Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Surge in extreme summer weather results in higher instances of data loss and increase in data recovery activity

Minneapolis, MN – August 10, 2010 – Demand for data recovery services during the summer months continues to increase, according to Kroll Ontrack, the leading provider of information management, data recovery, and legal technology products and services,and this year is no exception. Average global temperatures from January to June 2010 were the warmest on record1 since 1880, as reported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). This warmer weather, in addition to summer storms and other major weather disasters, often leads to data loss incidents for businesses and consumers alike.

Based on global data from 2007 to 2009, Ontrack Data Recovery engineers report that requests for data recovery services increase an average of 12 percent from second to third quarter, during the months of June, July and August, confirming the seasonal affect on data loss. Specifically, from second to third quarter in 2007 and 2008, the number of data recovery jobs increased 13 percent and 8 percent, respectively. In 2009, the number of data recovery jobs increased further - a significant 14 percent from second to third quarter.

"While data loss can happen at any time, we have seen a distinct increase in demand for recovery services from second to third quarter, which coincides with the onset of the summer season as well as severe weather," said Jeff Pederson, manager of Ontrack Data Recovery engineering operations, Kroll Ontrack. "This summer, we have already seen an uptick in the number of jobs. While this may be tied to the recovering economy, the data seems to be trending in the same direction as previous years."

In determining the causes of data incidents during the summer season, Todd Johnson, vice president of Ontrack Data Recovery operations, Kroll Ontrack, says data loss can be attributed to a variety of factors. "Causes range from IT maintenance-related issues and gaps in IT processes to floods, hurricanes, and rolling blackouts and power outages caused by intense heat and higher usage of electricity and air conditioning," said Johnson. "Heavy storms and flooding are also significant causes of data loss. Over the past couple months, we've seen an influx of these types of jobs in particular."

Kroll Ontrack recently received multiple servers from a customer whose data center was affected by a local river flood. Water flooded the data center, destroying dozens of servers and hard drives. The disaster was compounded by the fact that the company hosted hundreds of virtual server machines, affecting the data of thousands of customers.

Fortunately, there are several simple steps that enterprise and home users can take to prevent this type of scenario, lessening the chances of a data loss related to extreme weather conditions in the summer.

Business Users:

  • Extreme heat can result in the premature failure of hard drives, while low humidity combined with dust in drought conditions can promote static electricity issues with electrical components. Adjust temperature and humidity control systems accordingly during changing weather conditions.
  • Ensure the continuity of IT processes and systems through appropriate training of all IT administrators, and plan for backup resources.
  • Conduct data backups regularly and often, and ensure backups and critical documents are stored offsite.
  • Consider uploading data to the cloud, which may protect customer data from natural disasters.

Home Users

  • Install a surge protector and get in the habit of turning off your desktop computer or laptop during a storm to avoid any power strikes or surges caused by lightning strikes.
  • Backup your data at least once a month or more often.
  • Move important files and information, such as personal documents and photos, to a USB drive.
  • Before leaving for vacation, turn off and unplug your laptop or desktop computer.
  • Keep your computer hard drive off the ground and in a cool, dry area to prevent overheating and water damage should flooding occur.

For more information about Kroll Ontrack and its Ontrack Data Recovery services and solutions, visit www.ontrackdatarecovery.com.

About Ontrack Data Recovery
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. Kroll Ontrack offers a free initial consultation for customers experiencing a data loss.

About Kroll Ontrack Inc.
Kroll Ontrack provides technology-driven services and software to help legal, corporate and government entities as well as consumers manage, 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, data destruction, 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.

1Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association; data as of July 15, 2010