We know we must be vigilant against the ever present threat of cyberattacks, including ransomware, but let’s not forget that system failures and natural disasters can cause unwanted disruption. In this BlogBytes we will review some of the unfortunate incidents that can occur, and how to protect the organization and its data from these annoying and costly disruptors with help from LTO technology. The list of untimely incidents that create havoc to organizations and their customers is long. Here are some examples of when the best laid plans went adrift.


As reported in a recent XTECH article a failure occurred with the National Bank Data Communication System in Japan. According to the article, “This is the first time in 50 years that the system has experienced a system failure that affected customers, since it went into operation in 1973. Two Core Time System RCs were installed at each financial institution, but both were malfunctioning and the redundant configuration did not function properly.”  Several approaches were tried to rectify the situation until finally they implemented “… the Zengin System’s “New File Transfer” or by bringing in LTO (Linear Tape-Open) tapes”. Secure data backup tapes are crucial to help restore system operations.


Another example of a surprise technical disaster, reported in an earlier BlogBytes article, was “… a major fire … [that] broke out at a European cloud service provider. Investigators believe that the origins of the blaze lay with some faulty UPS devices. Thankfully no one was injured, but one of the data centers at the CSP’s location was completely destroyed while another was severely damaged, causing enormous disruption.” Offsite tape copies of critical data are needed to protect and help recover from fires, floods and natural disasters.  


A couple of years ago as described in a article,”… an Amazon … datacenter in North Virginia (U.S.) experienced a power failure … which led to the datacenter’s backup generators to kick on. Unfortunately, these generators started failing … which led to 7.5% of the … volumes becoming unavailable.” Offline tape backups are necessary to help recover from inaccessible online data.


System failures and natural disasters can be troublesome to the extreme, but perhaps the biggest threat comes from cyberattacks that can destroy systems, data, and reputations and are quite costly to recover from. As reviewed in this recent article, “MGM Resorts International disclosed … that it is dealing with a cybersecurity issue that impacted some of its systems, including its main website, online reservations, and in-casino services, like ATMs, slot machines, and credit card machines.”  The company switched to manual operations as many services were down including ATMs and credit card machines as well as the main website. It is estimated that the cyberattack cost the resort about $100M (USD). Offline, offsite copies of critical data are essential to help restore operations.


System failures, natural disasters and cyberattacks can occur without notice. A disaster recovery plan should include the ability to recover data from an offsite location that is not affected by a catastrophic event. Take steps to protect access to your systems and, if they are compromised, be ready to recover. As described in a BlogBytes article:

  • Backup data offline – LTO tape data is inherently offline. When an LTO tape cartridge is removed from the drive it is offline and an air gap is created between the data and the system preventing cyber access.
  • Keep a copy offsite – In the event of a primary site disaster keep a copy of critical data offsite, out of region. LTO tape can be transported to a safe offsite location.
  • Avoid storing sensitive information in the Cloud – keep the most sensitive information stored locally on LTO tape.
  • Encrypt data in the cloud and locally – LTO technology supports tape drive encryption.
  • Educate employees – make sure passwords meet strong standards and employees are aware of phishing and other security risks.
  • Keep antivirus software up to date – make sure to regularly update and monitor anti-virus systems.
  • Test security measures – test the recover and restore processes regularly to meet restore time objectives.

Even though one of the biggest threats to an organization is ransomware, don’t forget that sometimes bad things happen to good computers because, well, it was a day with a ‘y’ in it. Hardware failure, human error, natural disasters and just plain bad luck can cause you to lose important business information. You can prepare and deepen your recovery options by deploying LTO technology. See more about protecting your data from cyber-threats in this short video.