Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kroll Ontrack survey reveals data storage practices are not in line with data storage policies

Minneapolis – Mar. 24, 2009 – While implementing data storage policies that mandate where company files are to be stored is a popular data-protection measure, employees are not necessarily complying, leaving organizations vulnerable to data loss. These are the results of a recent online survey* conducted by Kroll Ontrack®, the leading provider of Ontrack® Data Recovery solutions and legal technologies products and services.

Specifically, 40 percent of individuals surveyed stated that their respective company has a policy regarding where data should be stored. However, the survey results also revealed that 61 percent of respondents "usually" save to a local drive instead of a company network. The risks associated with saving to a local drive could be minimized with an external backup drive or backup software; however, 44 percent of respondents said that their preferred storage location was not backed up.

"Saving to a local hard drive on a desktop or laptop more often than not contradicts data storage policies, which usually require employees to save to a network folder. Instating a guideline to save documents to a network better ensures the employee data is regularly backed up in accordance with company data retention procedures, reducing the chance of data loss," says Jeff Pederson, manager of operations for Ontrack Data Recovery, a business division of Kroll Ontrack. "With the majority of employees saving to unprotected, local drives, companies could be at risk for losing anything from project plans and spreadsheets to customer data and financial information."

Survey results confirm the findings reported by Kroll Fraud Solutions, a practice of the Background Screening division that guides organizations through a data breach and provides notification, consultation and restoration for individuals affected by the loss of personal information. "Employees are the wild cards in policies and procedures," comments Brian Lapidus, chief operating officer of the practice. "Companies must ensure that employees receive ongoing education to understand the risk of actions that do not follow the plan."

To help businesses avoid losing critical data, Ontrack Data Recovery specialists recommend that companies have a clear, well communicated data storage policy in place for their employees. Furthermore, companies should ensure that data recovery is included in their overall disaster recovery or business continuity plan. To this end, they should identify and partner with a data recovery provider that is able to quickly respond to any type of data loss scenario.

"This survey reveals that data storage polices do not necessarily safeguard a vast quantity of critical company data. This fact, coupled with the vast number of information-oriented regulations that have been enacted reinforces that companies need to be prepared to respond to data loss at the individual-employee level," added Pederson.

Through its Ontrack Data Recovery products and services, Kroll Ontrack is the largest, most experienced and technologically advanced provider of data recovery products and services worldwide. Using its hundreds of proprietary tools and techniques, Ontrack Data Recovery solutions help businesses and consumers recover lost or corrupted data from all types of operating systems and media and storage devices through its do-it-yourself, remote and in-lab capabilities.

For more information about Ontrack Data Recovery solutions, visit www.ontrackdatarecovery.com.

About Kroll Ontrack Inc.

Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers recover, search, analyze, produce and present data efficiently and cost-effectively. In addition to its award-winning suite of software, Kroll Ontrack provides data recovery, advanced search, paper and electronic discovery, computer forensics, ESI consulting, jury consulting, and presentation services. Kroll Ontrack is a technology services division of Kroll Inc., the global risk consulting company. For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its offerings please visit www.krollontrack.com; www.ontrackdatarecovery.com; www.engeniumsearch.com; www.trialgraphix.com.

* Kroll Ontrack surveyed 100 business professionals via an online questionnaire. Organizations varied by industry and size, with the largest percentage of respondents (45%) were from medium-sized organizations with 1,000 to 10,000 employees.