Do you know where your data is? How much of it leaves the business each evening on personal devices or is accessed remotely from insecure laptops, or how easy is it to recover deleted data from the cloud? Do you understand the risks involved in implementing (or simply accepting as inevitable) of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or a Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) policy?
Recent research undertaken by Kroll Ontrack indicates that for many, the response may well be ‘no idea’. It highlights that over a 12-month period, one in four workers (25%) lost work data due to the malfunction or corruption of the technology they were using at the time. This was up from just 19% two years before, demonstrating a worrying escalation of the risks created by employee data loss.
Clearly, this situation could have serious consequences for organisations that are unprepared for data disaster and do not have a recovery policy in place. The research highlights that while 68% of work data lost from devices was recovered, almost one-third of all work-related data lost – which could be valuable strategic or financial information or even sensitive communications – was irrecoverable.
This means that organisations must prepare for potential data disasters by developing a robust business continuity programme that includes a backup plan, education for employees and a data disaster strategy for those occasions when all else fails.
Kroll Ontrack research also highlighted that one in three UK employees (33%) used personal devices or cloud services to store work-related data. Furthermore, recovery rates of lost work-related data among these devices are low. Only one in five users successfully recovered data from home desktops (19%), 17% from laptops and tablets and just eight per cent from personal mobile devices.
The truth is that the increasing use of mobile devices is blurring the lines between personal and work-related data. As such, organisations have to take extra considerations when devising a disaster recovery plan.
This includes a full audit of what devices are holding work-related data and ensuring that these devices are being used responsibly. It is also important that businesses understand what critical data is on the device and ensure that only work-related data is backed up to company servers – ignoring personal apps and music.
Organisations can take action even before disaster strikes by bringing in a data recovery expert to build additional data management principles into the planning process. From their experience of finding and restoring data, the expert can have a detailed look at an existing disaster recovery plan and also audit the organisation’s backups to ensure that they are in good shape in case of failure.
While no organisation is immune from all potential data disaster, they can take proactive steps to protect their IT systems and mitigate the risk of data loss, such as having a disaster recovery plan in place, testing their disaster recovery plan on a regular basis, ensuring data is backed up according to a planned schedule, testing backups regularly, building access to a data recovery expert into the disaster recovery plan, and performing an annual external test of data recovery process and independent backup audit by your trusted data recovery experts.
Sourced Paul Le Messurier, programme and operations manager, Kroll Ontrack