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Pros and cons of backup tape encryption

How important is backup tape encryption?

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It depends on your location (laws vary from state to state), the data you are writing, your industry segment and its associated regulatory mandates, and probably a few other things I am forgetting. My advice is to check with your Governance Risk Compliance (GRC) authority in your business (or legal department, comptroller, internal audit, or whoever tracks data protection and privacy regulations that affect your business).

As a general rule, if data on tape is moving off premise, you probably need some encryption. But really good encryption makes tape restores slower. That can hurt in a disaster recovery situation.

This was first published in March 2012

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