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Data Recovery Tips When Preparing For A Natural Disaster

Businesses need to prepare for any contingency including natural disasters. A disaster recovery plan and a business continuity plan should be on every business’ top “to-do” lists. Your business depends on three things; the accessibility of your documents, the security of your documents and the storage of your documents.

Both small and large businesses need to be smart about how they deal with and store their documents. End of the year and of the quarter are good times to update and go over your company’s disaster recovery plan. Your data recovery plan should have the following components.

  • Requirements for Uptime Recovery Time Objectives (RTO)
  • Recovery Point Objectives (RPO)
  • Service Level Agreements (SLA)

Changes in technology and the implementation of cloud based data solutions should be one of the first steps to consider when updating a data protection program. You will need to stay on top of the changes in order to both secure existing data streams and allow for new applications.

When you are facing a natural disaster is not the optimal time to start thinking about data recovery. You need a checklist and to continually think about data recovery as part of your disaster recovery plan. Asigna has 10 point enterprise disaster recovery planning checklist. Their 10 point disaster recovery checklist is primarily for big companies but smaller organizations can also benefit from having a disaster recovery plan.

Physical Assets-Storage considerations-Tip #1

Your first concern is for your physical assets. Hard drives can be adversely affected by water and fire. You also have to consider damage from earthquakes. Your storage considerations should include:

  • A cloud based solution to holds your data remotely in securely in status
  • Emergency power for critical data systems
  • Geographic location of physical locations and data centers
  • Local and remote backup facilities

Networked Assets- Security considerations-Tip #2

When preparing for a natural disaster you do have to consider data security. Data breaches can happen when data is not handled properly. Damage to your network can hamper your communications. You should make sure that your alternative data centers are secure by making sure they are:

  • Password protected
  • Have security firewalls and are compliant with security regulations

Disaster recovery as a service (DRSAS) plans are available for businesses to use.

Byuser

How data recovery can be used to solve crimes

Data recovery is gaining a greater role in solving crimes. The practice has grown tremendously from the early days of finding evidence on floppy disks to today’s investigations of tablets and mobile phones. If criminals think that they can just erase incriminating data and thus appear innocent, that idea probably will not work anymore.

For instance, law enforcement may have an interest in a few people who may be participating in an illicit drug ring. During a surveillance episode, law enforcement will wait until they have witnessed a transaction to move in and make the arrest. At that time, one or more of the perpetrators could run, jettisoning drugs, guns, phones, and anything else that may be incriminating. Collecting the phone means that forensics can analyse calls and texts, as well as any photos and use any or all of them as evidence.

Analysing a Smarphone’s RAM

smartphone-data

Whilst it is still in the research phase, it is now possible to analyse a smartphone’s RAM, even if the phone has been shut down. Forensics teams will soon be able to see what was displayed on the last several screens before the phone was shut down, and this research is applicable to tablets as well. Not only is this research going to provide more information, it will be able to provide law enforcement with the most recent evidence of wrongdoing, and may provide evidence of other crimes as well.

As an example, let’s say that someone was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. Even if his phone was turned off at the time of his arrest, turning it back on would still yield important information – was he looking at child pornography or selling illegal firearms as well as dealing drugs? That information can now be discovered as well. And let’s not forget how valuable email can be to an investigator, even seemingly obscure ones, as in the case of one victim whose murderer was found through the clues left in emails sent by the victim to various family members, friends, and her eventual murderer.

Remember we mentioned floppy disks earlier? A serial killer eluded capture for 16 years until 2004, when he attempted to taunt police with a Word document he sent them on a floppy disk. What had taken years of investigative work was reduced to a few hours when computer forensics experts found metadata on the disk that revealed the killer’s first name and location.

It may still be easy for criminals to run, but data recovery is rapidly crushing their ability to hide!

Byuser

Tablets for business – which is right for you?

