IBM i Encryption & WORM Benefits

January 12, 2016 Legacy System Blog Articles

Cyber-attacks, natural disasters, data corruption, IT failure – the list of threats to your data can seem limitless. While ensuring the integrity of your data is more important and difficult than ever, WORM and encryption technologies should be considered indispensable for your IBM Power System. Together, they keep your data unalterable, incorruptible, secure and available.

IBM i Data Encryption

Since LTO-4, encryption methods have been an integrated feature to secure data for IBM Power users. LTO utilizes an authenticated, symmetric block cipher, government-level encryption algorithm known as AES-GCM to both encrypt and decrypt data. This algorithm can also detect any tampering with the data. Encryption is performed at full line speed in the tape drive after compression, because data is compressed more efficiently before it is encrypted. This adds a large degree of security to stored data at no cost to processing or performance.

Encryption can be done at the level of software, appliances, switches, subsystem firmware and/or hardware, and at the level of the device. This can take place “in  transit” or “at rest.” The former involves encrypting data as it is being transmitted from one place to another through a network. This data is only encrypted in transit. In contrast, encryption of data at rest occurs before data is stored.   Data is encrypted when it is written and decrypted when it is accessed to be read by an authorized user. This type of encryption is permanent to ensure that stored data is always secure and accessible when necessary.

IBM i & WORM Storage

Another indispensable solution for secure data storage is WORM technology. Data stored on WORM cartridges cannot be erased, overwritten, or altered in any way. Despite this high security, the data can still be read, or accessed, as much as needed with authorized access. Unlike normal tape cartridges, WORM has servo tracks that provide verification that data has not been modified, along with physical features of the cartridges that ensure that they are tamper-proof. Every WORM cartridge is identified by its own unique cartridge identifier (UCID) which ensures that they can be immediately recognized and utilized by WORM disk drives.

The WORM disk drives effectively protect data from either accidental or intentional alteration, deletion, or corruption. With capacities in the terabytes that are only increasing with newer models, this is an ideal solution for any IBM Power user that must abide by regulatory compliance. Other ideal uses include storing data that might face legal scrutiny, or whenever it is critical to maintain the integrity of your data (such as financial statements, medical images, surveillance footage, etc.). WORM is a legally recognized storage technology, ensuring that it is both trustworthy and reliable. This means that it meets compliance with various government codes and regulations, including SEC, FDA, HIPAA, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, amongst others. You can’t get this level of comfort, security, or universality with non-standardized or proprietary storage technologies.

The Indispensable Combo

Here at Baseline Data Services, we know that the integrity of your data is critical to the integrity of your company. Whether you need to secure video surveillance, medical records, e-mails, corporate transactions, protection against cyber-attacks, or to abide by regulatory compliance, data encryption and WORM storage are indispensable to your company. Together, WORM and encryption make your data resilient to almost anything. Remember – when it comes to your data, it’s never worth the risk. With WORM and data encryption, your data will be incorruptible, unalterable, and relatively invincible to any modification or unauthorized access.

Is your data secure both in transit and at rest? Contact us today at 317-707-3941 to ensure that all of the appropriate steps are being taken to ensure the integrity of your data.



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