How can I Protect my Data From an EMP Attack?

How can I Protect my Data From an EMP Attack?

Recent missile launches from North Korea have flown directly over Japanese territory and have many citizens on alert.  These activities have prompted the Japanese defense minister to consider the impact of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. This has caught the attention of local businesses who have contacted us about possible risk to data.

An EMP is intense burst of electromagnetic energy caused by an abrupt and rapid acceleration of charged particles.

According to the Japan Times, a nuclear device detonated 30km to 400 km above ground could disrupt nearly all types of electronics within range, including computers, power grids and communications systems.  Moreover, a blast at an altitude of 30km could have damaging affects of over 600km or most of the Japanese island of Honshu.

With that being said, planes may fall from the sky, trains may cease to run and a blackout may cover all of Tokyo, but how can I protect my data against such attack?

For smaller amounts of data optical storage such as DVD/Blu-Ray is suggested.  Hard disks are magnetic, but DVD/Blu-Ray are optical and can survive electromagnetic damage.

For larger data volumes, storing your data out of the proximity of the damage range would assure protection of your data (for example Tokyo – Okinawa).  In such an example you may not be able to access the data from within the damage range, but the off-site data store in Okinawa should be safe.

Lastly, you can certainly avoid the risk of EMP by going back to printing out important data and records for safe keeping!