What Can Star Wars Teach Us about Data Protection?

What Can Star Wars Teach Us about Data Protection?

By Chris Brunau

In celebration of Force Friday and all things Star Wars, let’s take another look at the world of backup and how they overlap.

As we highlighted on Star Wars Day this past May, the Tarkin Blunder taught us a lot about disaster planning.

  • Build a disaster response team (and listen to them)

  • Constantly self-assess your vulnerabilities (before someone else does)

  • Be prepared for Asymmetric threats (even the crazy ones)

The Death Star was exploited by a pretty simple flaw, as unlikely as it seemed to the Empire.

However, let’s focus on a different angle here, the Rebels.

In A New Hope, Princess Leia uploads data tapes containing the stolen plans in the memory banks of an Astromech droid, R2-D2. These plans, stolen by the Rebels, hold the digital blueprint of the Death Star, showing its vulnerabilities, giving the rebels one last chance to exploit the Empire and avoid total annihilation.

With the level of importance of this file, it may have been wise to have another copy, or at least not store it on a single droid.

The plans are almost lost forever in a few instances. When the escape pod launches, the Empire scans for life forms and assumes it is empty and doesn't shoot the pod, phew. What if they shot it just for good measure? The story would have been a lot different.

Next, on Tatooine, R2-D2 falls into the hands of the Jawas, and again, in significant danger.  He could have been damaged or sold into the wrong hands, foiling the mission.

Once Luke Skywalker and his uncle Owen purchase the droids, they originally intend to wipe the memories, again, another near miss. R2-D2 escapes to find his target, Obi-Wan Kenobi and is captured by Sand People, again almost destroying the rebels only shot at hope.

This theme is pretty common throughout the rest of the movie, until the plans finally find their way into the right hands, and allow the rebels to mount a successful attack.

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