Tuesday, 22 July 2008 04:04

Kroll Ontrack Urges Mid-Year Data Management Resolution Review

Each year, millions of people make new year resolutions on how they would like to manage their data, from the memorable family photograph to the legally sensitive document, but few take stock mid-year to track their progress. At the same time, according to statistics from Kroll Ontrack, the leading provider of data recovery and legal technologies products, almost 90 per cent of data loss occurs due to human error, software failures, or mechanical failure.

To help businesses take stock, Kroll Ontrack® has launched a mid-year barometer checklist, enabling managers to breathe new life into long forgotten aspirations. The ten point list advises the following:

Quit Smoking. If a hard drive is producing a strange noise, grinding sound or even physically smoking, turn off your computer immediately and call an expert. Further operation may damage the hard drive beyond repair.

Get Organised – Carefully. One man tidied up his computer folders and inadvertently deleted the ones he meant to keep. He then cleaned his system, emptied the recycle bin and defragged the hard drive before realising his error. Ontrack was able to recover his data and he now triple-checks files before deleting them for good.

Secure Back-up Tapes. To increase security, back-up tapes may be encrypted, so if the tape is lost, sensitive information will still be protected. But there’s more that can be done to protect back-up files and other data in transit. Implementing exceptional security practices within an organisation means that shipping or offsite storage must be held to the same high-level security and operational standards to which the organisation holds itself. In some cases, corporate security, internal audit specialists or an independent third party can help by providing an assessment of the vendor’s physical and operational security practices.

Location, Location, Location. Know where your important customer data resides. Every company should engage in data flow mapping, which provides an objective basis for company managers to track information and understand who will have access to data while it stays within the company’s purview. The point is to create a “trail,” so that data doesn’t just proliferate randomly in different electronic nooks and corners of the company, where it can be accessed or stumbled upon by an opportunistic employee, contractor, freelancer or hacker.

Show Me The Evidence. Ensure that you collect evidence when there is any sense of a potential business risk arising. Failure to collect evidence in a forensically sound manner can make it impossible to pursue criminal charges or to seek virtual restitution. Having qualified computer forensic resources, either in-house or readily on call, should be a part of every company’s plan.

Testing Times. Recognise the risks of wireless data transmission by regularly testing to ensure that no one is running a rogue network, and that authorised wireless networks are properly protected.

Minimise Your Data Footprint. A company should only retain data that can be linked to a specific requirement of a necessary business process or obligation. Also, reduce the number of places data is stored. If there is no legitimate business need, companies should limit the number of electronic and hard-copy locations in which data is maintained. Re-evaluate your data minimisation before the end-of-the-year and use both internal audit and specialist external resources for this process.

Reduce Stress. According to a recent global data loss research study conducted by Ontrack, 20 per cent of the respondents will panic when they realise they have lost data. Having an established relationship with a data recovery company can help reduce your stress levels during data loss situations.

Help Others. Now you can help others by forwarding this information to your friends and family members to help them protect their data.

Carpe diem. Many companies are now planning for 2009, so it is never too early to think about how you could really make a difference in the way you manage your business data. Seize the moment and feel better for the effort!

“Complacency has no place when it comes to data management, which is risky business at the best of times. A mid-year data management re-think and a healthy dose of concerted action may be all it takes to ensure you are spending the end-of-year holiday season on the beach, rather than sharing the seafood platter with the server,” said Adrian Briscoe General Manager Asia Pacific, Kroll Ontrack.

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, analyse, 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, and trial 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.

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