Virtualization Technology News and Information
Crafting a Data Recovery Plan - Six Tips for Businesses of Any Size
Article Written by David Zimmerman, CEO and Founder of LC Technology 

The causes of corporate data loss can be everything from rising hurricane floodwaters seeping into the server room to an employee that introduces corrupting malware to the network. No matter the cause, it's vital for companies to have in place a plan to quickly recover any lost data so the business can continue with minimal interruption. Managing data recovery requires a careful assessment of current data needs and risks.

This first point may seem obvious, but it warrants mention that you should construct a formal written plan. Treat the plan as you would a "mission statement" doc or a marketing plan by giving it serious thought, and multiple revisions. You also want the buy-in and input from multiple departments from the plan, so everyone across the organization recognizes the importance of data protection. The very act of creating the plan can also uncover some poor processes or even new opportunities. Perhaps there's a subset of data which marketing or sales didn't know about that would allow them to reach customers in a new way. Or the logistics and shipping departments might find they're performing unnecessary steps due to the revelations found in the data.

Here are some tips for crafting a complete recovery plan that includes best practices.

1.    Identify the Existing (and future) Data Sources.

The plan should detail the type and "location" of all current data sources, whether they are coming from the BI platform, CRM, sales data, financials, or customer survey inputs. You can only protect the data that is known and readily available, so conduct a full accounting of all data sources. The plan should include a breakdown of all of these sources, including how/when the data is generated, how frequently it's updated, and where it is currently stored.

2.    Detail data responsibilities.

A recovery plan should denote the role each employee has in terms of protecting the company's data. Some staff members will of course have a more involved role than others. For example, the IT director will oversee all of the data and its storage, while a marketing associate will need to watch how they disseminate and store company data. Each person's role should be detailed in the recovery plan, along with what steps will be taken if that person leaves the position.

3.    Access the Risks and Plan Accordingly

The risks for data loss or corruption should be examined and put into the recovery plan. How at risk is your company for accidental deletion of files or website data? Review any electrical, hardware, or software risks, or the chances of fire or other natural disasters. It's impossible to eliminate all risks, but they can be substantially mitigated in order to greatly reduce the need for future data recovery. Look at each type of risk and determine how your company would handle downtime, how it would currently recover any lost files, and most importantly how you can plan to improve the situation.

4.    Determine the Routes of Recovery

The recovery plan should naturally detail how you will recover any lost or corrupted data. Start at the current day baseline, and then see what best practices you can put in place to improve recovery time or even the chances of successful recovery. Perhaps the company's backup procedures are lacking, and the recovery plan should include a guide for using redundant cloud storage. Recovery of mission critical data is easy through the cloud, so consider creating "backups of the backups" by using multiple reputable cloud providers to backup all data sources.

5.    Put in Place Access Controls

IT should set access controls and access monitoring across the organization to manage data's usage among staff and any third-party vendors. Firms can avoid time-consuming and costly recovery measures if they practice access control and real-time monitoring that can spot and stop any unauthorized or ill-advised data usage. Setting an access control policy correctly means ensuring staff can use the data needed for their role, but not have access beyond that point. For example, the individual running email campaigns will need email and name data, but they don't need to access customers' financial records. Monitoring solutions can detect instances where previously terminated employees try to use their login credentials, or cases where staff try to copy or share restricted data.

6.    Use Specialized Recovery Tools

If a single machine contains data and is damaged or corrupted, then you need to bring in expert recovery help. Your recovery plan should contain the name and contact information of a data recovery company that specializes in multiple types of hardware and software recovery scenarios. Do the leg work on the front end to find a company with a stellar reputation, a clean-room environment, and the personnel expertise to work on everything from a corrupted SD card to a hard drive exposed to flood waters.

Taken together, these six tips and best practices can provide companies with a data recovery roadmap. By acting proactively, companies can safeguard their data with access controls and cloud backups in order to reduce the need for recovery.


About the Author

David Zimmerman has been in the hardware/software industry for over 30 years, specifically in the data recovery software market for 20 years. During this period, he has been involved in the creation; marketing and support of the earlier drive recovery software products to enter the PC market and successfully marketed them both nationally and internationally. His company makes data recovery products for most of his competitors. His experience in the market has made him uniquely familiar with the data recovery business.

 LC Technology International, Inc. ( is a global leader in data recovery, file system utilities and data security technology. Clients include original equipment manufacturers, local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, corporate security specialists and IT consultants, among others. Available worldwide and published in more than 24 different languages, LC Technology products are available direct or through several major manufacturers of flash memory products. Founded in 1997, LC Technology is based in Clearwater, Florida.

Published Thursday, May 10, 2018 7:35 AM by David Marshall
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