Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kroll Ontrack survey reveals a high percentage of corporate data loss that is rectified ineffectively

Minneapolis – January 19, 2010 – Seventy-four percent of organizations experienced a data loss incident at their workplace in the last two years. This is one of the key findings of a new survey launched in North America today by Kroll Ontrack® the leading provider of data recovery and legal technologies products and services.

The problem of data loss—defined by the survey as unforeseen loss of data or information due to viruses, natural disasters, accidental deletion, system crashes, corruption or hardware failure—is one that is not only experienced regularly, but often recovered from inadequately. In fact, when asked about their organization's ability to respond to data loss, 41 percent claim response was "poor." Furthermore, 32 percent of organizations take several days to recover from a data loss and a further 16 percent never recovered.

"Time is of the essence when data loss occurs," said Todd Johnson, vice president of Ontrack® Data Recovery operations, Kroll Ontrack. "In significant data loss cases, hours of downtime can cost an organization millions of dollars. Consequently, a sound disaster recovery or business continuity plan with specifics on how data will be restored needs to be determined."

To recover from data loss, 32 percent use data recovery software and 29 percent recreate lost data manually. Only 21 percent indicated using a backup to restore lost data. This is surprising given that nearly half (44 percent) of organizations back up organization data at least once a day and a further 50 percent are testing those backups as often as once a month.

"The way and time taken to recover from data loss not only affects customer confidence, but can also result in high, unforeseen business investments such as lost staff productivity, overtime, diverted resources and delays in responding to other issues. Furthermore, data loss may also affect a company's ability to comply with regulatory requirements regarding the security, retention and protection of important information. Failure to meet these requirements can result in heavy fines," added Johnson.

The survey also revealed that company backup procedures are not keeping pace with changes in IT management. Only 48 percent of companies reviewed their disaster recovery and business continuity plans in the last 12 months.

"New technologies, such as virtualization and cloud computing, have changed the way data is recovered," said Johnson. "If a company's backup system fails to address these changes, it may be more difficult and expensive to recover when the inevitable occurs."

In addition to system failure, data is at risk when end-of-lifecycle or redistributed computer hardware is not completely and securely erased. However, the survey found that a quarter of companies had no formal policy for erasing sensitive data, which means the majority of organizations are destroying their sensitive information systematically.

"When it comes to protecting sensitive electronic information, creating a clear data disposal policy is equally important to having a solid disaster recovery or business continuity plan. Using a proven data erasure software product or hardware tool will go a long way in ensuring critical information does not fall into the wrong hands," concluded Johnson.

This survey, conducted in October through December 2009, asked 839 respondents about their views and experiences related to data management.

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

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 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 do-it-yourself, remote and in-lab capabilities.

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, paper and electronic discovery, document review, computer forensics, secure information services, ESI and jury consulting, and trial presentation services. Kroll Ontrack is the 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.