Air Gapped Data Storage

The What and Why of Air-Gapped Data Storage

Most organizations today utilize some form of cloud-based applications for data retention, backups, or even day-to-day operations. Cloud computing options are many and varied. Utilizing cloud services is an easy pick for many reasons; it is easy to deploy, somewhat inexpensive to implement, and can take the weight off limited IT staff. There are some drawbacks, though, and these are not always obvious.

Cloud computing isn’t magic, it’s just creative, long-distance network architecture. Your services, applications, programs, or files still reside on a server somewhere. It’s just someone else’s server, in a location or locations unknown. Cloud data storage fees can get expensive fast as well. You’re always adding data, so the fees are always on the rise.
The biggest problem, though, may be the architecture itself. Even with end-to-end encryption, firewalls, filters, and access controls, the fact remains that by their very nature, cloud services are connected to the internet, and the internet is a very dangerous place indeed, especially if you are not in control of your information assets at all times. Some agreements even specify that you give up your exclusive claim to your own data (Data Sovereignty) in exchange for use of the services which also serves to limit the liability of the hosting company in the event of a data loss or breach.

Data breaches and ransomware attacks are all over the news, each and every day. Why put all your eggs in that shaky basket? Chances are, much of the data and information you entrust to the cloud doesn’t even need to be there in the first place.
InfoSafe has the answer: “Air-Gapped” data storage, also known as “Digital Cold Storage” in the cryptocurrency and NFT realm. It’s a very simple concept; you just make sure that whatever media your data is stored in or on is not connected to the Internet and cannot be inadvertently or readily connected to it. USB “thumb” or “flash” drives are obviously simple to “plug and play”, which means they are also not as secure as other, more robust options (and they can also be easily misplaced).

Another key element of a secure data storage plan is to keep your vital information assets physically separated from your immediate work or home environment, but accessible when needed.

InfoSafe has been using LTO magnetic tape for data storage for almost 20 years. It is extremely robust and secure, and dimes to dollars in cost compared to cloud storage, guaranteeing an ROI to your bottom line. Modern tapes can hold multiple Terabytes of data on a single tape for 30 years or more when properly stored (as in our Firelock® fire-proof vault).

Air-gapping your data from the Internet is an ideal way to protect it from prying eyes and bad actors. From R&D, client lists, and other business data to cryptocurrency, if it’s worth keeping, it’s worth keeping your Info Safe.

About the classification and rating of Vault Chambers

Fireproof vaults are classified in terms of an interior temperature limit and a time in hours. Three temperature limits are employed:

  • 350°F (177°C)
  • 150°F (66°C)
  • 125°F (52°C)

Fire test ratings are given as 4, 3, 2, 1 or 1/2 hour durations. The complete rating indicates that the specified interior temperature limit is not exceeded when the device is exposed to the standard fire test for the given length of time.

The classifications of 150°F (66°C) and 125°F (52°C) further require that interior relative humidity of 85 and 80 percent, respectively, cannot to be exceeded during the fire test and cool down period.

After a five-hour endurance test to 2,070°F, the FIRELOCK® vault is immediately exposed to high-pressure fire hose spray to ensure the vault is capable of withstanding not only heat but the fire fighting effects as well

To learn more about Firelock®, visit their website:

*Reference: UL 72 tests for fire resistance of records protection equipment. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories of Northbrook, Illinois, a Standard Testing Laboratory.