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School ICT Policies Thread, Taking Backups offsite in School Administration; Where do i stand with regards to taking the backup tapes home? I don't want to be responsible for the ...
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    Taking Backups offsite

    Where do i stand with regards to taking the backup tapes home?

    I don't want to be responsible for the safety of all that data, especially SIMS data

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    I know some people do, but like you i wouldnt fancy it. Id personally look at encrypted remote offsite backups (assuming you have the bw). The DPA says you have to take all "reasonable" measures to protect it, and you taking the data away in unencrypted form in your car doesnt really cut it (imo)
    Last edited by j17sparky; 4th February 2010 at 11:39 AM.

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    glennda's Avatar
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    We are going to start putting the tape backups into a fireproof safe in another building onsite, which is got neither of the server rooms in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbeast View Post
    Where do i stand with regards to taking the backup tapes home?

    I don't want to be responsible for the safety of all that data, especially SIMS data
    If they're encrypted and you take all sensible precautions to keep them secure (i.e not stopping off at Tesco on the way home and leaving them in the car), you're fine.

    Backup > Disk | Encrypt > Tape or get backup software that supports encryption on tape.

    (And backup the encryption keys on separate media).

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    I take the weekly tapes home. Monthly and daily stay in the autoloader. All tapes are encrypted with backup exec.

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    neilmc's Avatar
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    I used to work in a college where the IT guys had a safe on the other side of the site with their backup tapes in.

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    we already use a safe on the other side of the site (3 buildings away)
    But 'they' want them taken home.

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    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbeast View Post
    we already use a safe on the other side of the site (3 buildings away)
    But 'they' want them taken home.
    Then they must give you policy!

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenbeast View Post
    we already use a safe on the other side of the site (3 buildings away)
    But 'they' want them taken home.
    Then tell THEM to take them home. Are you being paid to secure them at home? Is it in your contract?

    It is the schools responsibility (under advisement from you) to ensure the backups are secure. If you take them home - it is your head on the block (initially). Don't risk it!

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    dwhyte85's Avatar
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    I vehemently disagree with the above post...

    Backups taken home are then your responsibility, if then through no fault of your own you're burgled, fire, leak... who is at fault? It should be kept in a safe with a member of staff with some level of responsibility in SLT IMO.

    I argued that i'd carry the cycle tapes but would create drop tapes purposely for a member of SLT to take home and keep safe in-case of a disaster or tape lost. This way if you have to do it and do lose it through no fault of your own somebody else has a backup... albeit it may be slightly older in terms of data.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
    I've been taking tapes home since before 2003. I've never had an issue with keeping them secure.

    If you can't be trusted, or feel confident enough to look after a simple tape then really you shouldn't be in any position of responsibility or management.
    I don't think this is a fair statement, in this an increasingly litigious society I'd be concerned even if I felt I could secure the backups.

    I'd push for an automated offsite backup company like carbonite, the initial backup would be slow and costly but subsequent backups would be better.

    I backup to a nas kept a few building over an I feel it would take a cataclysmic disaster to take out the whole site.

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    Galway's Avatar
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    This used to be an area the ICT coordinator used to (interfere) tell me that the tapes should be offsite, and therfore taken home by myself.

    I didnt want/like to, since it was a ball ache, and used to make up various reason.

    I eventally setup a remote backup solution that backed up directly to a 2TB Buffalo on a very remote outbuilding and there its been ever since.

    Im my days I used reasons such as:

    Its not my job to take them home.
    They are not encrypted so cant take them home.
    If I take them him, they are not insured and im not taking that risk.
    I have a tesla coil in each room, and it would be unsafe.
    Buy me a lockable safe from the budget and I will concider it.
    Magnetic tape is flamable, and I will have to declaire it on my home insurance which will go up.
    They need to be in a suitable travel case, which I have not got.
    Sure, so long as you agree to a desclaimer that if they get lost or stolen its not my problem.

    In the end, the following won.

    If the school burns down, how will we restore them with no server, no backup software etc.

    This prompted them for a direct copy, if the school burns down I have it all ready to copy from.

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    Personally, I would not take them home.

    Our AUP is very clear that any data taken off site must be encrypted. If 'they' want this information taken off site, then 'they' must make sure a secure place is available for it to go.

    Have 'they' inspected your home to ensure that it is secure and the tapes are in a dry, fire-proof location? Are 'they' willing to pay for your home to be updated to suitable standards?

    Thought not!

    I doubt this policy is written into your contract. Don't do it.

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    You would have to be a determined data thief to restore the data from tapes.

    Realistically, if they are in a safe at home, no one is going to nick them. The tapes are worthless, and having the now how, the right drive, server and a use for the information is a pretty unlikely scenario.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
    I've been taking tapes home since before 2003. I've never had an issue with keeping them secure.

    If you can't be trusted, or feel confident enough to look after a simple tape then really you shouldn't be in any position of responsibility or management.
    What has trust or confidence got to do with jobs expected to be done that you are not contracted to do? I work my hours, and accept my responsibilities. But when im not being paid for being responsible for somthing then I expect that to be because im not expected to be responsible for it.

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