Most of the computer security white papers in the Reading Room have been written by students seeking GIAC certification to fulfill part of their certification requirements and are provided by SANS as a resource to benefit the security community at large. SANS attempts to ensure the accuracy of information, but papers are published "as is". Errors or inconsistencies may exist or may be introduced over time as material becomes dated. If you suspect a serious error, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The sheer quantity of digital data, and the rate at which that data is growing, is almost beyond comprehension. This explosion of all things digital – recordings, graphics, documents, video, and other forms – has led to a staggering need to manage and account for that data. According to a report issued by EMC, the digital universe in 2007 was an overwhelming 281 exabytes in size (Gantz, et al.). Yet according to that same report, the digital universe is growing at such a phenomenal pace that by the year 2011, it will be 10 times the size it was in 2006 (Gantz, et al.)!