thereby expose yourself to possible legal penalties.
Using Backup tapes to store data
Therefore storing vast amounts of data brings with it other issues like where to store the data, how to protect it, and where to store backup copies of this data. These are consequential questions which require answers. One solution which goes a long way to protecting this data is having back up copies of the pertinent data. Many such companies, individuals will store copies of their data on Backup Tapes especially those who are dealing with copious amounts of data. When you are storing large amounts of data common sense would dictate that there be backup copies of this data stored as well, in case the primary version of the data is somehow lost or damaged.
In that regard utilizing Backup Tapes can be particularly helpful, as it is the perfect medium for storing backup copies of data. Many companies/institutions have grown a particular liking to Backup Tapes because of the affordable and efficient solutions they offer. The reason being, very simply, Backup Tapes are just a better solution. Backup Tapes are known to have a very wide storage capacity, of up to 30 Terabytes. Another advantage which they offer is that, by their nature, they are not susceptible to hacking. Since Backup Tapes, unlike Cloud based storage, are physical tapes a hacker would not be able to get to them. Backup Tapes are also advantageous over other storage mediums because they have a long life and can store data for 30 years or even more if they are maintained properly. Furthermore, since Backup Tapes are small sized physical tapes they can be easily carried and stored in an offsite location away from where the primary business and/or databases are located. This is another advantage of Backup Tapes, for instance if your primary storage location is affected by a natural disaster then Backup Tapes give you the privilege of storing them in an offsite location.