Peeking over the tape moat
08-18, 09:00–09:20 (Europe/Berlin), Milliways
Language: English

As the threat of ransomware continues to grow, many organizations look towards magnetic tape storage solutions to provide a last line of defense for their data.
Tape has a number of interesting properties which set it apart from flash and spinning disk technology, such as an air-gap between the storage media and the reading/writing device, immutability of written data, and a long shelf life. These make it an attractive option for keeping data safe over longer periods of time.
Doomsayers have long foretold the death of tape, yet there has never been more data stored on it than today. Tape system users include major financial institutions, government archives, and hyperscaler cloud providers, just to name a few.

This presentation will give an introduction to data storage on tape media, potential attack vectors, and mitigations for these.

This presentation will have two parts: A brief introduction to how magnetic tape works and is used in a data center, followed by security aspects from an operator's point of view.

This presentation is of course just my thoughts on tape and in no way shape or form organized by, approved by, or representing the views of CERN the organization.

See also: Slides (2.1 MB)

Hi, I'm Richard. I currently have a position at CERN where I work for the IT department's storage group and specialize in magnetic tape, with two years of experience.

We have a handful of tape libraries on site, where we store about 600PB worth of physics data at the time of writing.
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