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DS4.9 - Offsite Backup Storage

This topic is intended to enable collaboration and sharing of information to facilitate a better understanding and approach to implementing this COBIT control objective based on the risk, value and guidance provided by its corresponding control practices.

COBIT Control Objective DS4.9 - Offsite Backup Storage is contained within Process Popup Ensure Continuous Service.

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Offsite Backup Storage

Store offsite all critical backup media, documentation and other IT resources necessary for IT recovery and business continuity plans. Determine the content of backup storage in collaboration between business process owners and IT personnel. Management of the offsite storage facility should respond to the data classification policy and the enterprise’s media storage practices. IT management should ensure that offsite arrangements are periodically assessed, at least annually, for content, environmental protection and security. Ensure compatibility of hardware and software to restore archived data, and periodically test and refresh archived data.

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Value Drivers

  • Availability of backup data in the event of physical destruction of hardware
  • Offsite data consistently managed throughout the organisation
  • Appropriate protection of offsite storage
  Risk Drivers
  • Unavailability of backup data and media due to missing documentation in offsite storage
  • Loss of data due to disaster
  • Accidental destruction of backup data
  • Inability to locate backup tapes when needed

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  1. Provide protection for data commensurate with the value and security classification, from the time they are taken offsite, while in transport to/from the organisation and at the storage location.
  2. Ensure that the backup facilities are not subject to the same risks (e.g., geography, weather, key service provider) as the primary site.
  3. Perform regular testing of:
    • The quality of the backups and media
    • The ability to meet the committed recovery time frame
  4. Ensure that the backups contain all data, programs and associated resources needed for recovery according to plan.
  5. Provide sufficient recovery instructions and adequate labelling of backup media.
  6. Maintain an inventory of all backups and backup media. Ensure inclusion of all departmental processing, if applicable.

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by Mike Van Stone, CISA, CISSP, CPA, and Ben Halpert
Ever-changing laws continue to increase the risk and cost of noncompliance when unintentional data losses occur.
Volume 1, 2018
by Ian Cooke, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, COBIT Assessor and Implementer, CFE, CPTE, DipFM, ITIL Foundation, Six Sigma Green Belt
Innovative technologies such as VMs and the cloud help the efficiency and effectiveness of backup and recovery plans, but they do not replace the need to plan, document, or test and test again.
Volume 1, 2018
by Mohammed J. Khan, CISA, CRISC, CIPM
To facilitate and administer the implementation of controls around the subject of big data, one must truly understand the concepts of deidentification, reidentification and anonymization.
Volume 1, 2018
by Adeniyi Akanni, Ph. D., CISA, CRISC, ITIL
This article describes a six-stage cycle of implementing big data in commercial banks, points out the major challenges in implementation and provides a suggested solution.
Volume 1, 2018
by Andrew Clark
With advances in computing power, the abundance of data storage and recent advances in algorithm design, machine learning is increasingly being utilized by corporations to...

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