Data recovery is a process that involves retrieving inaccessible data from damaged or corrupted storage, files, or media. Data recovery is becoming increasingly important as people’s dependence on technology becomes more prevalent.
Data recovery is an essential service we provide to individuals and corporations and is an integral part of our Digital Forensic investigations. Aside from failure or mistakes, Ransomware, a malware program that often leads to unpaid ransom or paid ransoms with no recovery, is becoming more prevalent and is targeting hospital systems for their secure data. In these cases, data backups are critical to recovering data.
Most Common Causes of Data Loss
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This blog would not exist if everyone performed regular data backups. However, this is not the case and can lead to devastating consequences, the most notable being data loss.
It has happened to many of us. The anguish experienced after losing a precious family photo or critical document due to computer failure, malware, or mistake. However, all is not lost in many of these situations where data seems to become inaccessible. When you work with an expert data recovery service, such as IT Acceleration, you may be able to get back all you thought you lost. With that being said, it’s essential to know how exactly data becomes lost in the first place. Below are the most common causes of data loss.
Humans make mistakes every day, and when those mistakes have to do with data or anything digital, those mistakes can be extremely detrimental. Unfortunately, humans are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to data loss; some of the most common human errors include:
- overwriting important files
- deleting crucial information by accident
- accident hard drive damage
- liquid spills
- accepting unknown viruses
Human error can happen on one’s personal device or while he or she is at work; no matter the case, in order to recover any deleted data, one should seek professional data recovery assistance.
Software corruption should not be taken lightly. Software corruption can happen from power outages or other uncontrollable aspects of life; however, this issue can cause you to lose important data and files. This is because when software corruption occurs, the software may not be able to run again, meaning that you no longer have access to any stored data in the software.
To avoid software corruption, you should make sure that you are consistently saving your work, powering down your computer or device often, and closing out of any programs you are no longer using. These simple tasks reduce the risk of software corruption significantly.
Device theft is a significant issue when it comes to data loss. Device theft can happen on public transportation, in the office, on the streets, in a restaurant, etc. In addition to losing your device, you can lose all of your data stored on it and are at risk of a data breach. Theft is a major issue when company devices are stolen that hold secure and top-secret information.
All data must be stored in another secure location to best avoid theft. However, if it is not, the victim of theft must contact a data recovery service as soon as possible to restore valuable information and prevent the risk of a potential data breach.
Viruses can delete data instantly, whether that be personal or business data. Viruses often find their way onto a device from an email or a corrupted file or link. When the virus enters the device, data can be lost, damaged, or stolen, thus requiring an experienced digital forensic service to recover the data.
Hardware destruction is a kind of attack that destroys the physical computer. This kind of attack is often an extreme measure that a person will take to hide something, though it can sometimes occur unintentionally.
How Does Data Recovery Work?
There are two types of data recoveries: physical and logical. Depending on what kind of data was lost and how it was lost, will determine which type of data recovery an expert data recovery service will use. Below are descriptions of both logical and physical recoveries.
Logical Recovery – Windows
Windows computers maintain a Master File Table (MFT), a sort of card catalog system. The computer will not know where files reside if the MFT is corrupt. Additionally, the computer requires boot records to load the operating system. If the boot records become corrupt, then the computer will not boot. The file system itself is intact in most of these cases, allowing for data recovery.
As long as the device itself has no hardware issues, forensic tools and techniques will bypass the operating system to access data directly. This data recovery service can also recover user deleted files and is a critical component we perform in digital forensic investigations.
Physical Recovery – All Devices
A different approach is required for data recovery when a device experiences a mechanical failure or physical damage to the media itself. Typical hard drives are electromechanical devices that generate heat and are prone to failure. Component failures can include worn-out motors or internal damage that scratches the media.
In these cases, we utilize a clean-room approach to dismantle the drive in a controlled, dust-free environment without further jeopardizing the media’s integrity.
There are tools, both free and paid for, that individuals can attempt to run on their computers. They do require an installation of software, so the operating system must be operational. The success with these tools largely depends on what the tool is expected to perform on the device that has failed. Some of the hard drives we have received for recovery are in a worse state after running these tools. Our efforts become more challenging and, in some cases, are thwarted by the changes these tools make to devices. Proceed with caution.
Our recovery services have included devices such as hard drives, mobile phones and USB storage. The costs vary depending on the recovery’s complexity but range from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars.
What are the Limitations of Data Recovery?
Though IT companies such as IT Acceleration are skilled at recovering lost data, there are limitations to data recovery. The main limitations of data recovery can be found below:
- Retrieving data after severe physical damage to the data storage device
- Recovering data after an extended period of time can reduce the probability of retrieving all of the lost data
- Recovering data from a device that has damages on the magnetic area of the storage device
Contact IT Acceleration today to find out how we can help you recover any lost data.
How to Prevent Data Loss
It’s best to be proactive in preventing data loss, so it will be worth your while to know some of the best tactics to avoid data loss. Below is a short list of how to keep your data safe.
Control Employee Access
When it comes to protecting company data, you should limit what employees have access to. Only give employees access to what they absolutely need to complete a project. Avoid giving employees access to projects and expenses that includes confidential information. This is the best way to avoid losing data or becoming a victim of a data breach.
Managed Cloud Hosting
Managed cloud hosting is an outstanding way to keep data safe and secure. Managed cloud hosting allows organizations to share resources, including databases, and hardware/ software tools, across a network. The way this is done is with a remote network with multiple servers in another location. Using a cloud service means that if you lose physical data, there will be a backup on the cloud servers.
Use Anti-Virus Software
There are numerous anti-virus softwares to choose from to protect your data and keep your information safe. The purpose of anti-virus software is to protect your device from malware and cybercriminals. Anti-virus software protects your device by looking at data, files, web pages, and software and making sure there aren’t any potential threats. If the anti-virus software picks up on something suspicious, it will flag it and let you know before it has a chance to spread throughout your device.
Partition Your Hard Drive
Partitioning your hard drive refers to the act of separating your hard drive into multiple sections. When you partition your hard drive, the operating system will treat it as an independent drive. Partitioning your hard drive will save your data by separating valuable files, which will minimize the risk of corruption/data loss.
Keep Your Computers in a Safe Location
This is the easiest way to keep your data safe and to prevent it from being lost. Be sure to keep your computer or any other device in a safe place that is void of extreme temperatures and moisture. If you are keeping your computer somewhere, such as an office, make it a point to always lock the door before leaving. Furthermore, if you travel with your device, make sure it is stored safely in a briefcase or backpack so that it can not get stolen or damaged.