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Reality: Claiming to provide world-class results and achieving them are two very different things. When choosing a data recovery provider, small and medium businesses should be most concerned that they can recover data based on the device and scenario surrounding the data loss.
At a minimum, it is critical to verify that a data recovery provider:
Anyone can claim to provide data recovery services. Ensure that your provider has:
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: A provider that invests in data recovery software, tools and processes will best be able to provide world-class results. An expert provider thoroughly invests in its research and development for data recovery from complex storage environments, as well as offers DIY software capabilities for the greatest service flexibility.
They should also possess:
Reality: Not true. Manufacturers want to get your business running as quickly as possible and in many cases will presume you have an available backup for your critical data. Moreover, many manufacturers only support the most recent generation of a system or device; devices that are out of warranty are not usually supported. In addition, while the manufacturer might know its device well, they are generally not experts in data loss corruption and specialized data recovery techniques. For complex recoveries, the recovery may require specialized expertise beyond that particular manufacturers system or device. (I.e. operating system, application, database, backup platform, NAS, SAN system, encryption and/or virtualized environments, etc.)
When selecting a data recovery provider, it’s critical to make sure they:
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Manufacturers are experts in providing quality systems and devices; not necessarily data recovery services or data recovery from thousands of different file, data structures and formats available. It’s important to choose a provider that ensures your product warranty stays intact and offers a variety of service options such as, in-lab and do-it-yourself (DIY) data recovery. Kroll Ontrack has proprietary data recovery tools and techniques as well as the capability to quickly develop solutions to recover data from legacy or new computer systems and devices. We offer a range of service options, including DIY software, and are authorized by all major hardware device manufacturers to maintain warranties.
Reality: Implementing a proactive data loss plan is like having an insurance policy for your business. Data loss can occur in any business system as a result of corruption, human error and hardware or software failure. One Gartner study determined that at least 25% of computer users worldwide experience data loss every year; however, when estimating the risk level associated with data loss, there is an alarming inverse relationship between data loss perception and reality.
Consider this: Unplanned IT downtime for US businesses can cost $5,000 per minute, or $300,000 per hour 1. And even more alarming, companies with downtime lasting for more than ten days will never fully recover financially, with 50% out of business within five years 2.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Data loss is an expensive issue that can affect any organization, and with the alarming cost of downtime and devastating results, this is a critical area that should not be overlooked.
Fortunately, there are a variety of service methods available to help assess and recover data, but being proactive about developing a plan in advance is the safest bet to ensure that the loss is minimal.
When choosing a provider, it is critical to:
Reality: Unfortunately, having a backup system in place is not a fool-proof guarantee that your data will be secure in the event of a crisis. Moreover, many backups are not real-time and some of your critical data may not have been included in the backup before the data loss occurred. You also may not be able to access archived data due to the use of various file formats and numerous operating system updates.
Successful organizations realize the impact a data loss can have on their business, especially when they realize that their contingency plans aren’t current or are damaged. Determining the financial impact of a business disruption is difficult because there are both tangible and intangible factors, including:
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Data loss is a common occurrence with production and backup storage systems. Successful organizations realize the criticality of their data and proactively plan ahead with a data recovery provider as part of those plans.
When choosing a provider, it is important to:
Reality: Recoveries from SSD’s are on the rise and this trend has introduced new challenges in data recovery since these situations can be far more complex than hard drive recoveries due to:
Additionally, industry standards for data layout and organization on flash mediums are not yet fully established, often requiring custom recovery solutions based on the specific manufacturer and model of the device.
When choosing a data recovery provider, it is critical they possess:
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: SSD/flash recoveries are extremely different than traditional hard drive recoveries and introduce challenges that not all data recovery providers can overcome. Ensure your data recovery provider is up to the challenge. Kroll Ontrack has been recovering from SSD media since 1995, and just introduced unique capabilities that dramatically shorten the recovery time to less than a quarter of the time typically required.
Reality: If the price seems too good to be true, be wary and make sure you fully understand what is included in that price as it may be the starting price. The actual price for data recovery is dependent on a variety of factors, including:
Too often, small and medium businesses fall prey to the low cost offers due to budget constraints. But when faced with data loss, keep your business (and pocketbook) safe by reading the fine print and being your own advocate.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is; don’t get stuck paying for something you don’t receive.
To determine the right recovery method for you and your budget make sure you choose a transparent recovery provider that offers a free data consultation and lets you speak directly with a data recovery engineer. Kroll Ontrack does this for every case.
Also, providers that truly value their customers will ensure their satisfaction by offering post-recovery support, such as:
Reality: Not necessarily. Once you give your damaged drives to a recovery provider you are risking the loss of data that could have otherwise been recovered if they don’t perform the recovery appropriately. With that said, make sure to do your homework before you hand over valuable devices.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Thoroughly research your data recovery provider. Everyone prefers free services, but in the case of data recovery, this should raise a red flag. A proper and efficient data analysis requires time and careful consideration to determine what data is recoverable and what is not. Improper treatment of drives may actually destroy your chance for a recovery, so vendors who advertise free evaluations are often bundling a diagnostic fee into the end price.
