What happens when you are working on a special document or project on the computer and your screen goes blank! Panic? No – get help!
The good news about a crash is that most data, in most situations, can be recovered. Some projects may require several days, or even weeks, but about 75 per cent of all assignments can be turned around in less than 48 hours and the average data recovery success rate is 85 per cent.
The bad news is that organizations can sometimes make matters worse by delaying their response in a crisis situation, or taking action that makes their data harder, or in a bad case, impossible to retrieve.
Sometimes people fail to recognize that any loss of data is an immediate and urgent problem. What if the hard drives on all the new computers start to fail or all the new software is corrupt?
But denial can carry a much higher price than inconvenience. The McGladrey and Pullen accounting firm says 43 per cent of those companies that experience a disaster in their data center never reopen and 29 per cent close within two years. The company estimates that this year, one out of every 500 data centers will have a severe disaster. Together, hardware or system malfunctions and human error account for three out of four outage incidents. The rest are due to software corruption, computer viruses and ‘physical’ disasters like fire and water damage.
Background On Backups
There would be less work for data recovery companies if existing backup technology and practices protected data adequately. Backups and redundant storage technologies can be a successful backup strategy for many companies. But unfortunately, of those who do back up their data, they could not restore the data from backups.
There is a long chain of assumptions in a backup procedure: the hardware is working properly; users know how to perform the backup; the backup software works; the media is actually capturing the data; and, the data being backed up is the right information. Any break in the chain creates a dangerous vulnerability.
When systems do break down, clients can turn to a data recovery solution. One of the most important tasks is creating a climate of trust. By the time we are called in, the seriousness of the situation can no longer be denied and relieving the psychological pressure is crucial. In some situations, the client has to make some choices. ‘Which data do you need first? Are you willing to sacrifice some data, or receive it a different file format from the original?’
Companies can reduce the risk by controlling three environments.
In the hardware environment, the organization should keep computers in clean, temperature-controlled, low-traffic areas to reduce accidents and equipment failures. Computers must be protected from power surges and backups stored in a safe, off-site location. Today’s magnetic storage media is becoming more vulnerable to Extraneous Static Discharge (ESD) damage so protect your system from static.
Check hard drives at least once a month, with software that alerts you to any problems. “New” noises like scraping and grinding noises are a signal to shut down the system immediately and call in an expert. They can mean serious damage. Running the drive could not only destroy it but all the data as well. Never use a hard drive or storage device that has been physically damaged in any way, or exposed to a harmful environment.
Control the software environment with regular, verified backups to make sure the right data is actually being stored. Scan for viruses with software updated at least four times a year and screen all incoming data. Always create “undo” disks when new software offers that choice, so you can reverse any changes. In the case of suspected electrical or mechanical drive failure, never use file recovery software, because it can make things worse.
Most importantly, create a human environment that creates awareness and responsibility. If data is critical to the success or even survival of your organization, make sure those directly responsible have the right tools and training, and make sure all your employees how important the data protection procedures and policies are to the business. They will be motivated to follow them.
Finally, when disaster does strike, recognize it, be decisive and get help quickly. The faster a data recovery service gets the assignment, the better you chances of getting back in business quickly