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ISO27001 and Hard Disks

15th March 2007

We all tend to take our hard disk drives very much for granted; they start each day and provide sterling service. With a little care and a bit of housekeeping such as defrag and cleanup.

A disk drive consists of disks of magnetic material spinning at relatively high speeds with a reading head flying less that the breadth of a human hair just above it. The smallest deviation will result in the reading head crashing into the magnetic disk with disastrous results. Add to this the mechanics and electronics of the thing, it is not surprising that ALL disk-drives will fail; yes 100% of them.

If you have been clever and have taken good backups of your data and have ensured that you have verified that the backup is good then you will have only a moderately bad time reinstalling the programs and settings etc. If you have been super efficient and have used a mirror raid system where the information on one disk is mirrored onto another, then you will have very little down-time.

The sad thing is that very few organisations have a full mirror set-up, not all organisations have a verified back-up and some organisations have no back-up at all. Irretrievable loss of all data can be very damaging, if not fatal, to an organisation.

ISO27001 Information Security Management Standard specifies the level that backup should take, the protection given to back up media and finally how redundant media is de-commissioned and disposed.

Don’t let short term gains result in data loss.

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