4 November 2015

Kroll Ontrack reveals that liquid damage is leading cause of data loss for mobile phones

Epsom, 4 November 2015: Kroll Ontrack today launches its quarterly data loss index (DLI) revealing that more than one in five (21 per cent) data loss scenarios are due to storage devices appearing to be unrecognisable or undetected1. More than one in ten (12 per cent) experience data loss from corrupted files and around eight per cent lose data through accidental deletion.

More than two in five (41 per cent) cases of data loss for mobile devices are due to liquid damage. This makes it the leading cause of data loss for mobiles and tablets. This is different to the other devices in the index (laptops, external drives, servers and tapes) for which the majority of data loss scenarios are due to unrecognisable or undetected devices.

The index covers 1,164 individual disk assessments from across 47 countries between July and September 2015 and is developed from the analysis of anonymous data collected through Kroll Ontrack’s data recovery self-assessment tool.

More than half (57 per cent) data loss scenarios occur with hard disk drives (HDDs) and less than one in ten (8 per cent) occur with solid state drives (SSDs). While this has much to do with HDDs being more prevalent, it is worth noting that SSDs are more robust when they are dropped onto a hard surface – one of the top five common causes of data loss.

  Cause of data loss Percentage of respondents
1 Undetected or unrecognisable drive 21%
2 Corrupted device 12%
3 Deleted files 8%
4 Operating System error 8%
5 Device dropped 8%

Kroll Ontrack warns that those who face any type of data loss situation, whether it is through drops or accidental deletions, to take a step back and consider the options and information available to them before acting.

Paul Le Messurier, Programme and Operations Manager at Kroll Ontrack said: “Even with the rise of solid state drives in phones and tablets it’s important to note that HDDs make up the bulk of storage mediums in our world. As such, storage hardware on the whole is still delicate, especially when dropped or tinkered with by an amateur. Any attempt to retrieve data from a faulty device could lead to further data loss, an undetected device and warranty voidance.

“Users should do their research and seek advice before even thinking about repairing a device. If they don’t feel confident, users should get help from an expert.”

Kroll Ontrack’s DLI also highlights that around half (48 per cent) devices that have suffered data loss are laptops and almost a quarter (23 per cent) of data loss situations occur with users of flash and external drives. In the case of laptops this is not surprising as with the advantage of their mobility comes the risk of dropped or knocked hardware.

Kroll Ontrack’s unique self-assessment tool helps individuals carry out an initial check on their device and receive first line advice on what to do next. Scenarios cover damage caused by fire, liquid, physical knocks and malware/virus infection.  Following this initial assessment, users can choose whether or not to go ahead with Kroll Ontrack’s data recovery service.

Top five causes of data loss for Windows and Mac devices

  Windows   Mac
1 Undetected or unrecognisable drive 1 Undetected or unrecognisable drive
2 Corrupted device 2 Device not powering up
3 Noise related error 3 Operating system error
4 Device dropped 4 Liquid damage
5 Files accidentally deleted 5 Corrupted device

Notes to Editors

1 Analysis based on results of 1,164 users of the Data Recovery Self-Assessment tool  from 47 countries

About Kroll Ontrack Ltd.

Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers manage, recover, search, analyse, and produce data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, data destruction, electronic discovery and document review services. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit: Krollontrack.co.uk follow @KrollOntrackUK on Twitter or subscribe to the Kroll Ontrack Data Blog.

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Media Contacts

Judith Massey - Judith.Massey@citigatedr.co.uk
Amrit Nijjer:  amrit.nijjer@citigatedr.co.uk
+44 (0) 207 282 2803