What to Look For When Shopping for a Data Recovery Plan

Thursday, May 29, 2014 by John Riddell

Data loss is something that most people think will never happen to them, so why create a data recovery plan?  In my day to day activities as the Country Manager for our operations in Canada, I have the privilege of helping people through their darkest data days by recovering their data.

Some of the situations we recover from are as a result of the worst times someone can encounter. A house fire, a flood, dropping their computer or even frying a hard drive from a power surge.  Generally users do not think about needing a data recovery prior to actually needing it. and at that point many are frantic and really don’t know where to start to look to have their data rescued.

Developing a data recovery plan can help you know who to call should you have a failure of your media or storage system. Time is of the essence for recoveries whether it is lost personal photographs or data for organizations such as banks, hospitals and government institutions. Having a data recovery plan including the contact information of a trusted recovery company gets you on the road to recovery that much faster.

Many large data centers have relationships with service companies to keep them up and running 24/7. Part of your plan should be ensuring that part of a good disaster recovery protocol is to have a data recovery component. Who to call? How to get a hold of them 24/7? Also, make sure your service provider has a reliable source for this service.

Naturally, the first thing you would likely do is consult your favorite search engine and start clicking away. I know from experience that this can be a daunting adventure and likely more confusing. How can you tell who might recover your data over another company claiming to do the same thing!?

Some brief tips to help you separate the flashy sites making claims over what is really important to you.

1.  Be wary of companies that publish success rates on their front page of a website.

Every recovery is different in some form or another. Don’t expect that someone says they can recover 99% of data that it will happen with you.  Kroll Ontrack will perform an evaluation first before we start determining what is recoverable.

2.  Don’t be fooled by a recovery company that wants your money up front.

How can you pay for something that hasn’t been done yet? This is usually to front the recovery attempt to pay for parts with your money. A small evaluation fee is acceptable but make sure you’re told what you will get for that money. Kroll Ontrack’s evaluation fee provides  a complete listing of recoverable files and  an accurate quote. You know what can be recovered BEFORE you make a decision and pay the full recovery fee.

3.  Look for a customer service friendly operation

Your data is important to you. Make sure you know what’s happening to it throughout the recovery process. Do they have an online tracker of the progress of your recovery? Do they advertise a dedicated representative to your case so don’t receive different updates from different people when you call in for status?  Do they support live chat so you’re not troubled with having to call in when it’s not convenient? Many of these services demonstrate a company’s commitment to serving their customer and keeping them involved in the stressful process of getting lost data back.

Last, but not least, security. Does the best candidate offer data security and the protection of your sensitive information?

Make sure that your recovered data is secure.

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:

  • All employees complete pre-employment background checks and sign confidentiality agreements
  • Comprehensive Information/Data Security Policy
  • Full-time, in-house security staff and 24/7 real-time monitoring
  • Recovered data is returned encrypted

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. Kroll Ontrack 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.

Do the research and create a data recovery plan before you need it. Take the time to properly source a good company you can rely on should something happen rather than scramble in the heat of the moment and choose a poor candidate to perform what could be a one-time only attempt to get your data back.