Before you select a tablet, you should first understand that business tablets will differ from leisure tablets that were more intended for consumers. A business tablet will place greater emphasis on security and analytical features over entertainment. In most cases, a tablet makes more sense than moving around a heavy laptop because working from a touchscreen lets you access presentations, graphs and videos instantaneously. We look at 3 tablets which you could use for your business, for further advice including a data recovery plan for your tablets, get in touch with Evolution Business Data Recovery.

iPad Pro 9.7

ipad-air-witb-gray-cel-201410_GEO_US

Apple’s best all-around tablet, you have one the thinnest and lightest iPads, but it still has a 9.7-inch display screen that boasts a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. The iPad Pro 9.7 has a built-in A9X processor, and the iPad has been loaded with two gigabytes of RAM. While lighter than its predecessor, the iPad Pro 9.7 still has the same 10-hour battery life of the past generation model. Weight has become one of the huge selling points of the iPad Pro 9.7 because you can carry it around in a briefcase, and because it is 6.1 mm thin, you will also enjoy greater mobility without performance slowing down when you need it to hit deadlines and communicate with important clients.

Dell Venue 8 7840

Dell’s tablet is Android based, and it features a scratch resistant screen that is eight inches and 2560 x 1600 resolution. The only problem that you might encounter with the Dell Venue 8 7840 is how because it includes the Intel chip, Microsoft Office will not be available. Aside from that, if you do not need Microsoft Office, then the performance of the Dell Venue puts it in competition with the Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact and the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Google Pixel C

Boasting stellar hardware, Pixel C can last over 10 hours in terms of battery life, and it has a resolution of 2560 x 1800. One of the biggest highlights of the Google Pixel C is the robust metal that the keyboard dock has been made from, and it uses a magnetic plateto pair and keyboard and tablet. The Google Pixel C runs the latest version of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, and it can last the full work day while letting you play graphically intense games on your commute back home.

Choosing a business tablet, the key features to look for include weight, security, performance, applications and battery life. You also have to look at the purpose for your business because different needs will have to be addressed when choosing your tablet.

Byuser

Everything you need to know about how your personal data is stored on Facebook

According to Statista.com, Facebook has over 1.65 billion users around the world. 890 million people log on to the site each and every day. That number represents a great deal of personal information about people, their preferences and relationships to others. This fact isn’t lost on Facebook administrators and the company has endeavoured to be transparent about how that data is collected, stored and shared. At Evolution Business Data Recovery in Bath, we often have customers ask about Facebook data and confuse this with general data store on their hard drive. Whilst Facebook images, status’ and personal information is often safe from file curroption, Facebook users should be aware of what happens to their data.

Privacy Controls

The most important thing to know about your data is that you have control over what is shared and collected. You can access your privacy parameters in the settings menu. You can also set the privacy parameters for each individual post, picture or video. These settings control who can see your posts, who can contact you, and whether or not search engines can find your profile.

What Type of Data Does Facebook Collect

3d rendering of a disassembled Facebook app icon with a glowing blue pulse graphic inside

If you have a Facebook account, then you have agreed to allow them to collect data. The company collects data about the people and groups you are affiliated with. They collect data about your preferences such as movies, music and products you like. They collect information about your payment methods such as Paypal or credit cards. Facebook also collects data from third party providers about things you are interested in and purchase outside of Facebook, as well.

That’s billions of photos, videos, and bits of personal data. Now, what happens to all that personal and professional data that Facebook collects? Is it safely stored, protected and responsibly shared? Determining the best way to store that much data has led to new technology and new policies regarding privacy.

How Is The Data Processed and Stored

Your data is classified into three different categories: hot, warm and cold. Hot data is brand new information that needs to be frequently accessed. Warm data is a bit older and cold data is information that needs to be saved, but might not get accessed on a regular basis. It’s like placing certain objects on the desk in your office, some items in the cupboard, and old stuff in your attic. Have you ever tried to access some information, and Facebook told you that it might take a while for those changes to take effect? That’s because Facebook uses a master database and a slave database system. These databases are fractured and spread out across data storage centres across the United States and Europe.

