Most organizations will experience a cyberattack one or more times a year. A ransomware attack that succeeds in breaking through cyber security defenses can cause tremendous costs to a firm, including: significant downtime, network and device expense, impaired productivity, ransom payments, reputation damage and more. According to research by the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), 36% of surveyed organizations received an attack on at least a monthly basis. Protection from such costly attacks needs to be reliable, economic and long term. ESG recently published a white paper that spotlights these crucial topics and how LTO-9 tape technology can help achieve the data security imperatives. Read on for an overview of highlights from the ESG white paper.


The ESG research included a survey of IT professionals responsible for their organizations data protection environment. These firms “accumulate staggering amounts of secondary (i.e. non-production) data, especially when it comes to backups and archives. Among those who include tape in their secondary data storage infrastructure strategy, tape storage serves as the repository for one third of all backup and archive data.”

Why are they using tape? The IT managers said that LTO tape provides a variety of benefits including outstanding reliability. As noted in the white paper “With LTO-9’s uncorrectable bit error rate (UBER) of less than 10-20, it is extremely rare to see failed reads in real life, which translates to a reliability of seventeen 9s over a period of one year, whereas current similar HDDs have a reliability of only twelve 9s.”


We started off this article with remarks regarding cyber-security which is top of mind for most organizations today. No firm is immune from a cyberattack but as the ESG paper highlights; “air gap network technology and LTO-9 tape technology provide advanced ransomware protection.” An air-gap is needed between the data at rest and the rest of the network to thwart cyber access. ESG continues, “LTO tape technology helps organizations establish best practices against ransomware attacks. For example, the removal of tapes from a library eliminates the physical connectivity needed to access, modify, or delete the data on the tapes.” A tape removed from the drive creates the desired air-gap and without access to the tape data cyber-criminals cannot do their dirty work.

Furthermore, LTO tape data can be encrypted using AES-256 technology to protect the content in the event a cartridge was to get into the wrong hands. One of the benefits of LTO is the ability of the tape drive to encrypt data ‘on the fly’ without the need for extra software or appliances. This greatly streamlines the encryption process and creates minimal delay or overhead to the process of writing data.



Having a reliable and secure data storage medium is essential but having it be cost effective would be icing on the data protection cake. ESG delves deep into the cost variable and states that, “Tape wins the cost perception battle against public cloud and disk subsystems, with more than four in ten IT professionals rating it as the most cost-effective backup medium.

In addition to being low-cost, tape technology is also a green data storage option.” Think about, a tape in a library slot or on the shelf draws zero power. There is a lot more noteworthy discussion in the white paper on this subject including information about CO2 emissions and clean energy.  

ESG summarizes the wealth of findings that are illuminated in the paper by stating, “For organizations looking at reliable, low-cost data storage options and/or improving cybersecurity, it would be smart to include LTO-9 tape technology on their list of solutions to evaluate.” See the complete paper here.