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Once information worth protecting is created or obtained, it needs to be stored somewhere. Different types of storage systems come with different security risks. The following chapters cover the various technologies available for securely storing information.

Key Points

  • Mankind creates and collects by nature, so mankind needs a place to put all of its stuff. People collect stuff they might need again at some point so they store it for later.
  • Security is critical to storage. The information stored may or may not be valuable to you at the moment, but it may be valuable to someone else at any time.
  • Data Storage systems have weaknesses that are independent of the systems they run on, the applications that access them, and the specific data they contain.
  • Many important digital storage systems were not designed with security in mind.


Several effective methods exist for storing information. When databases and traditional flatfile storage are combined with network file systems data can be stored and retrieved quickly over great distances. The following chapters explore how data is stored both locally and over networks:

  • Storage Media examines the physical devices that hold information.

  • Local File Systems describe structured environments established on a hard drive that enable it to store files.

  • Network File Systems shows how a central storage system that can be accessed over a network is convenient and efficient, but also creates a single point of failure.

  • Databases looks at systems that organize a collection of data so it can be easily accessed, queried, and updated.

  • XML (web bonus) explores the security issues surrounding XML data