Every bit of your information is tagged. The system uses an algorithm which determines which portion of the database your information is stored on and then your data is retrieved or accessed using a special ID tag. This information is encoded so that ID thieves and hackers can’t access your data.

No system is perfect and Facebook is constantly making updates on how your data is stored, shared and accessed. Luckily, you can find lots of information in your privacy settings and in the Facebook help centre. You can also send personal queries to the site administrators.

Byuser

About the man who deleted his entire company

The Accidental Deletion of Entire Company’s Data Was Easily Preventable

You’ve probably heard the unbelievable story about the man who accidentally deleted his entire company’s and customers’ data. More astonishing is that he also deleted all backups. It seems he coded an “rm –rf” into his script and included the backup filesystems that were mounted. The “rm” command means delete and the “–r” makes the deletion recursive, meaning it deletes the directory and everything underneath of it.

The Obvious Problems

Engineer proceeding to data recovery from computer

Any time you are going to be automating recursive deletions using rm, you need to double and triple check your code and test. In fact, I would quadruple check my work, take a break, and then return for the quadruple check with a fresh set of eyes. If possible when performing something so potentially destructive like this, ask for an independent set of eyes to read over your code, such as a trusted expert or technical forum. There is also no excuse for a lack of testing. Even if one does not have a test server, test the code on a small, unimportant filesystem before letting it loose on yours and your customers’ livelihood.

The other obvious problem is with regards to the backups of the data. I know tape may be considered old fashioned, but there is something to be said for the safety of having disconnected backup copies of important data. That being said, disk backups can certainly be utilized, but managed in a much safer way. If the backup filesystems really need to be available to query, they should not need to be writable. There should always be a copy of critical data that is not accessible in the same way active data is.

Read more about file system data recovery.

There May Yet Be Hope

The “rm” command does not overwrite blocks on disk, so if no other steps were taken, the data could potentially still be on disk. All activity should be stopped immediately, though, and a reputable data recovery company should be engaged. The company may or may not be able to recover the data.

Lessons Learned

The bottom line is that one always needs to be careful. This does not just include checking and testing, but also setting up safeguards against human error. If backup data cannot be accessed in the first place, a mistake can’t possibly overwrite it. This life changing error could have been prevented by simple checks and restrictions.

Byuser

Creating a Data Recovery Plan for Your Business: What You Need To Know

Data recovery after a disaster can be a headache. You have mission critical information that you need now to run your business. Businesses that don’t plan for the unexpected can expect to fail. A good data recovery plan can ensure that your business remains up and running or is able to recover quickly after a major catastrophe.

Getting your data recovery right from the start

business-data-recovery

There are some important components to your data recovery plan that you should consider incorporating at the very beginning stages of creation. The first and foremost activity is to establish where your highly critical data will be stored. This highly critical data is data that if lost would “sink” your business. Establishing where this data will be stored will lesson your headache. The second and equally critical component to consider in a data recovery plan is how your data will be stored. Do you have a back-up plan that stores data off-site? Do you have a back-up plan for data that will be stored on-site?

Your critical data needs to accessible. Non-accessible data or data that is difficult to retrieve isn’t going to help your business or your customers. Critical data that can help your business should be recoverable and quickly accessed. Data recovery plans that hold your critical data “hostage” may feel secure, but actually deter both your business and your customers.

Restoration processes are a key component in any data recovery plan. Software that can store critical data securely and restore data effortlessly is a good investment. In some cases, restoration processes can only recover a fraction of the data. This is why a good data recovery plan takes into consideration the possibility of corrupted discs, networks and other storage devices. The more you plan data back-ups of critical information, the better you’ll be able to restore it.

To keep it simple, a data recovery plan should:

1.Establish what critical data you need to run your business. Critical data can be personal information, proprietary information and mission critical information.

2.Explain how and where this critical data will be stored. There are both internal and external data storage solutions to consider.

3.Have an accessible network that can bring data back up as quickly as possible or provide a way for your business to continue to in a temporary mode.

4.Have restoration perimeters, so you know what data is being restored. There should be some checks and balances so you know what you’re getting back.