Rogue One: The Empire Does Not Strike Back With Cyber Security

death star backup security
**Before Proceeding, Please Note There Are Spoilers That Follow

After multiple viewings of Rogue One, it’s fun to take into consideration exterior concepts of the story beyond just characters or plot continuity. Data breaches have become a large-scale concern for many, and before our eyes, we possibly saw the largest data heist ever.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is praised for an inventive approach and fearless directing. From a Managed Service Provider (MSP) perspective, one thing is clear: The Empire’s lack of faith in backup security is disturbing. Yes, Lord Vader and the Empire could still be at large today if it weren’t for their fallen end points and in-house processes failing.

Storing Data on Physical Hardware

Even though this story takes place “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” it’s ridiculous to believe the empire does not have a cloud-based superstructure employed for their data. An organization of that scale operating (trillions?) end-points spanning from the Outer-Rim territories to the forest moon of Endor and they’re still using tapes?

The mistake here is relying on physical space and hardware to store backup data instead of utilizing a cloud solution. Offsite redundancy across multiple sites would have made it so the Empire could simply delete their files at the Scarif database.

Their Encryption Was Bad and They Should Feel Bad

Hours and minutes after we see the shuttle leave with the stolen Death Star plans, the Rebel Alliance is already looking through the entire file. In compliant regulatory standards, encryption for this kind of information is mandatory. Even if the data is stolen, encryption could have prevented the Rebellion from extracting anything at all. Putting an end to their new hope.

No Firewall?!?!

 After the Alliance discovered they were not leaving the planet Scarif with a physical copy of the data, they audibled to plan B; Send the data through the Empire’s very own wireless transmission system. With a firewall in place, this would have made a wireless send extremely difficult for the Alliance.


Darth Vader boarding the Corellian Cruiser and Tarkin destroying Scarif can’t undo their death star quandary. Luke Skywalker said it best in the Return of the Jedi  “Your overconfidence is your weakness.” If only the Empire hired a virtual CIO to manage data backup and security, this story may have ended differently.