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Fujifilm Updates on Dangers of 'Re-Certified' Tape Media [Professional Services Close - Up]
[July 27, 2014]

Fujifilm Updates on Dangers of 'Re-Certified' Tape Media [Professional Services Close - Up]

(Professional Services Close - Up Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Fujifilm Recording Media reported results from a study that finds "re-certified" tape media poses serious data security risks for those who sell their used tape stock to "re-certifiers" and poor performance for buyers that purchase from this market.

According to a company release, the joint analysis by Fujifilm and Ovation Data Services (OvationData) found that confidential data can be recovered through certain data recovery methods and can expose a wide range of data, be it personal, corporate, financial or healthcare records.

"Organizations that sell their used tape media must understand the inherent risk of having sensitive data out in the public or being maliciously used by third parties," said Peter Faulhaber, president, Fujifilm Recording Media U.S.A., Inc. "And for buyers of 're-certified' tape, users are very likely to experience unacceptable quality and performance issues." "It is astonishing to find that the LTO tapes were only quickly 'initialized,' and not completely overwritten or properly erased. We determined that no physical form of 'certification' appears to have been performed on the tapes other than writing of a single end-of- data marker at the beginning of tape," said Gregory Servos, president of OvationData. "This means that there was no writing or reading of test data to or from the tapes to check for potential errors or physical tape damage and that the existing data was not fully erased." Fujifilm said the study highlights the fact that there are no industry standards for "re-certifying" used media despite claims by "re-certifiers," so the quality and reliability of used media is questionable. Furthermore, the past handling and storage history of used media can never be ascertained, potentially exposing future users to risks.

In addition to the 48 used tapes containing user data, a number had significant quality issues. 16 tapes had unacceptably high read, write, and servo error rates, likely due to excessive wear and edge damage from mishandling or misaligned tape drives.

Additionally, one third of the tapes had manufacturing dates prior to June of 2006 according to OvationData, raising concerns about the tape's environmental exposure history.

Re-certified data tapes pose a serious data security concern for organizations because sensitive data can be accessible after resale. Any data retention policy that causes a company to fall out of regulatory compliance can result in severe penalties that can include fines or criminal charges.

Fujifilm recommends that organizations immediately review their media management policies from purchase to end-of-life and make sure to: -Enact policies that ensure control of data before, during and after it leaves your organization; -Prohibit the selling of used media to protect against potential breach of confidentiality or violation of government regulations; -Develop guidelines for confirming appropriate data deletion and destruction of retired media; -Specify "new, factory fresh" media when purchasing new media through a reseller. This will ensure that the media is not merely initialized or repackaged to appear as new.

Data media buyers also need to be aware of resellers that are repackaging used tape and selling them as "new" in counterfeited manufacturer packaging. These counterfeit products are sold to unsuspecting customers, usually via discount websites.

Fujifilm Recording Media U.S.A. is the US-based manufacturing, marketing and sales operations of professional broadcast video and data tape recording media for Fujifilm.

Fujifilm Holdings provides products based on a portfolio of digital, optical, fine chemical and thin film coating technologies.

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