Data is an important and integral aspect of any business’s long-term strategy. Issues such as information life cycle management, e-discovery and enterprise content management systems hinge on one common denominator: data. Data storage and management is essential for business continuity and litigation matters.

Data is nevertheless constantly at threat. This threat is presented in a number of ways. Viruses present one danger posed to data. These malicious programs have the capacity to damage, compromise or erase a business’s data. Physical damage to data storage facilities is another danger posed to data storage and recovery. Fires and flooding fall under this category. Another little known threat is encryption. This technology is a double edged sword especially when mishandled and as a result decryption must be carried out by a data recovery expert in a data recovery lab.

These dangers exemplify the exceptional need for emergency data recovery in the event of one of the mentioned dangers. Data is increasingly becoming the most important asset any company has and as such, data storage, management and recovery have become an important management aspect. Most companies hire a data recovery specialist or company to handle their data recovery needs. In litigation, e-discovery is increasingly becoming the main method of information discovery. This means companies that need to plan for any eventuality have to develop e-storage, e-management and e-recovery policies by which they can ensure continuity in their information life cycle.

In the event that data on a storage medium is lost, damaged or destroyed, an emergency data recovery process must be initiated. The process begins by sending the damaged or corrupted storage medium to a data recovery lab. Here, a data recovery expert will determine whether it is a hardware or logical (non-hardware) issue. If it is a hardware issue, they will simply repair the hardware and restore access to the data. Logical issues are more complex and require a non-hardware data recovery specialist. This may involve overwritten data, corrupt file systems or online data recovery. In this instance, they will use the wide array of tools and techniques they have to recover the data.

There are a number of emerging trends that are anticipated to affect a data recovery service. Cloud computing is one such emerging trend. It involves the integration of a network of servers across the globe to create one shared super computer. The development of cloud computing has seen many companies move their on-site data storage to not only off-site/remote areas but to the cloud as well. Data disaster recovery experts are still writing the book on this issue as multiple scenarios emerge.

Another emerging trend in the world of data recovery is encryption. Today, many companies have within their information management policies an encryption clause. Encryption has therefore become a near prerequisite for any business. However, this very safety device is what proves a sticking point in the event of a hardware or software failure. It is essential, consequently, for companies to include data disaster recovery within their information management strategy as a matter of course.