Be wary of handing over valuable devices and information to a provider that doesn’t properly analyze your data or put consideration into determining what data is recoverable. Kroll Ontrack has a SAS 70 Type II Certification for data recovery services that ensure strict security protocols and processes are in place to protect your data while it is at our locations.
Reality: Considering that the number of computers impacted by data loss reached nearly 1.5 million last year1, the financial (not to the mention compliance and regulatory) impact on a small or medium size business can be devastating. By investing in a proactive data recovery plan, business leaders have the opportunity to not only protect their organizations, but save significant time and money in the long run.
When developing a data recovery plan, seek the guidance of a provider that has the knowledge to guide you through every type of data loss scenario and informational resources to educate you on data loss and recovery best practices.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: The alarming cost of downtime ($5,000 per minute – or $300,000 per hour for US businesses2) makes proactive data recovery a critical area that should not be overlooked.
Fortunately, some providers offer informational tools to assist customers with data loss preparedness. Kroll Ontrack offers educational workshops via its First Responder program, coupled with engineers who have over 1,400 years of combined data recovery experience.
Reality: Yes, there are a variety of low cost providers who simply throw up a website and claim to be world leaders in data recovery, making it easy to take advantage of the emotions at play when data loss happens. Often there is only one chance to recover data, so it pays to have the job done correctly the first time, and going with the cheapest option might eliminate your chances of recovery.
To ensure your recovery is done correctly, choose a provider with:
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Low cost doesn’t equal quality, and with the amount of data more than doubling each year, and subsequently the number of data loss cases, it is critical to ensure the recoverability of your data with a provider before signing an order. Kroll Ontrack has performed over 500,000 jobs and is the data recovery provider that other data recovery companies turn to. We also give you a list of recoverable files before you make a purchase decision so you can see what data is recoverable, and are available 24/7 with support in 15+ languages.
Reality: Due to the complexity of storage media and data loss incidences, not all data is recoverable and sensitive information can be lost forever. The causes of data loss vary from simple to catastrophic, and include 1:
The variety of data loss causes make recovery even more difficult as no two cases are the same. When choosing a data recovery provider, it is imperative to select one that possesses:
While some data recovery providers may tout cheap prices, you can’t put a value on sensitive or critical information.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: In an idyllic world, 100% of data would be easily recovered no matter how or where it was lost. Unfortunately, the complexities of storage media and data loss incidences create situations where data cannot be recovered all of the time. And while some data recovery providers may tout cheap prices, you can’t put a value on sensitive or critical information. Kroll Ontrack recovered over 99% of mission-critical data from a melted, crashed and burned drive from the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia as well as data from Desert Storm in Kuwait, the famous Michelangelo virus and after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, among others.
Reality: Regardless of the scope of your recovery, you must ensure your chosen data recovery provider meets the highest industry and government standards. Very few data recovery providers have SAS 70 Type II Certification, ISO-5/Class 100 cleanroom environments, certified engineers and proprietary tools to address specific or complex recovery needs.
SAS 70 Type II Certification minimally should cover data/network/physical security, data handling, engineering processes and staffing standards. A number of key attributes include:
Additionally, it is important that providers are authorized to handle highly sensitive data and adhere to US government protocols to ensure that your data never falls into the wrong hands.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer Before choosing a data recovery provider, consider if you want to take the risk of losing data that could’ve otherwise been restored or risk your data falling into the wrong hands. Ensure your provider takes the necessary precautionary measures to properly protect your data. Kroll Ontrack performs all data recoveries in an ISO-5/Class 100 cleanroom environment and maintains an annual SAS 70 Type II Certification that ensure strict standards for security, processes and staffing. Moreover, a comprehensive Information Security Policy is in place that covers all access control, data handling and data security protocols/standards.
Reality: Surprise! Most data recovery providers won’t let you talk to their data recovery engineers - in fact, many providers won’t even give you insight into what data is recoverable, so you end up purchasing a service method without having any control of what you’re actually getting back. Moreover, most providers force you to sort through any recovered data without post-recovery support, causing unforeseen headaches for IT, further consuming valuable resource time and the inability for IT administrators to ask valuable questions or report back to management.
When choosing a data recovery provider, it is critical to ensure:
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: If your data recovery provider won’t give you access to the actual engineer working on your data loss, run – don’t walk, and find one that will. In most cases, you only have one shot at getting your data recovered before it’s permanently lost; be your own advocate and insist on getting apprised of the data loss process and how to migrate recovered data back into your environment when the recovery is complete. Kroll Ontrack customers speak to our data recovery engineers and we keep customers apprised of their recovery via a secure, online portal where they are able view the status of their recovery in real time.
