Cyber Attacks and Tape Storage

It has become common to hear news about cyber-attacks, such as unauthorized accesses targeting financial institutions. Damages from fraudulent financial transactions perpetrated through attacks from phishing sites have increased significantly since last year. Recently, attacks targeting IoT devices have also begun to increase. Furthermore, since the beginning of this year, there seem to have been a series of attacks taking advantage of the situation caused by COVID19 virus and crimes targeting remote-works.
It is said that "defense in depth" is necessary for the threat of cyber-attacks that are becoming more diverse and sophisticated. Defense in depth is a method of taking multi-layered countermeasures against cyber-attacks in multiple areas, such as "entrance" measures that do not allow unauthorized access or malware intrusion, and "internal" measures that minimize damage when intrusion is allowed. This is achieved by combining "exit" measures that prevent information from being taken out.
As one of the "internal" measures, using tape for backup is highly effective for encryption by ransom ware and data tampering. Since the tape media can be removed and stored offline, the physically separated "air gap" protects the data from unauthorized encryption and tampering. When data on the online system is tampered with or otherwise damaged, the original data can be quickly restored from a backup copy that is secured in a safe location. As cyber-attack methods evolve day by day, it is difficult to prevent all intrusions 100%, and it is especially important to be able to recover data even if an intrusion occurs.
Some people may be concerned about the tape being physically stolen from storage, however, the tape drive that writes data to the tape media has a strong encryption function, so using this can prevent information being leaked even if the tape is stolen.
It is said that remote working will remain as the new normal, even after the COVID-19 virus has subsided. With all the possible different ways of working remotely, the boundaries between internal and external networks are blurring. So, companies need to be prepared for various risks coming from outside. In the future, we believe that tape storage will be one of the most effective means of preparing for these new threats.
Original Article by Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) Tape Storage Technical Committee