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26 Jul 2006

Iron Mountain fire destroys archives

Valuable paper-based records archived in an Iron Mountain storage facility in East London have been lost in a huge fire. The storage warehouse was apparently "full of paper", such that the fire was expected to rage for a day or two. The cause of the fire was unknown (as of July 13th anyway). 

Naturally, Iron Mountain's more sensible customers will have taken the precaution of copying their valuable archive materials and storing them separately in diverse, well-protected and secured storage facilities - won't they? 

Remember this story when you are moving that vital database file to your archive tapes or CDs. If that is the only remaining copy, when it's gone it's gone.  Pfffffft.  Toast.

Iron Mountain's press release takes an admirably responsible position: "Iron Mountain already invests heavily and emphasises security as a normal operating principle. Due to the unknown cause of the fire at this time, we are taking extra precautions to supplement our current high level of security:
  • Increased security staff has been added to all London facilities;
  • Conducting an out of cycle review of background checks on personnel;
  • Auditing external agencies and internal security assessments; Re-issuing of vendor background checks;
  • Re-implementation of security awareness of all internal employees;
  • Performing an out-of-cycle inspection of all Iron Mountain vehicles." 
[That last one could be an obtuse reference to the possible cause of the fire, or perhaps to the fact that so many couriers seem to lose their valuable cargoes in transit]. 

Nevertheless, Iron Mountain's customers' misfortune is Iron Mountain's misfortune too. A lot more than just a pile of paper went up in smoke on July 12th.

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