16 May 2006

Ontrack calls for citizen data protection priority

~ launches hotline to offer data recovery planning advice to local authorities ~

Untitled Document
16 May 2006

Ontrack calls for citizen data protection priority

~ launches hotline to offer data recovery planning advice to local authorities ~

Untitled Document

To help local authorities plan for all eventualities involving data loss, Ontrack Data Recovery has launched a free hotline specifically for IT teams - 0800 083 8022 - and is taking the issue to the highest level in government.

In a letter sent to John Suffolk, the government’s new Chief Information Officer, Phil Bridge of Ontrack Data Recovery, has urged the government to make data recovery plans an essential element of local government IT strategies, and allocate specific budget for contingency planning for citizen data.

The move to make all local government services accessible online means a huge volume of citizen information is now stored electronically. If a disaster recovery is not correctly dealt with, thousands of citizen records could be at risk, as well as causing massive disruption and expense to public services.

According to IDC’s January 2006 report, IT spending by local authorities across Europe will outpace spending by central government, growing at 6.2 percent - from $20.1bn last year to $25.5bn in 2009. However, as central government is increasing demanding cost efficiencies in line with the Gershon recommendations, fears are growing that contingency plans are being pushed to the bottom of the priority list.

The new hotline will put local authority IT managers in touch with data recovery specialists who can help with business continuity planning and provide simple steps to follow in case of data loss, including:

  • Pre-registering free of charge with a dedicated business development representative, so Ontrack is already aware of the information held and what needs to be recovered as a priority
  • Creating a preferred supplier programme which provides expert information to be used within business continuity plans and ensures a rapid data recovery to take place immediately after disaster has struck
  • Providing costing details to ensure more accurate budgeting for IT continuity plans in the future

Data loss can occur through hardware or software error, virus, natural disaster or even human error. Based on experience, Ontrack advises that the time and cost involved in recreating data far exceeds the cost and time involved in backing up data and planning thoroughly for data recovery as part of a larger-scale business continuity plan.

“The e-government initiative has been hugely successful but the public is still getting used to using online services,” said Phil Bridge, Ontrack Data Recovery. “Citizens need to feel that their personal information is protected and used securely. If data was to be lost and not recovered quickly and effectively, it could undo all of the progress the Government has made in one fell swoop. Our helpline is designed to take IT managers through the simple procedures that can be put in place to prevent data loss, and make sure business continuity plans include specific actions for data recovery.”

For further information about Ontrack Data Recovery, please contact Natalie Moroney at LEWIS, the PR agency
Telephone: +44 (0) 161 601 7740                             Fax: +44 (0) 161 601 7741
Email: nataliem@lewispr.com                                     www.lewispr.com