The History of Vaults

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Vaults through the Ages


The Evolution of Vaults

Vaults are lockable enclosures that protect valuables against damage, theft or intrusion. For the first two thousand years, vaults were more intimidating than protective. They were mostly highly decorated boxes secured by an easily defeated lock. In ancient Egypt, locks were made of wood and vulnerable to forceful entry and the effects of age. With the advent of iron, locks became smaller and more reliable but were still easily picked. In the Middle Ages, the wooden box was reinforced by iron bands but still used ineffective locks. By the seventeen hundreds, locks were made more complicated in an effort to make them more effective; featuring elaborate keys, multiple locks, fake and hidden locks and other techniques — but vaults were still vulnerable to fire.

The introduction of steel ushered in a revolution in vault security and vaults became much more effective. Fire and chemical resistant, modern vaults often feature walls more than 15 inches thick encased in reinforced concrete and secured by the most complicated locking mechanisms ever devised. Some are designed to take 20 hours or more to break into. One vault in Hiroshima even survived a nuclear blast.

The Importance of Data Vaults

Today, information is often as valuable – sometimes more so — than the precious metals, currency and paper securities vaults were originally built to protect. Keeping information, or data, safe requires a much different sort of vault. Instead of thick walls of steel and concrete, data vaults require effective firewalls to keep intruders out. Instead of complicated mechanical locks, they require impenetrable encryption technologies to keep their contents from being stolen. Protecting information from destruction by fire or natural disaster lies in remote backup storage systems, not in concrete and steel.

Although data vaults look and work very differently than traditional vaults, they still serve the same function — keeping valuables secure against theft or damage – and nobody does it better than Global Data Vault. We can capture and secure information as it is generated anywhere in the world and protect it in multiple sites with state of the art encryption and firewall technologies in real time. That’s along way from a wooden box with a wooden lock.


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