What Considerations Need to be Made When Backing Up Encrypted Data

As we stated in previous posts on this Blog, the complexity of data is increasing. We have recognized and highlighted that business data is no longer of a traditional structured type.

Encrypted DataAnother consideration besides data type is when any of these many types of data are encrypted. Then the question arises “what needs to be done when encrypted data needs to be backed?”

As explained by IBM’s Technote FAQ, the Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) client makes no special provision for data on a machine that has been previously encrypted. From the perspective of Tivoli Storage Manager there is no difference between the encrypted data and plain text.

The Tivoli Storage Manager client configuration can be setup to encrypt its own data stream to the Tivoli Storage Manager server. In this case Tivoli Storage Manager will take the data as it exists on the client and encrypt it and store it in the Tivoli Storage Manager server in its own encrypted format. So, if the data has been previously encrypted, Tivoli Storage Manager will encrypt the data again using its own encryption method, and store this in the server. If it needs to be restored, Tivoli Storage Manager decrypts the data back to its original form. The third-party program will then be needed to decrypt that result and bring it back to its plain format.

There are special considerations that have to be made when encrypting data during the backup process to ensure the recovery is successful. For more details and special considerations, refer to the IBM’s Technote FAQ  or Backing up AIX encrypted files on this subject specific to TSM.

Salvus Data Consultants understand complex data issues. Salvus provides a unique data backup and recovery model by offering TSM remotely through the cloud for their clients while the data remains under the client’s control on the client’s servers and backup sites. If you have further questions on this subject, Salvus can be reached at 903-201-7233.