Reality: Industry analysts from Gartner and IDC claim that 30 to 40% of all IT staffs either have no data recovery plan in place or don’t know how to correctly use it. Moreover, not every small and medium business has dedicated staff or the resources set aside to attend to the wide variety of recovery projects their organization may face, impacting the speed and quality of the process.
IT staff are skilled experts in architecting, installing, maintaining and backing up your critical systems. In some cases where the hardware is still properly functioning, commercially available data recovery tools can be successfully used by IT staff to recover lost data, however data recovery is a highly specialized skill set specifically addressing complex corruptions within storage devices, operating systems and file structures.
Additionally, many data loss situations require the use of an ISO-5/Class 100 cleanroom environment.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Roughly 68% of IT staffs report that managing data across physical, cloud and virtual environments is the toughest test in disaster preparedness. Due to resource constraints across businesses of every size, IT staffs are often asked to do more with less, and they simply don’t have resources to handle recoveries without third party assistance.
Adding a data recovery provider to your data loss plan is the surest way to guarantee that your organization is up and running again quickly in the event of data loss, therefore minimizing the devastating financial impact that many businesses incur. Kroll Ontrack has over 1,400 years of combined data recovery experience and has performed more than 500,000 data recoveries since 1987. We also have 153,300 spare parts in our worldwide inventory to ensure you get your device back quickly. We operate in ISO-5/Class 100 cleanroom environments and complete an annual SAS 70 Type II Certification audit for data recovery services.
Reality: Data recovery is a problem that affects the entire organization, not just the IT department. Significant time, resources and money can be lost with even just a few hours of downtime, affecting everyone at every business level.
US businesses lose roughly $18.2 billion per year due to downtime 1, which is a problem that senior leadership needs to address to protect business assets and cut down on lost revenue. So if senior leadership is not aware of your recovery solutions or plans, they should be.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Data recovery is a business challenge and should not be reserved for IT personnel. Seek out a provider that never offers a “one-size-fits-all approach,” as this could cost your organization substantial time and resources in the event of data loss. Kroll Ontrack offers a variety of service levels and recovery methods, including priority service and do-it-yourself (DIY) software, among others.
Reality: Not every provider gives organizations the resources to make an informed decision about data recovery. A lot of information tends to be vague, so organizations often struggle with gaining clarity on what data they will actually get back, the quality of that data and the most cost-effective method of recovery.
Make sure your recovery provider offers:
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Organizations should choose a provider that offers transparency across every level of the recovery process, from the initial consultation to the status of your data during the recovery. We offer customers a free consultation and diagnostic report of their recoverable files, in addition to the status of their recovery in real-time via Ontrack® Online™. Why create more headaches with vague information or pay for a recovery when you don’t know what you’re getting back?
Reality: The ability to successfully recover data from databases or virtual systems is similar (and sometimes greater) when compared to hard drive recovery. As organizations are responsible for increasing amounts of data, many are moving to new database and cloud-based technologies. Therefore, it is critical to employ a recovery provider that has proprietary recovery technologies for these environments.
Additionally, since organizations are using encryption to protect sensitive information, it can increase the complexity of the process.
When choosing a recovery provider, ensure:
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Often times, the likelihood of a successful recovery from encrypted platforms is greater than from traditional hard drives. However, it is important to choose a provider that has continuously invested in research and development to create proprietary tool sets and processes for new storage technologies. Kroll Ontrack has proprietary encryption recovery tools and returns data in an encrypted format. Additionally, we offer do-it-yourself (DIY) software, on-site and exclusive patented remote data recovery services, among others, to provide you with the right solution for your specific data loss situation.
Reality: Just because data loss may occur on complex systems does not mean it’s permanently lost. Recovering data when the backup is redundant or corrupt is challenging, but an expert recover provider should be able to perform virtually any type of recovery and assist you in prioritizing the recovery strategy according to your most critical needs.
Additionally, your provider should be able to locate specific information on used areas of the drive as well as specified file types to ensure that all recoverable data is found.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Just like encrypted data, lost information on complex systems can be recovered if you rely on skilled engineers with the proper tools and processes to recover from virtually any storage and content type. Keeping these things in mind will allow you to make an informed and cost-effective decision when dealing with complex data loss. Kroll Ontrack recovers from every type of storage and content type. In fact, we are trusted by over 60,000 IT service providers worldwide for recovery services from complex, virtual, cloud-based, SSD/flash systems and more.
Reality: Many times a data recovery provider can access data much quicker than it would take an organization to access their backup files. For example, if an organization is backing up its data off-site or with tape, it can be very time consuming to obtain the data and extract the needed information - every minute costing money.
