Dispelling data recovery myths — C.K. Lee
JUNE 18 — According to research company IDC’s Digital Universe study last year, the amount of data in the world doubles each year.
By the end of this year, it will exceed 1.8 zettabytes (one zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes). Due to the sheer volume produced, the risk of loss is bigger. An average of one in 1,000 computers is affected, and cases are increasing.
No data is truly protected — the risk of hardware failure, human error, viruses and natural disasters is imminent.
More and more businesses are recognising the importance of backing up their data. However, many are often unaware of the correct processes and have preconceived notions about data recovery.
These myths include cost concerns and basic misunderstandings about personal devices and data security, leading to ill-informed decisions that hinder companies from successful recovery of lost or damaged data.
Disruption because of data loss affects productivity. In fact, an average of nearly US$145,000 (RM444,000) per hour is lost due to business downtime, according to a 2011 Forrester-DRJ Survey.
To help prevent this and to avoid businesses spending on overpriced and unsuccessful data recoveries, here are some of the most common recovery myths encountered:
1. The most inexpensive data recovery quote will result in the same outcome as other options.
Reality: There are a variety of low-cost providers offering flat-rate recovery solutions. The fee they charge goes up as the recovery progresses, with hidden costs.
As the amount of time, difficulty and spare parts associated with the recovery increases, so does the cost, making it more expensive in the long run.
2. My organisation has never experienced a significant data loss, so we do not need a data recovery plan.
Reality: Unfortunately, having a backup system in place is not a foolproof guarantee that any data will be secure in the event of a crisis. Despite best efforts to prevent disasters with a backup system, data loss still happens.
Accidental deletions of files, overwritten data, the reinstalling of software and device upgrades are common risks faced when relying solely on a backup system.
3. If data loss ensues, my IT department can handle it.
Reality: Few organisations are prepared for the worst, so when data loss occurs, everyone looks to the IT department.
However, not every company has the staff or depth of data recovery expertise to address the recovery, which impacts the speed and quality of the recovery. Furthermore, not every organisation has a data recovery plan in place.
4. Data recovery is not possible in some situations and for some technologies.
Reality: A good recovery provider should be able to scale its offerings to handle recoveries regardless of size, hardware or operating system.
It is critical to seek out a provider that has expertise in both large and small recoveries from complex databases, virtual systems and even encrypted data, as well as newer mediums such as flash and solid-state-drive (SSD) devices.
Additionally, a provider that offers a variety of products and services to fit your budget will increase the likelihood of a favourable outcome.
5. Due to the nature of their business, all data recovery companies know how to keep my data safe.
Reality: Data security is a key concern in the recovery process. Not every provider adheres to the same security protocols, so it is crucial that providers show transparency in their policies and processes.
Typical security standards include a strict information security policy and a comprehensive annual SAS 70 Type II certification.
Organisations should also ensure that the chosen provider has a secure ISO-5/Class 100 cleanroom environment and is authorised by both private and government entities to handle highly sensitive information. Furthermore, it is essential that the provider can recover encrypted data and return it in its original form.
All data is invaluable and there is no easy or instant way to retrieve or even prevent data loss.
Considering that an estimated 25 per cent of computer users worldwide experience data loss every year, it is critical that companies consider proactively choosing a trusted data recovery provider. It is important to remember that data loss is never a lost cause. — Today
* C.K. Lee is country manager of Kroll Ontrack Singapore, which provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers manage, recover, search, analyse, produce and present data efficiently and cost-effectively.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.