Backup Tapes IRS

Backup tape saves IRS emails

By Michael
September 4, 2014

For the last couple of months, the IRS has been embroiled in a serious continuity case regarding backup tape management and the proper disposal of sensitive information. Now it seems that backup tape tools have retained much of this content, if not all of it, thanks to offsite tape storage assets.

The Hill reported that someone inside the Obama administration has admitted that the missing Lerner emails are recoverable, with offsite backups housing much of the missing content. The problem is, these documents were reported as unsearchable simply because the tax agency’s lack of organization made it too cumbersome a process to retrieve the necessary files.

This isn’t some previously unknown system issue, either. The source noted that the hardware wherein the emails in question are stored is the same that commissioner John Koskinen had discussed several times before Congress already. What’s troubling is the lack of proper accountability and storage processes, which are becoming increasingly important in other fields, seem to be slipping through the cracks at the highest levels. As this case shows however, federal agencies are no exception to compliance rules.

Proper backup tape management like that offered by B&L’s Vertices could easily have helped the IRS avoid such a public disclosure and legal problem. The software acts by creating a centralized control point, boosting efficiency while lowering cost.

What’s more, Vertices allows for ease of tape tracking and site-to-site media control. This helps make recycling, maintenance and content oversight far easier to administer. In the case of the IRS, such a solution could have helped with recall of required files in order to meet federal eDiscovery demands. This serves as a lesson to public and private organizations of all kinds how damaging lack of offsite backup tape storage can be.

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