Quantum, one of the biggest suppliers of tape media and tape drives today, has developed a plan for securing tape medium, a problem that has needed an answer for a while. Tapes are still the most common backup solution in most business environments, and unlike hard drives screwed into a computer are unbelievably easy to steal (or so we should believe). Starting with “DLTSage Tape Security”, custom firmware for their cartridges will have a local key that will prevent reading or writing to the tape without the key. Apparently, existing DLT-V4 drives will be able to use the new technology with just a firmware upgrade once it is rolled out in 2006. Quantum is also looking to put native encryption on the tape itself, along with Quantum beginning to resell secure storage appliances. Combined, Quantum hopes to cut down on the fears of data theft, especially after recent incidents of large companies having tapes disappear.

"We used to look at adding more security, and there was no market demand for it," O'Malley said. "Now, we think this area is hotting up and that storage security will be one of the big themes for 2006."
Overall this is good news, and a long time in coming. Tapes are still very present, and in most businesses they only accumulate over time. With identity theft becoming more common, protection of data is more and more of a concern.