20 November 2008

Golden hour vital following data disasters

Kroll Ontrack identifies critical period

Kroll Ontrack identifies critical period

The majority of avoidable data damage occurs in the first sixty minutes after a failure, as users often attempt to open the casing, unsafely remove hardware or tamper with small but essential components.

In a large amount of cases, this "DIY data recovery" can prove fatal and render vital data irrecoverable. It can also cost companies dearly in terms of lost revenues and man-hours spent replicating the information – if this is even possible.

Dubbed the ‘golden hour’ by expert engineers at Kroll Ontrack, the world’s leading provider or data recovery, this timeframe is particularly important as it can make or break the chances of successful retrieval. It is often when people panic and try to rectify the damage, rather than thinking about the situation logically.

"Over the past five years, we have seen a four-fold increase in hardware that has been opened before it comes to us. The alternative scenario is a hard drive that has suffered some sort of failure and was carelessly handled," said Robert Winter, Chief Engineer of Data Recovery at Kroll Ontrack. "Sometimes the casing has been opened and exposed to the elements or dropped before it is sent to us or whilst in transit. Other common mistakes include drying out wet equipment on a radiator or cooling down over-heated hardware in a freezer – neither of which are successful ways of recovering data."

Worldwide, Kroll Ontrack conducts over 50,000 successful recoveries through its Ontrack® Data Recovery products and services each year. “The best advice is to leave a damaged device alone. Instead, take a step back and assess how valuable the information contained on the media is to yourself or your organisation,” suggested Winter.

"Then make an informed decision as to whether the best course of action is to send it away for recovery, or download specialist tools to ensure the best chance of success," he concluded.