Managing On-Site Data Stores

Data stores hold your removable media. They form a vital link in your Backup and Recovery procedures, since they should contain duplicate copies of your essential data. Usually 'on-site' data stores are maintained in conjunction with a 'remote data store' located far enough away from your main computer site, not to be affected by any disaster that may befall it. This section is primarily concerned with 'on-site' data stores. Clearly, losing your stored data could have very serious repercussions. See also Managing Backup and Recovery Procedures.

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  • Theft / Fraud of media, or malicious damage, would threaten the confidentiality of your data, and may make it difficult or impossible for Systems Operations to perform their duties.

  • Ensure that your data store is located within a secure area.
  • Restrict access to the media to the minimum number of staff possible, but always more than one.
  • Maintain tight control over media leaving and entering the secure area. Consider the use of locked boxes and dual control to protect media in transit.
  • Be wary of technical staff who ask to remove media from the site or wish to bring media in.
  • Agree formal procedures for non-routine media movements, preferably involving written managerial authorisation. Check periodically that the procedure is working.
  • Consider restricting the hours of the day and days of the week, during which certain staff have right of access to the data store.
  • Accidental damage may render it difficult or impossible to process or restore information, causing possible loss to your organisation.

  • Ensure that the manufacturer's guidelines with regard to the storage of media are followed. This is particularly important because media may be in your data store for a very long time.
  • Ensure that the stored media is afforded due protection against environmental threats.
  • Diarise periodic checks to ensure that controls are being applied as intended.
  • Loss of media and data may seriously compromise the ability of Systems Operations to maintain an efficient system.

  • Ensure that all media is adequately labelled, whether physically and / or magnetically.

    N.B.: Being able to locate the right media at the right time is critical.
  • Verify that appropriate procedures ensure that there is no danger of media, which holds valuable data, being overwritten or deleted.
  • Consider taking duplicate copies of important media for added security, but do not store them in the same location.
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