Quantum has introduced a DLT Sage Tape Security product for its tape drives and automation products. It answers to customer concerns about tape contents security. The new product is the third piece in Quantum's four layer security concept.

Recent tape losses by companies such as Citigroup and Iron Mountain have raised concerns about the possibility of the illegitimate reading of data from tapes. Quantum is trying to address these concerns by adding functions to its products so that:

1. Locks on devices help prevent unauthorised physical access.
2. Administrator access is moderated by user authentication procedures and role-based access rights.
3. (Backup) application access is moderated by electronic keys in new DLT Sage Tape Security firmware fitted to Quantum DLT4 drives and devices.
4. Tape cartridge contents can be completely encrypted through a partnership with NetAp's Decru unit and use of its DataFort in-line encryption appliance.

The electronic key can be managed at the individual tape drive level, using Quantum’s DLTSage management product. Alternatively it can be managed by a host backup application or through the management console from which Quantum’s tape autoloaders and libraries are managed.

The new firmware will be available at no additional cost as an integrated feature in Quantum’s upcoming new DLT-S4 super drive. It is also fitted to the recently introduced DLT-V4 value line tape drive. There is a firmware upgrade coming for existing DLT-V4 customers.

DLTSage Tape Security will also be supported at no additional cost across Quantum’s tape automation portfolio.

Other companies, such as DIS UK are already claiming that encryption is the only certain way to safeguard tape contents. Quantum intends to add encryption and security management facilities directly into its drives in the future.