And let’s not forget that oftentimes backup media isn’t current or is corrupt. Properly preparing with sound backup protocols (tested regularly) and a data loss preparedness plan saves businesses valuable time and money.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Don’t make the mistake in believing that accessing backup files, if possible, will solve your data recovery needs. Many times it is much more timely and cost-effective for a data recovery provider to access these files and evaluate what data can be recovered.
When choosing a provider, organizations should ensure they can efficiently recover data with a variety of service levels and methods to minimize the overall loss. We offer numerous service levels and methods, including weekend and emergency, to accommodate every data loss situation.
Reality: A good data recovery provider employs dedicated engineering resources to complete jobs of all sizes, and offers multiple service options for recovering lost or inaccessible data from complex, virtual, cloud-based, SSD/flash systems and more.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Providers that offer unique solutions to fit the needs of its customers, both large and small, will ensure they receive the personalized care they deserve. Kroll Ontrack offers a variety of service options, including do-it-yourself (DIY) software for the greatest flexibility and support of its customers.
Reality: Many data recovery providers promise more than they can deliver when promoting their remote data recovery services. Too often, providers struggle with the size and scope of remote data loss situations and the customer is the one who ends up in a bind.
Remote data recovery, like any other recovery method, takes specialized skill sets and tools that not all providers possess. It’s critical to ensure that your chosen provider has demonstrated its ability to safely, quickly and effectively recover remote data.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Don’t put your organizations’ sensitive data at risk with a provider who claims they can recover data remotely; make them prove it. Choose one with experience and expertise to ensure your recovery goes smoothly. Kroll Ontrack is the first and only provider with a patented remote data recovery process. In fact, we were remotely recovering data back when Google.com first registered its domain in 1997.
Reality: You’d like to think so, but do your homework before assuming that every recovery provider has your organizations best interests in mind. Damaged data is bad enough, but losing it forever can be financially devastating. Make sure the provider you choose is trustworthy, authorized to handle highly sensitive information and adheres to US government protocols.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Many data recovery providers claim to have a strong commitment to trustworthy service and sound security, but do your homework ahead of time to protect yourself and your most valuable assets. Kroll Ontrack is authorized to handle highly sensitive information and adheres to US government protocols. We maintain SAS 70 Type II Certification for data recovery services that ensure security protocols and processes are in place to protect your data while it is at our locations.
Reality: No technology is completely safe from compromise and lost data can usually be recovered regardless of whether the hard drive has crashed or been damaged. It’s dangerous to assume that hidden or deleted information can’t be recovered – it can.
Ensure you choose a recovery provider with a long history of success and skilled engineers who will protect your recovered data. Verify that your provider has formal protocols and procedures in place to ensure the security of your personal information, including the following:
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Don’t assume that your data is safe just because you have a password installed. Choose a data recovery provider that can ensure the safety of your sensitive information, and returns it in an encrypted format. In just the past year, Kroll Ontrack has returned over 5 Petabytes of file data in an encrypted format. Additionally, we maintain an annual SAS 70 Type II Certification that ensures the strictest standards for data security, processes and staffing. Moreover, we employ a comprehensive Information Security Policy that covers all data handling and data security protocols/standards.
Reality: Data recovery providers must adhere to all internal security requirements through every step of the process, from the pre-recovery evaluation to shipping the recovered media back to the customer.
If your provider cannot prove its security protocols (both internal and external), immediately stop and choose one that can.
Verify that your provider has formal protocols and procedures in place to ensure the security of your personal information, including the following:
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: Your chosen provider should adhere to your organizations’ security requirements through all steps of the recovery process, not just during the actual recovery phase. Make sure the provider has a low incidence of security violations, ongoing security education for employees, exacting internal controls, sound physical security requirements and a strong commitment from senior management to maintain its security program. Kroll Ontrack maintains an annual SAS 70 Type II Certification that covers security, processes and staffing standards. A comprehensive Information Security Policy is in place that covers all access control, data handling and data security protocols/standards. We are also authorized to handle highly sensitive data and adhere to US government protocols.
Reality: Your data is critical to the success of your organization and any recovery provider that truly values you as a customer will give you transparency into the status and quality of the recoverable files. Your provider should have the necessary expertise in working with small and medium size organizations to protect your data and rapidly respond to data loss incidences.
When choosing a provider, it’s critical that they can show you where your data is 100% of the time.
Kroll Ontrack’s Answer: After the headaches of data loss, the last thing you need to worry about is where your data is going and if your organization will get it back. An expert provider understands the urgency of rapidly responding to all data loss incidences and gives you a deep understanding of where your data is and where it’s going. Kroll Ontrack offers secure software, remote recovery and in-lab services, among others, to provide you with the right solution for your specific data loss situation. We also give customers access to the status of their recovery in real-time via a secure, online portal.